As we close out another semester, the national advisors looked back on the moments that made the fall great. Here are the memories that stood out most to them.
One of my favorite weekends of the fall semester is always National Officer Training. For an entire weekend, we as a staff, with the Board of Directors, get the opportunity to throw all the wisdom and teaching we can throw out to the top leaders for this coming year, and we don’t have many opportunities like it. One of the best times of the weekend for me is worshipping with the 200-plus officers, and I am always encouraged by the passion of these men as they pursue Jesus. National Officer Training is definitely the busiest weekend of the year, and we are always sick for a week after it, but I am always encouraged by the love and passion these leaders have for this fraternity as they pursue Christ.
This semester was full of ups and downs, as anything in life is. Every time there was a down, God met me there with a reminder of His faithfulness. Greater highs overshadowed the lows this year. One of my favorite highlights of this semester was National Officer Training. I obviously enjoyed all of my chapter visits but it would be impossible to choose only one to talk about. One of the coolest things for me at Officer Training was being able to spend time with all of my chapters during the same weekend. At National Officer Training, I was able to work with the chapter presidents. This was an awesome opportunity for me to teach and answer questions. Personally, this was exciting for me since just a couple of years ago I was sitting in a room similar to them, learning how to properly lead my chapter.
This may be a cop-out, but the highlight of my semester was a chartership ceremony. This semester, I had the honor of chartering the Chi Chapter at the University of Mississippi. It was especially surreal because of the number of dedicated alumni who came back, some shedding tears of joy at the occasion. Working with the Ole Miss Chapter for the past two-and-change years has been an adventure. There have been plenty of ups and downs, but it was a proud moment to see them achieve this level of recognition. All of the National Staff before me invested heavily into this chapter, and I’d like to thank them all. All of the members who helped set the foundation for this accomplishment deserve recognition too. But in this celebration, the chapter must remember that this achievement is not the finish line, but only the beginning of greater things to come.
Zach Van Meter
I attended the Alpha Theta Chapter at Yale University for the first time this past semester and had a blast. Not only was the campus tour really cool but also getting to meet and know the brothers and how they do BYX at their campus was intriguing. Yale is definitely a different campus culture compared to the south, yet these men are furthering the same purpose established for BYX around the nation regardless of the challenges they face. I also had the privilege of getting to see and help set up their new BYX house on fraternity row! This is a solid add to the chapter and has already been productive in hosting brotherhood events for the brothers and open parties for the campus. I’m looking forward to visiting these brothers again and rallying up for spring rush and pledgeship.
One of my favorite moments of the semester happens to be one that went well off our plan and was changing up until the moment it happened. During the summer, Blake Hankins posed the idea of creating an initiation ceremony for each BYX officers that would take place at National Officer Training. What that conversation led to evolved into an experience that has now set a precedent for years to come and will hopefully serve as a reminder throughout this coming year of the significance of the commitments that they have made before the Lord, to their brothers and to themselves. That feeling I had while looking out at more than 200 men taking their oath in unison around the fires is not one quickly forgotten.