The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

New fraternity offers Christians a greek alternative

Many students struggle with finding their identity during college. For many at SMU, the route to identity is traditional greek life, where students can experience brotherhood on a social level.

For a group of SMU students, the search for brotherhood and religion led them down a different path in greek life.

Traditional greek life is a large part of SMU life. This past semester a group of men expanded on that tradition by forming a brotherhood focused on God. These men formed Beta Upsilon Chi, Brothers Under Christ, which sophomore Phil Carlson refers to as “an accountability group with letters.”

BYX is not a foreign idea at many Texas universities, but the idea of bringing a chapter to SMU was not fostered until January 2002, when the group held its first meeting.

Japheth Broeg, a junior religious studies major, had heard about Christian fraternities while he was a camp counselor at Pine Cove Camp.

“All of these guys started talking about which Christian fraternity they wanted to join when they got back to college. I thought which one? We don’t even have one,” Broeg said. “That’s when they mentioned BYX.”

Broeg did not immediately crusade to charter a BYX chapter upon returning to SMU. It was not until first-year Kurt Schuster made a comment about wanting a BYX chapter on campus that the two men decided on bringing it to SMU.

Unlike other Texas-affiliated BYX chapters, the SMU organization is not yet chartered. The group is currently on the list to be a probationary chapter.

The men are optimistic, especially after visiting Texas A&M’s BYX chapter during its “island party” and contacting Kevin Peck, the national BYX director.

The members said that they do not want to be just another religious organization. They want to make a real difference on the SMU campus.

“If BYX is done right, it can be an element or catalyst towards a revival on this campus, loving God and putting him first,” Carlson said.

Carlson said that BYX stresses acceptance rather than exclusivity. He said even those men who are already a member of a greek social fraternity are welcome.

“BYX is a call for Christian men who just want to hang out with other Christian brothers and establish accountability and glorify God in the process of having fun,” Broeg said.

Shuster believes the kind of men they are looking for are not hard to find.

BYX shares some common links with social fraternities: Both are brotherhoods and have chapter meetings. The difference, Broeg said, is that in BYX all the members agree on certain beliefs – prayer, God and the Bible.

“BYX provides an alternative to the fraternities on campus because we establish our brotherhood all under the name of Jesus Christ,” Broeg said. “At the same time people can be in a fraternity and still join in because we are an organization, not sanctioned [by Interfraternity Council].”

Other SMU students are excited about BYX potential. The members of the Christian sorority Eta Iota Sigma are happy to have a group of men who share their beliefs.

“HI· is so excited to have a Christian fraternity to do things with,” sophomore religious study and education major Christina Leone said. “We can have dances and get-togethers with great Christian guys who share our purpose and goal. Of course, any group of girls wants a group of guys to hang out with.”

BYX has weekly meetings at which Carlson believes the prayer time is the most important part.

“Prayer gets half the job done,” Carlson said. “It sets the stage, prepares hearts and minds and sanctifies the meeting.”

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