Beyond the Diag - Off Campus Housing

Matt N.
  • What made you decide where to live, and what is your favorite thing about your neighborhood?

    • I live in the BYX (Brothers Under Christ/Beta Upsilon Chi) house.  It’s pretty quiet and everyone around us is really friendly. I love that the new nursing school is there, and right in front of our house is an open field that wasn’t there before.  Right down the road is the new health science library.  It’s really convenient to have all those places to study.  Also, it’s really close to campus.  When I thought about moving off-campus, I thought it’d be a twenty-minute walk, but I can leave ten minutes before class and I’m always on time.

  • How did you become involved in BYX?

    • I came in as a freshman and really liked the idea of Greek life and the brotherhood that came with it, but I wasn’t really sure if that was something I wanted to be involved in or not. As a Christian, I wanted Christian fellowship and also the closeness that comes with a fraternity.  BYX started the second half of my freshman year, and I was in the first pledge class.

  • Do you have any stories about how you’ve experienced community here, within the fraternity and at Michigan as a whole?

    • I’d say community is a big focus and one of the big differences of BYX.  We have chapters every week, cell groups of 3-5 guys, and we do a retreat every semester.  We encourage intentional relationships, but also make sure we build relationships and community throughout campus.  Following our first appearance at Dance Marathon last year, we had the opportunity to support a family that was pretty close to my heart.  I had known them from my church back home, and they had done DMUM two years ago.  Through conversation, they decided to try it again, but they knew we were committed to another family and didn’t expect us to be their team.  We knew our last family was in good hands with the team we had been paired with, so we decided to surprise them.  After one of our BYX chapter meetings, our DMUM team made a video for Andrew, and sent it to his mom to announce that we were his team.  Since then we’ve had the opportunity to get to know Andrew really well through visiting him, going to his wheelchair hockey games, and various DMUM events.  We hope that we’ve been able to be a blessing to them, because knowing him and his family has been a privilege.

  • What advice would you give to someone looking to move off-campus for the first time?

    • It depends what they’re looking for.  If you want a quiet place, I’d look somewhere with more families.  I know the area I’m in is kind of a mixture of families and students.  I definitely appreciate going home and knowing that I’ll have a quiet place to be.

  • What has surprised you the most about your time at Michigan, so far?

    • I think that coming in, I was nervous about going to a big school because I didn't think I’d be able to form a group of friends.  But Michigan, though it’s a large university, feels pretty small.  On my way here, I ran into five people I knew.  It’s really surprising how easy that is when you think about the fact that there are six thousand people per class.

  • Do you have any Ann Arbor bucket list items for the rest of your time here?

    • There’s a planetarium that I’ve heard is in Angell hall, I want to go there.  I’ve already gone sledding in the Arb, so that’s checked off.  Also, I want an excuse to go to the Hands-On Museum.

Click the links to learn more about BYX and Dance Marathon, and to see the surprise video Matt’s team made for their family!   

Contributed by: Marissa Nazareno