After National Officer Training, the National Staff divided up some of the questions from the question and answer session of the retreat. Some of the questions are serious, some are fun, but all of them are straight from our men. Enjoy part one of two posts answering your questions from National Officer Training.
1) Would you rather fight one horse-sized duck or 100 duck-sized horses?
This is a complicated question, not because one might believe it to be strange. I find it not the least bit peculiar. Life is like a box of chocolates, and I want to know what I'm getting myself into before I dig in. Questions like this keep me on my toes. I qualify this as a complicated question because there is much it lacks.
The first step in answering this would be to assess how one would fight a duck or horse of normal proportions. If one were to go duck hunting, they would need camo, decoys, duck calls, waders and of course a 12-gauge shotgun. However, if I wanted a good old-fashioned duel, I would need nothing more than a nice pair of Carhart pants and some Timberlands. Fighting a horse on the other hand may prove more difficult. Let's be honest, it's a horse.
However, fighting a horse-sized duck would be exponentially difficult. There is no height I could climb to elude it, nor body of water to escape it. And dear Lord, that gigantic bill frightens me to the point of pooping my pants. However, 100 duck-sized horses would be a grueling task in another sense. While they may attempt to stampede me, elevation is always my friend. If I could just make it to higher ground, perhaps a large boulder or tree, then I would be safe. I must wait for them at the top of my perch for them to tire and gallop off in boredom. Then I wait for nightfall and I catch each horse one by one. Even 10 at a time would be no problem. My only fear is that they would rush me. Remember, numbers are their only advantage. Once I have placed all 100 horses in captivity, I could train them and wield them for my own good. But really, I have no use for 100 tiny horses. Which takes me back to my good friend, the duck.
Between the two animals, I would much rather harness the power of a horse-sized duck. This would actually be to my advantage. Horses are admittedly smarter, but they do me no good. The duck on the other hand knows little regarding combat, mano y mano. If I can outsmart it, wait for it to doze off, then I could harness it...literally. I would tie a rope around its neck, then tie it to a tree. I would then care for this duck. It would come to know me as its nurturer, friend and ultimately master. Then I would remove the rope after some time and begin to work with the duck. I would teach it to obey me. Then, we would become the best of friends and someday fly off into the sunset together. Defeating packs of wild duck-sized horses by stomping on them with giant webbed feet. Booyah horses, take that.
Thus, I choose both. Not to fight the duck, but to befriend it. At the end of the day, he is misunderstood. Just an oversized duck in a duck-sized duck world. He has few friends and just wants to fit it. But the horses, they have a short man syndrome, formally known as a Napoleon complex. They are just mad at the world because they are shorter than everyone else. They see other regular size horses and endure horrendous ridicule. And so the fire of anger grows within them until they amass together 100 tiny horses with a Napoleon complex. Eventually they will invade Russia in the winter only to eventually retreat and be remembered as little pansy horsies. So I say--befriend the duck, fight the horses, win the day.
2) How do we handle a situation where a member tries to rush another social fraternity while maintaining an active membership in BYX?
BYX is a national fraternity with the purpose of establishing brotherhood and unity among college men based on the common bond of Jesus Christ. We expect our members that have rushed and made it through initiation to be committed brothers of the Beta Upsilon Chi Fraternity. Just like any other social fraternity, this is not just a club or student organization, but a lifelong brotherhood. You are part of a fraternity bigger than just your chapter and longer than just your college career.
In regards to rushing another social fraternity while being an active member of
BYX, we do not allow this, nor does any other social fraternity. If a brother decides to do so, we recommend passing this information on to the fraternity that they are rushing because they need to know that the brother has not taken the bonds of our fraternity seriously and caution them about accepting the brother.
3) How can we get guys to be involved if they don't seem willing to contribute, or are acting as dead weight?
Are your events worth going to? Do you communicate why they should attend them rather than simply how? Perhaps you are struggling to inspire your men to attend or help out with something. If you aren't communicating the purpose and heart behind an event or need, you are doing your brothers a disservice because you aren't truly giving them a reason to help out. Use every opportunity you have to inspire your men. Don't ever publicize something by just giving the men the date, time and location. Always inspire them by telling them why they should be there. You'll even find yourself more excited about BYX.
2. Members and Pledges
What expectations are there for members and pledges? Are pledges required to attend just about everything but members only show up to a few events? Are your members pouring into the pledges and furthering the pledges desire to serve? You might think to yourself how great that would be, but your members are the problem. That may be the case currently, however, you must attack this problem at the source and not allow pledges to be initiated with poor examples ahead of them. Even if you only have a few members who serve everywhere, use them to be a virus. Grab lunch with them, thank them for their love and commitment to BYX and get them to infect the rest of their chapter with their charisma. At least get them to infect the pledges and a few lame members. Even that is a great start.
Is your pledgeship worth going through? Is it fun yet difficult? Is it intentional yet challenging? Do pledges make it through thinking they have earned something or do they think they've arrived? No matter what size a chapter is, all act like a large ship rather than a small row boat. It takes great momentum to turn such a vessel and it begins in pledgeship. Look through your pledgeship curriculum to make sure it is everything it should be. Your pledges should find it challenging but worth it every step of the way. There should always be a great deal of members involved from organizing events for pledges to pouring into their little bro. If you want to kill dead weight in your chapter, it begins here.
4) Can we find a national mascot so we can stop relying on a "buck" to put on our shirts?
When I was asked this question, I took it as a joke given the fact that we had poked fun at the deer in the Friday night video. I was later informed that it wasn’t. We are currently looking at how other fraternities incorporate animals as part of their identity. As a social fraternity, we want to institute traditions and symbols that are similar to other prominent fraternities while obviously unique to BYX.
We’ve found that only a handful of prominent fraternities actually have a fraternity mascot or animal. It is far more common for them to use symbols. For example, Sigma Phi Epsilon uses a golden heart.
We’re not opposed to the deer completely. We’ve just found that it’s overused and often poorly done. Plus, the antlers hand sign just reeks of youth group. That’s not what we’re looking for.
5) Can we look for a national philanthrophy event?
As Nationals, we are not looking for a nation-wide philanthropy that would involve every chapter, and we do not have any current plans to look into one in the near future. We expect all of our chapters to be involved with philanthropy in some way at the local level.
We do not want to dictate to you how to best serve your community. By all means you can choose to support a nationwide philanthropic organization if you choose but which philanthropy to support is entirely up to the chapter. Each chapter can invest in a philanthropy that they feel is most productive for that chapter, whether it is a local or a national philanthropy. This will give each chapter the opportunity to partner with the organization that the chapter feels will make the biggest impact towards their community or the cause the chapter is most passionate about.
One thing to consider would be if there are any local causes or organizations that have a high amount of visibility or notoriety on your campus or in your community. Those would be good things to consider in picking philanthropy.