The past four weeks have been an absolute monsoon. A good monsoon, though. Like the “Casper the friendly ghost” of monsoons. Some early-semester travel rearrangements due to excessive “wintery precipitation” left me with six trips to complete in the final six weeks of the semester. Here we go.
After I spent over a month grounded, I resumed my travels the week of March 23 with a trip up to KU. It was an adventurous trip, as I tried two completely new Kansas City BBQ joints on my way in and on my way out, one of them being a contender for the number one spot on my BBQ list. Alas, there was so much more than food to enjoy on this trip.
The Kansas Chapter is one that truly understands that they are part of something much bigger than themselves. They always seem to find a way to do joint events with other chapters, and they always treat me well on my visits. Not surprisingly, the brotherhood within the chapter has always been a strength and continues to be.
I was pleased to hear that the effort of the Kansas brothers has been yielding some serious results lately. Socially, Vice President Mitchell DePriest and his team are moving the chapter forward by taking every opportunity they can to get involved on campus. They have put on a host of date parties and sorority mixers, in addition to making an impact on the world of intramurals.
Not only that, but pledgeship has seen marked improvement under Pledge Captain Trent Sanders. The pledges have been challenged with purposeful tasks and tests throughout the semester, and that will only produce cheerful, committed future member and leaders.
There’s too much to say about KU BYX in just one section of a blog, but I can honestly say that these brothers are evaluating every area of their chapter to improve wherever they can. That kind of conviction and initiative in leadership will serve them well into the future.
The following week, I traveled south to the place where the drainage system is so bad that when it rains, right turn lanes turn into swimming pools. That’s right, my next stop was to none other than Baton Rouge, Louisiana to visit LSU BYX.
Now, this particular visit was highly educational and gastrically satisfying (yeah I just made that word up, but it’s ok, I have a degree in nutrition.) For instance, I learned that “Baton Rouge” means simply “red stick” in French. I guess they never had high hopes for the city, or maybe sticks are more rare and valuable in France than they are over here in the U.S.
And the food. The food at LSU absolutely annihilates the food at any other campus I visit. This time around I had the crawfish etouffee at Chimes only twice, and one night I took down three pounds of boiled crawfish with 2015 COR participant Brandon Lusk.
More importantly, the LSU Chapter of BYX continues to shine in most every area. One of their greatest strengths is their social involvement. This is the chapter that makes sororities not want to mix with anyone else and takes names on the intramural field. I couldn’t be prouder of their strong positive social presence on campus.
Impressively, LSU BYX also stands out in terms of brotherhood and leadership. The leadership is diligent in prayer and focused on brotherhood and unity in every decision they make. The brotherhood here is such that brothers simply don’t miss events. How often do you hear that a chapter has a social or brotherhood event pretty much every week that consistently has 90% attendance by the brothers? That’s a testament not only to the quality of event put on, but also to the desire by the brothers to be around each other and love their Greek and campus communities.
I have some dear friends at the Psi Chapter, and it’s all because I feel like a brother there as well as an advisor.
Week three of my marathon was a trip to Ole Miss, which I had to reschedule thanks to global warming ice storms. Upon arriving in Oxford, I realized that when I rescheduled my trip, I forgot to rebook my hotel, so I was forced to couch crash at an officer’s place. It turned out to be great, as I think they offered better room service than Holiday Inn could ever hope to. I felt like an honored guest at the house and throughout my time there. When a chapter puts that kind of effort into making my visit comfortable and enjoyable, I feel like what I’m doing matters. There’s no doubt in my mind that the Chi Chapter has a great appreciation and respect for the National Staff.
Internal brotherhood and unity is something that has been on the rise in the past three semesters, and this semester, it was evident more than ever that the brothers in this chapter really enjoy being around each other. Chapter meeting was a blast; they were engaged with each other well, they had a fun pledge activity planned and they enjoyed asking me some fun questions during my talk. I would encourage this chapter to keep growing in this area, as it is our central focus as a fraternity.
Not only was I encouraged by the servant-heartedness of the officers and the internal brotherhood of the chapter, but I also got to hear about everything Ole Miss BYX is doing to step out in the social arena. They have been taking every opportunity to reach out to other Greeks and show up to support their events. They have even had success in holding mixers with multiple sororities this semester, which was new and exciting for them.
Although my travel schedule has been hectic and will continue to be for the remainder of the semester, all of my visits have been overwhelmingly encouraging. Having to sacrifice things like sleep and a consistent weekly routine is not even worth worrying about because I know that what I do, what BYX does, matters. It is an absolute joy to serve these and all of my chapters.