Excellence in Awards: The Importance of National Unity

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As Christians, we are called to pursue excellence in everything we do, and for no other reason than the glory of God. If you’re in BYX, you’ve probably heard your president or national advisor throw out a line similar to that in his chapter address once or twice. But it’s true, and we on the National Staff don’t want the effort and diligence of our men to go unnoticed. That’s why at National Officer Training in November 2014, Nationals put aside some time for an award ceremony to recognize excellence at the local chapters.

There are five awards presented to chapters each year: the Momentum Award, given to the chapter that shows the greatest progress; the Social & Campus Presence Award, given to the chapter who makes the greatest positive impact on their campus’ social scene; the National Unity Award, given to the chapter who best understands, appreciates and respects the national body of BYX brothers; the Party of the Year Award, given to the chapter that puts on the best planned, organized and executed event; and the 133 Award, given to the chapter that overall best accomplishes the purpose of BYX in establishing brotherhood and unity among college men based on the common bond of Christ.

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Today we’re talking about the National Unity Award. Now there are a number of reasons why national unity is near the top of my “BYX is Freakin’ Awesome” list.

We can start with the fact that when I pledged BYX in the fall of 2009 at the University of Florida, BYX was just wrapping up a two-and-a-half-year lawsuit with the university over recognition on campus. Without the support of our brothers nationwide and the National Staff with their legal team, our chapter would not have been able to battle all the way to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals and eventually earn recognition.

Three years later, the Nu Chapter at Vanderbilt University was caught up in a similar firestorm. The university eventually elected to boot a number of Christian organizations, including BYX. A massive outpouring of prayer and support came from our brothers nationwide, which happened to result in what we now call Called to Pray Week.

National unity means understanding that you’re part of a body much bigger than yourself and being ready to love and support other members of that body, especially when the proverbial poopoo hits the fan. It also means understanding the seamless brotherhood available to you, no matter what region you’re from.

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The winners of the 2015 National Unity Award understood this well, and I would be remiss if I didn’t give a deserved shout out to the Alpha Xi Chapter at Louisiana Tech! Not only do these guys have a heart for their BYX brothers nationally, but they’re a well-traveled bunch. It seems like some of these fellas were never actually in Ruston, Louisiana, but rather at another chapter at all times. Their officer retreat last semester was a combination of business and travel in an attempt to learn from other chapters, as well as help out wherever they could. Alabama, Tennessee, Vanderbilt and Ole Miss hosted these guys on their way. The officers even made their way to Fort Worth this semester to visit with the National Staff. LA Tech was also heavily involved with their brother chapter LSU, hosting joint events together. It has been evident since their founding that the Alpha Xi Chapter seeks to operate in unity with the national body of BYX and values what they are part of. Great work, brothers!

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