Friday night rolls around at the College and the question of the night is: “Who do you know here?” It’s a fraternity party. There’s alcohol and dancing.
This describes most fraternity parties, but this is definitely not a BYX fraternity party.
Beta Upsilon Chi is a Christian fraternity at the College. Joseph Haines is the president of this group of brothers and strives to extend the brotherly love of BYX to the entire campus. “We aren’t seeking to be the ‘fratiest’ fraternity,” he said, “and we don’t care about our image; we care about how we represent God on our campus.” The fraternity focuses on religion rather than the social aspect of fraternities, but their social life is nonetheless important.
Haines said the fraternity wants to have fun while also studying and relaying the messages of Jesus Christ. “We want to laugh and we like having a closet full of a rainbow of Comfort Colors shirts,” he said. “We want others to experience the joy we experience as well, and our joy starts with our relationship with Christ.” BYX ensures that everyone can receive this joy by having “open” parties which anybody can attend. Also, the fraternity has a zero-alcohol policy at all of their events. “While we do not condemn drinking, we want to show that a social community that is fun and centered on legitimate relationships can exist on the campus of College of Charleston,” Haines said.
Christianity is the glue that holds BYX brothers together. “We strive to put a large focus on our inner religious community,” Haines said, “making sure we support each other with the struggles of life, as well as praying and reading the bible together.” Being a religious fraternity means that the members have more to bond over than just last Friday night’s party fiasco or their next t-shirt design. BYX brothers are divided into “cell-groups”, through which three to four guys meet weekly and talk about what is going on in their lives. This breeds new and long lasting friendships. “You’re not just going to chapter with some guy in your pledge class,” Haines said, “but you’re sitting next to someone who knows your life story.” Haines believes BYX creates a group of people who care about each other and who care about the people in the college community around them.
To Joseph Haines, Christianity is all about a relationship. “No matter where I’m at, good or bad,” Haines said, “God is there to love on me and push me to know him more.” This is also the creed of BYX, which holds its strength in the relationships formed between members. Love for each other is born because of a mutual love for God and for the plans he has for the brothers here at the College.