Friday, May 3, 2013

Congratulations Seniors!

By Jason Hoyt
President and COO

Congratulations on making it to your final week before graduation. I vividly remember my last active member meeting where I had the chance to get up at chapter and share my heart with my fellow brothers. I had for years watched so many men go before me thinking that "that day" would never happen for me. It did come, and it was one of the most emotional days of my life. There were few words to describe how much the Lord had used BYX in my life to shape me and place me onto this path of my life. The Lord used men in BYX to lay foundational truths and foundational habits into my life. I learned what the pursuit of Christ looked like from other brothers in BYX. I took small steps each year towards greater maturity and relationship with Jesus.  

When I think back over the years of college, nothing else impacted me more than the fraternity of BYX and the men God surrounded me with. That was true on senior chapter night, and it is still true today. I don't remember much of what I said to my brothers, but I remember being overwhelmed in the emotion of what God had done in my life and how thankful I was that He allowed me to be a part of this fraternity.

As you begin to move on from your active member days in BYX, I encourage you to take some time to reflect on all that God has done in your life through your brothers in BYX. Remember the road trips to formals, the brotherhood retreats, the tailgating and the iron sharpening iron conversations in your cell groups. Those memories will last a lifetime, as well the relationships with the men you walked side-by-side with through these years.

Even though the active membership will soon end, those relationships will stand the test of time. I was just having lunch yesterday with one of my fellow BYX alumni brothers and former roommate. We were in each others weddings now 10 years ago and are watching our collective five kids grow up together. We continue to share the joys and challenges of life together now 13 years after we shared our last chapter meeting as active members.  

I hope you will make the effort to become an informed BYX alumnus. We have tried to make it as easy as possible for you to stay "in the know" with what is going on in BYX. Follow us on social media in various places, and we will post blog updates, video updates, email updates and daily twitter and facebook updates on all the things the Lord continues to do through BYX. 

Each fall, chapters will host Legacy Weekend. Alumni will continue to be invited back to campus to experience chapter and reunite with old brothers and new young brothers. Look for "save the date" notifications to come out over the summer.

Lastly, would you remember BYX in your yearly giving plan now and into the future. We believe that the Lord has a clear vision for the growth of BYX and there is clear demand for what BYX offers on a college campus. We are looking to grow from our current 28 chapters to over 50 chapters in the next 5 years and we will need your support. Each new chapter we start requires at least $10,000 in support prior to starting the chapter and a full $33,000 over the first four years.

We have designed Project 40 to support our growth.  We are seeking $10,000 in chapter sponsors and 40 alumni to give $12 a month for 4 years towards one specific new BYX chapter. We are currently raising the support for BYX at the University of Alabama. Would you consider giving $12 a month in support of Alabama? Help us bring BYX to Bama by doing your part to support the vision of brotherhood and unity among college men based on the common bond of Jesus Christ. Click on the link here to give:

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Spring 2013 Island Parties in pictures

By Robert Bember
Senior Communications Advisor

The inaugural Island Party in 1985, which announced the founding of the fraternity, had a budget of $75 and was held in an apartment complex in Austin. Those founders couldn't have anticipated when they hosted Island Party that the event would grow into what it is. After 28 years, 28 chapters and thousands upon thousands of dollars, Island party remains the staple event for Beta Upsilon Chi. A number of chapters hosted their annual Island Party in recent weeks. Take a look at the pictures and see the numerous creative ideas the chapters have come up with for Island Party.

The Alpha Chapter played host to around 1,000 attendants for a huge dance party near campus. Prior to the start of the dance party, students joined the brothers for a worship service at the venue.
Brother Joe Work served as the DJ for the Alpha Chapter's Island Party.
The Omega Chapter at Auburn had great success in hosting a dance party this semester as Island Party.
The Psi Chapter at LSU featured Jason Castro in a concert on the campus's parade grounds.
Between sets, audience members competed in a limbo competition on stage.
The Alpha Alpha Chapter at NC State hosted a volleyball tournament in which over 6 other Greek organizations participated. The profits went towards the winning team's philanthropy.
Oklahoma BYX hosted a huge Rave this spring and had a strong turnout to get their dance on with a local DJ setting up the lights and sound. It was a great night to bust out the neon.
The Oklahoma Chapter switched from putting on a concert to hosting a rave this year, and the new format was a huge success.
SMU BYX hosted Island Party outside their rec center which included dancing, competitions, food, break-dancing and a volleyball tournament with nearly 30 teams.  Only one BYX guy could play on each team to get as many people to play as possible!
SMU BYX had many competitions, one of which was a pineapple balancing act. The night before the outdoor festivities, the Mu Chapter hosted a luau dance party on campus.
The weather wasn't going to keep the Theta Chapter at UNT from putting on their State Fair inspired Island party, featuring fair food, balloon artists and a mechanical bull.
The Gamma Chapter at Texas A&M has historically hosted a musical festival at Wolf Pen Creek Amphitheatre in College Station. The chapter hosts various ministries and camps as part of a ministry fair, and a number of businesses sell refreshments.
A large crowd enjoyed a concert featuring Andy Mineo and Tim Halperin as well as Gospel presentations from different speakers.
Attendants could enjoy a number of activities at the Gamma Chapter's Island Party, including sumo wrestling suits, inflatables and tailgating games.
In the days leading up to Island Party at the University of Georgia, sororities competed in a banner competition.
Attendants danced to music played by the DJ from the stage.
What separated the Pi Chapter's dance party from others was the paint that party goers threw all over themselves and others throughout the night.
The Tennessee Chapter capped off their week's worth of Island Party events with a huge party at the World's Fair. With only three semesters under their belt, the Tennessee Chapter's open parties already have a huge reputation on campus.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Expansion Update: Three new chapters on deck, more in the pipeline.

By Brian Lee
Chief Development Officer 

As we approach the homestretch of my first semester on staff, I wanted to give you guys an update on our expansion efforts. I would like to begin by thanking so many of you that have helped provide contacts over the past several months. We can’t say enough that you guys are our best resource as it relates to establishing BYX chapters on new campuses across the nation!

So where are we going this year? 

Alabama: As most of you know by know, Alabama is the first school out of the gate this year. Our plan is to initiate the chapter in August so that they will be ready for fall rush this year.

Stanford: We are in the processing of finalizing plans for our phase three trip to Stanford in May. We are hoping that they will also be ready to go for fall rush. 

Michigan: We have a great group of guys that have been working hard to recruit more founding fathers this semester. We are planning our phase three trip in the fall to get them initiated in time for rush in the spring 2014 semester.

We are already cultivating a number of connections that we hope will grow into chapters. 

South Carolina: I am talking with a group of nearly 15 guys at USC that are excited about establishing a BYX chapter. If everything continues to come together, they may also be ready to go by January 2014. 

College of Charleston: I have talked extensively with a guy who has mobilized over 25 men who are committed to starting a chapter at another major school in South Carolina. The most remarkable thing is that he is a senior in high school! We will wait and see if everything comes together, but it would be great if we could start these first two schools at the same time in January since they are only an hour-and-a-half away from each other! 

Kentucky: I’m communicating with a handful of men at UK that are hoping to start a chapter in 2014. They could use more guys so let me know if you have leads. By the way, if we establish a chapter, here we wrap up the SEC! 

Kansas State: I am primarily talking with one guy at K-State. Need more leads! Kansas State isn’t far from a number of our chapters, so if you know men at K-State, pass their contact information our way and take some time to tell them about BYX. 

Florida State: There are a couple of guys interested in starting a chapter here, but they are not yet committed. We could use some leads here as well.

Arizona State: There is one guy on this campus that would love to start a chapter, but has struggled to get enough guys on board with the vision. We would like to establish a chapter here as it is the largest campus in the nation, but we need more men on board.

Although this is a summary of our efforts so far, we know there are countless other men who would benefit from a BYX chapter on their campus. I would ask two things of you guys in response to this update. First, if you know anyone on the campuses mentioned above, please contact me at 979-575-3114 or and pass their information along to me so I can follow up with them.

As you guys go your separate ways this summer and interact with men from other campuses, please be intentional about sharing how God has used BYX to impact your life and, if you are talking with a guy on a campus where we do not currently exist, encourage him to reach out to us to find out more about establishing a new chapter. Many of you will be working at various camps this summer. There is no better place to represent BYX and share all that Jesus has done in your life through the brotherhood. And don’t forget to send them my way if they would like to learn more about establishing a new chapter!

We are so excited about all that God has done, is doing and will continue to do in and through BYX. Thanks for supporting us as we seek to bring the Kingdom of God, through the avenue of a social fraternity, to campuses across our nation!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Diagnosing the Problem of Dead Weight

By Nick England 
National Advisor 

When doing my taxes recently, I came across a post on the message boards inquiring about a tax question. The young lady said the following. 

"Can I claim my boyfriend as a dependent? We live together and I pay for everything from food to rent."

The response that immediately followed came from another man who offered some very tactful advice regarding her question.

"You need a new boyfriend."

These days the quintessential man is a lazy consumer who has little vision for his life and accumulates debt like our fathers did baseball cards. The sad side of this story is that the Church is not immune. Christian men are guilty of being dead weight nearly as much as their unbelieving counterparts. The easy way to handle men who are dead weight is to do nothing at all. However, by taking this approach, you are immediately guilty of the same apathy that frustrates you as a leader. 

What is dead weight?
When we talk about dead weight in reference to our men, the illustration of the old ball and chain comes to mind. It's the idea that progress is to be had, but those who desire progress are shackled by those who are indifferent. Symbolically, dead weight is represented by something that is useful which now exists in disinterested opposition. At the heart of the issue, dead weight is apathy.

Where does apathy come from?
Apathy is sin in and of itself, but it is also born from sin. It is the vague product of an idol we worship. In his book “Church Planter,” Darrin Patrick talks about the way everyone worships surface idols and source idols. A surface idol is what others see on the outside. It could be materialism, self-image, dependency or work, among others. But there is a source idol that we worship, which each of us see on the inside. Our source idol reveals the disturbing truth about what we really care about. Comfort, power, approval and control would fall into the category of source idols. It is what Tim Keller ominously refers to as, "the sin beneath the sin."

If we flashback to Adam and Eve, we see them enjoying the Garden of Eden. Everything before them was beautiful, handcrafted by God and unadulterated by sin. Yet rebelliousness lingered in their hearts. God had clearly commanded them not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Yet the serpent, the agent of insurrection, lurked in the garden. The serpent pleaded with Eve to eat of the tree. He fed her lies and deceived her with fraudulent promises of counterfeit hope.

But where was Adam during this? The text is not clear, but what we do know is that he was not there to protect his bride while the serpent nourished the corruption in her heart. What we can deduce is that Adam was crippled by apathy and left elsewhere, a slave to his idolatry. Perhaps Adam worshipped approval and was afraid what his wife would say if he confronted her. Maybe she would no longer affirm and approve of him if he called her out in her sin.

Another possibility is that Adam worshipped comfort. He was content in his blissful ignorance and desired the status quo over a difficult conversation. Admittedly, sin is never easy to call out in another. In doing so we heed Christ's words in removing the log in our own eye before the speck in our brother's. But little did Adam know that the status quo would forever be broken because his idolatry left him to wallow in the comfort of his own approval. Thus, what bubbles to the surface from Adam's comfort is apathy.

Every man must wrestle with his own apathy. The hideous reality of our sin is that our hearts are laced with apathy. Every man may be apathetic about something different, but, at his core, it is the same disease. However, to our benefit the story doesn't end here.

"And you were dead in your trespasses and sin...But God being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ--by grace you have been saved." - Ephesians 2:1,4-5

We are no longer shackled to our sin. We were made free. And much of the good news comes in that we were not rescued from sin at our greatest moment, but at our worst. In the midst of our sin against a holy and righteous God, we were redeemed and adopted into His holy family. What becomes difficult now is that our sin and our brother's sin makes it difficult to encourage and challenge them to live in the light of their redemption.

How do we kill apathy in ourselves?

To quote the great Puritan pastor, John Owen, "Be killing sin, or sin will be killing you." Every morning we wake up, the battle for our affections is waged against us. We must wake up in a mindset of combat, ready to wage war against our temptations.

John Calvin talks about our hearts as "idol factories." What he means by this is that we were meant to worship something. It is our nature to do so. However, when we worship anything instead of Jesus, it is sin. It seems fickle and immature, but the truth is that we worship creation over the Creator. Our affections were designed to be directed as worship towards God.

In our mission to kill apathy, we can turn to a number of resources: Twelve-step programs, self-help, attempting to "do better," little post-it notes and so on. However, the guillotine for apathy is worship of Christ. We must sever our adulterous relationship with apathy and reclaim our love for Christ our Redeemer. This means that we must redirect our hearts from any petty distraction by worshiping our Savior with the passion we choose to sinfully direct elsewhere. To quote Matt Chandler, anything that stirs your affections for Christ, run to. That which robs your affections for Him, flee from.

How do we kill apathy in our chapter?

Now that we understand killing apathy within ourselves, what does it take to abolish it within the chapter? The answer is brotherhood and unity. You might ask, is it really that simple? Yes, it is. But this requires some heavy commitments.

The first commitment is that you live out Proverbs 27:17 - As iron sharpens iron so one man sharpens another. What this means is that you are being molded into something better. You are being refined into something greater. The end product is beautiful but only comes through the sanctification of friction. Imagine two pieces of iron rubbing against one another. There is heat, and it is abrasive. But the end product occurs because of the sanctification of brotherhood. The text does not refer to iron sharpening wood. We do not see a dense metal whittling a soft branch. We see two equals loving one another in the Gospel.

The second commitment is that in your brotherhood, you are unified. No matter how hot the friction gets, you are committed. Sanctification is always done in love, which means that logs and specks are removed from everyone's eyes, and brothers embrace the unconditional love and accountability of their brother. One of Christ's last prayers on earth was for unity. He contended for our unity, pleading with the Father that His children would be unified.

This should speak with premonitory volume to us because again, the serpent employs enmity. His chief weapon is most simply division. In the garden we enjoyed the bliss of constant intimacy with the Father. We basked in the blessing of unblemished amity with woman. And this was all ripped from us when we chose to drive the stake of discord between us and our Almighty Father.

But in the moment we did so, God promised to send His Son to die for our sins. Christ died to eradicate dead weight, apathy and our need for comfort and approval. These things no longer have bearing in our lives. Through Christ and the sanctification of our brotherhood, we are free from the sin that entangles us.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Nationals Visits the University of North Texas

By Brian Baudoin
National Advisor

As national advisors, we regularly accept the perils of travel as a part of serving our men. We endure hours on the road, crowded airports and even days at sea to reach our men for the purpose of better serving them in brotherhood and unity. Okay, so I have never had to take a boat to get to a chapter, but maybe one day. Regardless, these dangers are never more present than the harrowing 45-minute drive up I-35 to Denton from Fort Worth. While I may have to experience longer trips to other chapters, UNT is my only chapter that requires driving through metroplex traffic.

Last week, I made my visit to the men at the University of North Texas. There have been many great things happening for our neighbor chapter to the north this semester. I came in the week after an awesome on-campus Island Party. The event was originally scheduled to be a day time event in the middle of campus but had to be altered due to the weather. Thankfully, the university was more than accommodating and moved Island Party inside to the middle of the student union.

It was a great event for campus exposure, and many students had a good time attending. The party was Texas State fair themed which meant cotton candy machines, a mechanical bull and a balloon animal artist, among other attractions. The only thing that did not make it into the union was the dunking booth, which upset many members who were looking forward to dunking their officers.

I arrived on Monday for my first meeting with President Christian Salazar at Crooked Crust Pizza near campus in Denton. I had never heard of it before, but, after eating there, I wish I had heard of it earlier. Christian is passionate about the fraternity and his men, which led to great conversation about how this officer corps can advance the chapter with the time that it has remaining in office. He is fraternally minded and has a good grasp on Greek culture on campus.

Following the meeting with Christian, I met with Secretary Brandon Bolin. It was a great conversation, especially since Brandon has been on top of his game this semester in terms of keeping me informed with the chapter minutes. I did not have much to critique him on in terms of his performance, and his outlook on the chapter was certainly a refreshing one to hear.
My final one-on-one for Monday came with Vice President Matt Hard. This was definitely a good time to have a meeting with him since the craziness of Island Party had just died down. Like Brandon, Matt brings a lot of positive energy to the officer corps, which is beneficial to the unity of the group.

Monday night I was fortunate enough to attend the UNT chapter meeting. Chapter meeting is one of my favorite aspects of this chapter that I get to see. These men never fail to show a great understanding of unity at chapter meeting. Every chapter, they have a time for “encour-a-bro,” which is a chapter wide affirmation period for one of the members. At that meeting, Secretary Brandon Bolin was being encouraged. It was a great time of sharing that really built Brandon up and made me proud of the men.

Another unique tradition that the men of this chapter have is the pledge line-up, where the actives are able to ask the pledges questions about their knowledge of the pledgeship curriculum as well as their time in BYX. I was even allowed to ask the men questions, and they were able to pass even my toughest attempts to befuddle them. These men have truly built a special kind of brotherhood here, and it is apparent every time I attend a chapter meeting.

Due to the schedule of the officers, we had to have our officer meeting following chapter. You may be asking yourself, “Hmm, if I had my national advisor in town, what could be the most awesome place that we could possibly meet with him as an officer corps?” Well the answer is McDonald’s, and that is exactly where we conducted our officer meeting. Over the years as both an officer and an advisor, I have met men for officer meetings in many types of places, but this was my first time doing so at a fast food restaurant. For this, I salute you UNT officer corps.

During my visit I was able to meet up with Pledge Trainer Enrique Callejas and Pledge
Captain Drew Reed and hear about the chapter’s vision for expanding recruitment and pledgeship. The chapter has been making remarkable social strides in the past few semesters, which has resulted in more recognition of the fraternity from the campus. The goal is to be able to effectively capitalize on this growing recognition and turn that new advantage into more pledges.

I also had the privilege of meeting with Treasurer Ryan Gibson. One thing to know about Ryan is that he is known by the rest of the chapter by the nickname “Peaches.” If you ask me whether I completely understand the nickname or whether I have wanted to dive deeper into the back story, the answer to both would be no. What I do know is that Peaches has been a great treasurer and a joy to work with this year. As for next year, we discussed ways to reform how the chapter collects dues in order to get everything accounted for in a timely manner.

During my visit I was also able to sit down with Chaplain Richard Goff. Richard has a heart for the men of his chapter, and it is apparent when you sit down and speak with him. We had a great conversation about the unity of the officer corps and the vision of the chapter for the fall. Richard is good at being direct with the men when he needs to be, and I know it will serve the chapter well.

I left my meetings pleased with the direction and the vision of the men in this officer corps. They are young but have really emerged from their period of growing pains well. The next step is challenging both the men and the officers alike to reach for that higher level of fraternity on campus. The Theta Chapter has the potential to be the biggest fraternity on campus in terms of both numbers and campus presence.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Nationals Visits Texas Tech University

By Robert Bember
Senior Communications Advisor

The Weather Channel recently held its own March Madness bracket to determine the city with the toughest weather. In the finals, Lubbock, Texas is duking it out with the frozen hellscape known as Fairbanks, Alaska for the title of city with the toughest weather. Currently, Lubbock is winning in a landslide (pun intended) with 65.85 percent of the votes. So I shouldn’t have been surprised when the lovely spring weather I had been enjoying went into hiding upon my arrival to Lubbock last week.

This semester’s chapter visit to the Eta Chapter was my sixth and final trip to Texas Tech. I started working with them in fall 2010, my first semester on staff. I will serve over only two chapters in the fall as I turn my attention towards more communications, marketing and fundraising projects. Though I enjoy developing BYX from in front of the computer with these projects, I will miss visiting the men of the Eta Chapter and the many other chapters and individuals I have had to step away from in recent semesters.

After a pair of one-on-ones Monday afternoon, I met with four of the officers for their officer meeting before chapter. Two officers had yet to return from the Easter holiday. Tech didn’t have classes that Monday. We discussed the upcoming events, including the chapter’s inaugural date auction. They ended up raking in over $3,200 in their first effort. I couldn’t be more proud.

Following officer meeting, President Ryan Williams served us a “home-cooked” meal. And by “home-cooked,” I mean he picked up rotisserie chickens from the store and heated up canned corn and beans. I’m not complaining though. I appreciated the hospitality of the officer team.

As expected, chapter meeting was an emotional one. The brothers made me feel appreciated and respected throughout the evening. They gave me their undivided attention during my final chapter address. They also had me sit on the dating panel they held in preparation for date auction. The brothers showed much maturity and wisdom with the ladies as many brothers from the audience and the panel contributed great insights.

The officers gathered all the brothers around me to pray over me before closing chapter meeting. More brothers tracked me down after chapter to thank me and pray for me individually. I couldn’t have asked for a stronger showing of support and appreciation than what the men of the Eta Chapter showed me.

I hung out with about 15 brothers at Chili’s after chapter meeting, including future National Staff member Scott Bryan. Scott will move to beautiful Fort Worth, which likely didn’t make the field for toughest weather city, in July and began traveling to numerous local chapters in the fall. After serving with Scott during his tenure as an officer and seeing the way his brothers admire him, I have no doubt he will be a huge asset to our staff and the chapters he serves.

On Tuesday, I countered the cold weather and West Texas wind by hiding in the Student Union for seven hours. I arrived around lunch time to two tables full of brothers. The men congregate daily in the same location in the dining area of the union. Many brothers came and went throughout the two hours I spent there. Officers typically take up the bulk of my time, so I enjoyed sitting down with numerous brothers serving and being served by BYX outside of the officer team.

I had my remaining four one-on-ones with the officers the rest of the afternoon. The Eta Chapter elected an impressive group of officers. Throughout my conversations, I could see specific skills and character attributes that suit them well for their positions. The Eta Chapter is in great hands.

I met the officers at Gardski’s near campus to watch the Astros and Rangers face off. The Astros will likely exemplify futility most of the year, but I will stand by them. It wasn’t their night though. A couple officers from Houston were there to share in the Astros ineptitude with me.

When I proposed watching the game together, I didn’t expect Yu Darvish to take a perfect game into the ninth inning. I was conflicted. It’s not every day you see someone throw a perfect game, and I like the Rangers, but you never want it to be your team on the wrong end of a perfect game. Fortunately Marwin Gonzalez cemented his legacy by shooting a hard ground ball through Darvish’s legs, ending the perfect game with two outs in the ninth inning and making it slightly less embarrassing to be an Astros fan. All I could do was laugh, but the Rangers fans didn’t see the humor.

Walking away from a chapter that I have invested 3 years into is no easy task, especially when I’ve seen that chapter go from 40 to 100 members, but I know that the Lord won’t stop advancing that chapter just because I’m moving on. I’m a miniscule part of their success. The men in the chapter have a great vision and drive to make BYX an elite fraternity on the campus of Texas Tech. I won’t get to see the next few steps, but I’m so grateful for the strides I have seen and the men I have gotten to know. My prayers will continue to go out to the Eta Chapter.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Legacy Weekend's Success Depends Heavily on the Members

By Robert Bember
Senior Communications Advisor

Legacy Weekend came to fruition as a national initiative to keep alumni connected to their local chapter, yet the short-term and long-term success of the event rests on the shoulders of the fraternity’s active members.

Some chapters have grabbed the vision for the event and strived to make it great since day one. Others continue to look for their groove to establish a strong and consistent Legacy Weekend. It is up to the men currently in the chapter to produce a great event and show the men that came before them that they are still valued and respected brothers.

For Legacy Weekend to thrive, the brothers need to get excited about it. Brothers who don’t place a high priority on Legacy Weekend as members are not likely to flip a switch and value it more once they graduate. If a member looks back on his time in BYX and recalls the apathy that he and his brothers had towards Legacy Weekend, he’s not going to be excited to come back. On the other hand, if he remembers four years of great alumni events, he will circle his calendar to try to make it back to campus as an alumnus.

Diagnosing a problem is of no value if we can’t offer a solution. Many chapters could benefit from altering their vision, attitude and actions pertaining to Legacy Weekend.

The officers need to get the brothers on board with this event through sound vision casting for Legacy Weekend. Misconceptions about the identity of the fraternity hinder the vision of Legacy Weekend. We are a lifelong brotherhood of committed Christian men. From day one, instill that mindset into your men through pledgeship and every following semester. This improves buy-in for not just Legacy Weekend but every event.

Help the brothers to see that we value our alumni. The men who sat in chapter meeting five, 10 and 20 years ago are a huge reason BYX is what it is today. They deserve to be honored. The current members owe it to those men to give of their time and energy to show appreciation to the men who set the table for their fraternity experience.

Once the officers cast a vision, the attitudes of many brothers will fall in line. Continue to encourage and empower them to make this a great event, but believe it for yourself first. Those that love BYX will understand the “why” and align their attitudes accordingly. Other brothers may need a little more coaxing, so do so in love. Hear them out and find out why they feel the way they feel towards the event. The success of your event may be decided by how you sell the event, because no amount of planning will overcome poor attitudes at the activities.

Sound vision and right attitude will lead to action. Generate a fervor within the fraternity for Legacy Weekend, and harness that energy to make it a great event. Don’t take shortcuts. Devote the same amount of effort to Legacy Chapter that you would to any other major event.

Different chapters have developed different traditions for Legacy Chapter. Those that have the most success experience success because they are in tune with what their alumni want. Find ways to gather information about what they would like to see. What activities will bring an alumnus back to campus? What times will be most convenient for them?

Many have seen success from tailgates during the weekend of a football game. Others have hosted paint ball games. Nice dinners are a good draw because men don’t lose their appetite for free food upon graduation. Remember, regardless of what else is planned, chapter meeting is a required element of Legacy Weekend.

Spend a healthy amount of time discussing Legacy Weekend with your national advisor. As an alumnus, each of them has a perspective that current members lack. As a member of the National Staff, they see what other chapters are doing successfully.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

COR Leadership Retreat Planning Continues

By Robert Bember
Senior Communications Advisor

We’re inching closer and closer to the inaugural COR Leadership Retreat this August, and we could not be more excited to bring together the 12 stand-out brothers chosen from our pool of applicants to join us in Houston on August 6.

Sorting through the applications proved to be a more difficult task than anyone anticipated. We could have blindly selected any 12 men from this pool and had a strong group of brothers for the retreat. It took much time, effort and prayer to determine those 12 brothers. Those brothers are:

Zack Cartmel: TCU
Andrew Cates: SMU
Cole Crawford: Missouri
Will Culpepper: Auburn
Blake Hankins: Tennessee
Anthony Harb: Tennessee
Harrison Jenkins: Vanderbilt
Trent Madden: Missouri
Forrest McDougal: Central Arkansas
Zach Van Meter: OU
Connor Washington: Texas A&M
Jon Weiser: Texas A&M

The men that have been chosen for the COR Leadership Retreat will without a doubt help us to accomplish a major goal for this retreat: to develop brothers as leaders so that they can turn around and further develop their chapter. From the retreat, the National Staff and Board expect there to be a natural overflow and pouring down of impact. As we make a direct investment into these brothers, we are making an indirect investment into all of the brothers. These men will be able to share what they have learned with their brothers and lead their brothers more effectively.

That’s why it was absolutely imperative for us to compile a healthy number of strong applications and choose wisely during the application process. Mission accomplished. So what will this direct investment look like?

The National Staff and Board continue to collaborate to develop a curriculum for the retreat. The sessions will be centered around exposing the brothers to the workforce as well as teaching on specific character attributes that will help them excel professionally, academically and spiritually.

During the Houston and Dallas stretches of the retreat, attendants will meet with board members and prominent alumni at their place of employment. The alumnus will share his testimony with the attendants, as well as how they got into their field. From there, the alumnus will show the group around their place of employment, such as a law office, hospital or commercial real estate site. The alumnus will get to show and tell about their career and provide pertinent information to individuals who may be interested in that field.

Following the hands-on experience, the group will step back and broaden the perspective. Each alumnus will teach on a specific character attribute that has allowed him to excel in his role. As the retreat progresses, the attendants will be taught on a variety of attributes all intended to help paint a full picture of how to grow in influence in any area. A leader without influence is not a leader at all.

An intentional spiritual element will be incorporated into the retreat in order to continue to develop the brothers as sheep of Christ and shepherds of men. During the Dallas portion of the trip, brothers will spend time with three alumni who currently serve as pastors in the area.

Though planning a curriculum will remain at the forefront of our minds, we know that the free time allotted to the brothers has unquantifiable benefits. As these brothers from nine different chapters dwell together in unity, we look forward to seeing how they grow together and grow as individuals.

Please continue to pray for the COR Leadership Retreat. Planning a two-week, three-city retreat is no small task, but we know the pay off for these men and the fraternity is worth the effort. Pray for diligence in planning, a willingness to learn and a spirit of unity over the retreat.