Beta Upsilon Chi
FoundedApril 27, 1985; 39 years ago (1985-04-27)
University of Texas
MottoBehold, how good and how pleasant it is when brothers dwell together in unity! - Psalm 133:1
Colors  Purple and   White
Headquarters12650 N. Beach Street
Suite 114 #305

Fort Worth, Texas 76244
United States
WebsiteOfficial website

Beta Upsilon Chi (ΒΥΧ, pronounced "Bucs") is an American Christian social fraternity.[1] It was founded at the University of Texas at Austin in 1985 and has chartered 29 chapters.[2]


In the spring of 1985, Craig Albert, a student at the University of Texas at Austin, mentioned his idea of forming a Christian fraternity to his friends who were involved in the Campus Crusade for Christ.[3] Albert held a meeting at Jester dormitory to present his plan.[3] Beta Upsilon Chi became official on April 27, 1985.[4] The group planned an Island Party to announce the founding of the fraternity.[5]

Established an alternative to the "normal" fraternity scene, the founding fathers established their fraternity as Brothers Under Christ and took the Greek letters Beta, Upsilon, and Chi to identify the fraternity.[6] The purpose of the fraternity was to "equip and empower college Christian men to live faithfully and lead courageously".[7] Albert served as the fraternity's first president which met in the basement of the University Christian Church.[3]

The founding fathers of the Alpha chapter were:

The process of growing from one chapter to a national organization was slow. Initially, the Alpha chapter rejected requests from Christian men at other schools to be initiated into the fraternity or to start new chapters. Eventually, the founding fathers of Beta chapter were initiated at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas. Beta Upsilon Chi then expanded with Gamma and Delta chapters at Texas A&M University and Stephen F. Austin State University, respectively.[2]

In 1994, the fraternity held another Island Party to give back to the Texas A&M community.[8] Now an annual philanthropy event, the Island Party is a free Christian music concert or event provided to the entire university.[8][9] The largest Island Party was held at the Iota chapter at Baylor University on April 20, 2007; the band Switchfoot was the headliner and attendance was estimated between 15,000 and 20,000 people.[10]

Beta Upsilon Chi changed its policy regarding the expansion of chapters in February 2009. The fraternity's board of directors, in consultation with its board of advisors, implemented a three-phased expansion process for prospective chapters to pursue active chapter status.[11]

Beta Upsilon Chi became a member of the NIC on September 22, 2016.[12] The national fraternity is headquartered in Fort Worth.[13]


The fraternity's name, Beta Upsilon Chi, was selected from the Greek letters ΒΥΧ to stand for Brothers Under Christ.[6] Its founding scripture is Psalm 133:1, "Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity."[14][6] The fraternity's colors are purple and white.[6]


Since the beginning, the chapter officers gather annually for a National Leadership Conference, which consists of all the officers of the fraternity and the national staff. This meeting is in the fall, and shortly follows the election of the local chapter leaders.[15]

In the early spring of even-numbered years, the entire fraternity is called together for the National Summit, typically held outside of Dallas, Texas. The event includes Bible studies, worship, fellowship, athletic competitions, and seminars on fraternity issues. It is also at Summit where the fraternity's annual Delegate Convention takes place.[16]


Board of directors

At the national level, Beta Upsilon Chi is headed by a board of directors. This board is the ultimate authority in the fraternity and is responsible for the guidance of the fraternity. The board also comprises the governing body of the Beta Upsilon Chi corporation, a 501(c)(3) organization, which controls the assets of the fraternity. The board appoints an executive director to run the fraternity's daily business. In conjunction with this executive director, the board approves any charter changes. All members of the board of directors must be alumni of the fraternity; new members are appointed from the board of advisors.

Board of advisors

The fraternity's board of advisors serves as a consultative partner of the board of directors, with a voice but no vote in the directors' decisions. Board of Advisors members are appointed by the board of directors, in consultation with the national executive director. All members of the board of advisors must be alumni of the fraternity, and only alumni of chartered chapters may be appointed to the board.

Executive director

The ΒΥΧ executive director is the fraternity's national administrator. Through his staff, he coordinates the activities of the fraternity from its headquarters in Fort Worth, Texas. The executive director's staff is equally responsible for the day-to-day operation of the national fraternity, and staff from the National Headquarters frequently visit the chapters. The national executive director is an ex officio member of the board of directors; he has a voice in decisions, but no vote. Brian Lee became the fraternity's executive director in 2018.

Chapter governance

Chapters are authorized by a charter from the National Board of Directors, allowing each chapter to work under a chapter constitution that provides for the election of chapter officers.[2] Chapter officers typically include a president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, chaplain, and a pledge trainer, sometimes called a new member captain.[17][18][19] These officers are responsible for the administration of the chapter for a calendar year, including conducting ritual, overseeing meetings, organizing trips, implementing the pledging program, and organizing parties. The officers serve one-year terms and may be re-elected only once to a different office.

Interfraternity Council

Since its inception in 1985, chapters of Beta Upsilon Chi have chosen not to affiliate with the Interfraternity Council (IFC) at the school where they are established. This has proven controversial on some campuses because it means that ΒΥΧ does not pay IFC dues. On the other hand, IFC membership sometimes involves sanctioning rules and regulations that would be contrary to the purpose of ΒΥΧ. Because of the potential for conflict inherent in such affiliations, the National Board of Directors continues to uphold a policy prohibiting local chapters from affiliating with host university IFCs.[20] As a result, depending on the university, each chapter is either registered as a social fraternity unassociated with the IFC or as a student organization. The Alpha Eta chapter at Clemson University, the Omicron chapter at Mississippi State University, and the Pi chapter at the University of Georgia are exceptions, affiliating with their local IFCs in 2014, 2015, and 2017 respectively.


Founding fathers from the Omicron chapter at a ΒΥΧ tailgate

There are three kinds of members in the fraternity: pledges, active members, and alumni members. Local chapters are composed of active members and pledges. Active members have voting rights and participate in rituals, leading worship, Bible study, and other activities. Active members become alumni members after their graduation. Pledges become members by finishing a semester-long pledging process, a process that differs from chapter to chapter.

All ΒΥΧ members are a part of cell groups that consist of four to six brothers and pledges who meet weekly for social activities and Bible study.[20]


Main article: List of Beta Upsilon Chi chapters

The fraternity is currently composed of 33 active chapters.[21] Chapters are denominated by a letter of the Greek alphabet that corresponds with their order of admission into the fraternity.[2]

Religious discrimination

The fraternity had been involved in several court cases seeking to assert local chapters' rights to organize with leaders or to include as members those who share the organization's Christian beliefs. Until these court cases, three universities held that student organizations may not discriminate based on religion, among other things, and had asserted this blanket prohibition applies to religious student organizations. In all cases, the universities changed their policies.

University of Georgia

In late 2006, the Pi chapter at the University of Georgia was prevented from registering as a student organization by university officials "because the group requires its members and officers to share the group's Christian beliefs".[22] After months of negotiation between university officials, student officers of the local chapter, and officials at the fraternity's national headquarters, attorneys with the Christian Legal Society and Alliance Defense Fund filed a civil rights suit on December 5, 2006, in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Georgia against the university on behalf of the fraternity.[23]

On December 10, 2006, the Associated Press reported that the university would "remove the religion clause from the [university's anti-discrimination] policy for the Christian fraternity to settle this particular situation and is discussing an exception to religious discrimination [that] could be put into place much like an exception to gender discrimination is in place for same-sex social fraternities and sororities."[24]

University of Missouri

Ten students formed a chapter of Beta Upsilon Chi at the University of Missouri in April 2006. In December 2006, a university administrator notified the chapter that it would have to abide by campus prohibitions on discrimination based on "race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, gender, sexual orientation, disability" or status as a Vietnam War veteran. The fraternity objected and, with assistance from the Christian Legal Society, which sent university officials a letter listing several legal precedents protecting religious student groups' First Amendment rights of free association. In response, the university reversed its directive.[25]

University of Florida

On March 16, 2007, the Upsilon chapter at the University of Florida was officially recognized by the ΒΥΧ national board.[26] The University of Florida refused to recognize the chapter as a registered student organization because the fraternity did not accept non-Christians and would not recognize the chapter as a social fraternity because it was too exclusive.[27][28][29] On July 10, 2007, the Alliance Defense Fund Center for Academic Freedom and the Christian Legal Society filed a lawsuit on behalf of Beta Upsilon Chi against officials of the university for various constitutional violations.[30] During the legal proceedings, the 11th U.S. Circuit Court ruled that the university must recognize the chapter pending appeal. Ultimately, the case was dismissed when the university amended its policies to accommodate the chapter.[31][32]

Vanderbilt University

On November 4, 2010, the Hustler student newspaper at Vanderbilt University published a report alleging that an anonymous alumnus and a senior member of the Beta Upsilon Chi chapter at Vanderbilt were evicted from the fraternity for being gay.[33][34][35][36] If true, ΒΥΧ would have violated Vanderbilt policies against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.[37] According to the Hustler, the ΒΥΧ code of conduct prohibits homosexual activity by its members and fornication by heterosexual members.[33]

Notable members

Related organizations

In 1988, women from University of Texas established Sigma Phi Lambda or Sisters for the Lord as a "female version of ΒΥΧ."[39][40] In addition to its name, the sorority's system of cable groups closely mirrors Beta Upsilon Chi.[39]

See also


  1. ^ "In constitutional clash with university, Christian fraternity wins big[permanent dead link]." Retrieved on April 6, 2007.
  2. ^ a b c d "Chapters". Beta Upsilon Chi. Retrieved 2022-12-28.
  3. ^ a b c Reid, Don (2014-06-23). "Alumni Spotlight: Laying the foundation for 30 years of brotherhood and unity". The BYX Blog. Retrieved 2024-01-26.
  4. ^ "Beta Upsilon Chi Fraternity- Virginia Tech Colony". Retrieved 2023-06-04.
  5. ^ "History". Beta Upsilon Chi - The University of Texas. Retrieved 2024-01-26.
  6. ^ a b c d "About BYX." Brothers Under Christ (website). Retrieved on July 19, 2010.
  7. ^ "About BYX". Beta Upsilon Chi Fraternity. Retrieved 2024-01-26.
  8. ^ a b "BYX Island Party | About the Event". Retrieved 2023-06-04.
  9. ^ "Our BYX Island Party". Beta Upsilon Chi. Retrieved 2023-06-04.
  10. ^ Lewis, Erianne (2021-09-30). "Beta Upsilon Chi's annual Island Party is expected to be its biggest yet | The Baylor Lariat". Retrieved 2023-06-04.
  11. ^ "BYX Boards, Staff Meet." Beta Upsilon Chi National Newsletter. Spring 2009. Fort Worth, Texas: Beta Upsilon Chi Fraternity.
  12. ^ ΒΥΧ joins NIC, as noted in the NIC News Archived 2017-06-06 at the Wayback Machine, on that date. Accessed 12 May 2017.
  13. ^ "Contact." Brothers Under Christ. Retrieved on July 19, 2010.
  14. ^ Psalm 133:1
  15. ^ "Next Leaders Conference[permanent dead link]." Brothers Under Christ (website). Retrieved on April 2, 2007.
  16. ^ "National Summit Conference Archived July 25, 2011, at the Wayback Machine." Brothers Under Christ. Retrieved on April 2, 2007.
  17. ^ "Contact Us Archived October 6, 2007, at the Wayback Machine." Baylor Chapter (website). Retrieved on April 6, 2007.
  18. ^ "Officers Archived September 8, 2006, at the Wayback Machine." Texas Christian Chapter (website). Retrieved on April 6, 2007.
  19. ^ "Officers." Texas Chapter (website). Retrieved on April 6, 2007.
  20. ^ a b "General Information Archived February 10, 2007, at the Wayback Machine." Beta Upsilon Chi. Retrieved on April 2, 2007.
  21. ^ "Chapters".
  22. ^ Staff Writer. "University of Georgia: No religious fraternities." Alliance Defense Fund. December 5, 2006. Retrieved on April 2, 2007.
  23. ^ "Beta Upsilon Chi v. Michael F. Adams Archived 2007-02-22 at the Wayback Machine." United States District Court for the Middle District of Georgia. December 5, 2006.
  24. ^ The Associated Press. "Univ. of Ga. to recognize Christian fraternity Archived July 25, 2008, at Archive-It." First Amendment Center. December 10, 2006. Retrieved on April 4, 2007.
  25. ^ University Drops Effort to Restrict Christian Fraternity[permanent dead link], The Associated Press, December 29, 2006 08
  26. ^ University of Florida chapter. "Upsilon chapter Archived 2007-10-08 at the Wayback Machine" Retrieved on November 4, 2007.
  27. ^ Speak Up (website) "[1]" Retrieved on February 3rd, 2015
  28. ^ Beta Upsilon Chi, Upsilon chapter at the University of Florida v. J. Bernard Machen, in his official capacity as President of the University of Florida.]" Retrieved on November 19, 2010.
  29. ^ The Alligator. "Christian fraternity suing UF, seeking official recognition." Retrieved on June 24, 2008.
  30. ^ Alliance Defense Fund. "Beta Upsilon Chi, Upsilon chapter at the University of Florida v. Machen, et al. Archived 2008-12-20 at the Wayback Machine" Alliance Defense Fund. July 10, 2007. Retrieved on November 4, 2007.
  31. ^ "Article 404 - Gainesville Sun - Gainesville, FL".
  32. ^ The Alligator. "UF Regulation Handbook." Retrieved on July 31, 2008.
  33. ^ a b Liz Furlow, 'Former Beta Upsilon Chi members allege unfair treatment based on sexual orientation', in Vanderbilt Hustler, Nov 4, 2010 [2]
  34. ^ 'Vanderbilt Christian fraternity removes gays', in Out & About Newspaper, Nov 9, 2010 [3]
  35. ^ 'Vanderbilt Christian Frat Ousted Gays', in The Advocate, Nov 9, 2010 "Vanderbilt Christian Frat Ousted Gays | News | the Advocate". Archived from the original on 2010-11-12. Retrieved 2011-06-06.
  36. ^ Wright, Melissa (10 November 2010). "US fraternity comes under fire for expelling gay members". Pink Paper. Archived from the original on 2012-03-19.
  37. ^ Liz Furlow, 'Bandas: formal complaint against BYX needed to take action', in Vanderbilt Hustler, Nov 10, 2010 "Bandas: Formal complaint against BYX needed to take action | InsideVandy". Archived from the original on 2010-11-15. Retrieved 2011-01-08.
  38. ^ "BYX to bring former member, singer for annual Island Party". TCU 360. 9 September 2011. Retrieved 2022-09-08.
  39. ^ a b "All About Sigma Phi Lambda Archived September 21, 2007, at the Wayback Machine." Sigma Phi Lambda. Retrieved on April 2, 2007.
  40. ^ Peck, Kevin. History of Beta Upsilon Chi, 1985-2000. Fort Worth, Texas: Beta Upsilon Chi Fraternity, 2000.