Beta Upsilon Chi possible new fraternity on campus

UNA currently has one Christian-based Greek organization, the sorority Alpha Delta Chi. Another Christian organization, fraternity Beta Upsilon Chi, is potentially coming to campus.

Junior John Russell is starting a chapter of Beta Upsilon Chi (BYX) at UNA. He said he was a member of Mississippi State’s chapter, and he wants to bring it here.

“It was a great experience,” he said. “So many fraternities on campus talk about brotherhood and unity, but BYX really defines the brotherhood and unity aspect of a fraternity.”

This will not be the only Christian fraternity on campus, said Director of Student Engagement Tyler Thompson.

“A lot of the fraternities and sororities are founded on Christian beliefs as well,” he said.

Sophomore Madison Barnes is a current member of ADX. She said she would enjoy it if the fraternity came to campus.

“I think being a Christian college student you come across many struggles and temptations that are apart of the college environment,” she said. “It is an amazing experience to have sisters or brothers in Christ that hold you accountable and are there for you.”

Russell said the national office got him in contact with incoming freshman Sam Mashburn who also wanted to start a chapter at UNA.

Mashburn knows more people, so he handles most of the social interactions, Russell said.

Russell said BYX Chief Development Officer Brian Lee provided him with information on the phases of creating a chapter.

The process of ensuring the group is committed to the organization will take six to nine months.

“Someone from nationals will come down here, and they want to find out what the Greek percentage is,” he said. “They want to find out what other type of organizations are on campus that are Christian-based.”

The national organization collects this information to learn more about the university, according to the BYX website.

“Answering these questions will help us get to know you and your school as we begin to pray about whether the Lord would desire a BYX chapter at your university,” according to the website.

Thompson said creating a fraternity chapter on campus is the same as starting a registered student organization.

“They need to have at least 10 members to join, and they have to turn in their constitution and charter,” he said. “With fraternities, we would need something from the national organization saying that it is okay to use that name and operate. Depending on the type of organization it is, their national headquarters might require them to be a part of a council.”

Russell said 18 students came to the March 7 interest meeting.

“We need 20 members in order to be considered a prospective chapter for nationals to come down here to talk with us,” he said. “I don’t even want to register to become a Registered Student Organization until we reach those numbers.”

He said once the chapter has become official, UNA would become the second Division II School with this fraternity. University of Central Oklahoma is the only other Division II School with a chapter on campus, according to the Beta Upsilon Chi website.

Russell said the fraternity will primarily provide support for Christian men on campus.

“Guys need to have accountability and other guys who they can talk to about their spirituality,” he said. “The sorority here, ADX, has been pretty successful, and I thought, ‘If a sorority can do well, why can’t a fraternity?’”

Russell said UNA would benefit from having BYX on campus.

“Even though we’re a small school, I think that this can be a very successful thing,” he said.