Hours after sunset, the air was still muggy at the house I rented with three other college seniors in Fort Worth, Texas. Several students gathered around a folding table in a citronella-tanged backyard lit by tiki torches, lobbing ping-pong balls at red plastic cups.
Others sat in lawn chairs around a small bonfire, holding koozie-covered cans or cups with their names scrawled in black sharpie. The men sported boat shoes and Greek-letter t-shirts, while the women wore mostly sundresses with cowboy boots. Someone opened the house’s screen door and shouted over the country music to get my attention.
I followed him inside the house, where the air was even hotter. We slid along the wall past a crowd gathered in the kitchen, where two guys were holding up a third in a handstand atop a keg while he drank from the tap. Strings of white Christmas lights glowed in darkened rooms, and the twang of Big & Rich gave way to people jumping to the Black Eyed Peas amid a sea of toppled cups and crumpled cans.
When we reached the front door, a police officer was waiting. “Is this your house?” he asked. Neighbors had complained about the noise. And then: “Is this a frat party?”
“It’s not what you think,” I said. “We’re members of Beta Upsilon Chi, a Christian fraternity. Our letters stand for ‘Brothers Under Christ.’” I pointed back to the keg in the kitchen. “This is a root-beer kegger.”
All Beta Upsilon Chi functions are non-alcoholic. The students in the backyard weren’t playing beer pong; the cups were full of water. The empty cans were Dr Peppers. The officer raised an eyebrow—he clearly didn’t believe me. He told us to turn off ...1
Already a CT subscriber? Log in for full digital access.
Have something to add about this? See something we missed? Share your feedback here.
Subscribe to Christianity Today and get access to this article plus 65+ years of archives.
- Home delivery of CT magazine
- Complete access to articles on ChristianityToday.com
- Over 120 years of magazine archives plus full access to all of CT’s online archives
- Learn more
Pious Pledges and Consecrated Keggers
This slideshow is only available for subscribers.
Please log in or subscribe to view the slideshow.