There - trying to figure out the best way to clean up

Hi There - trying to figure out the best way to clean up the design and functionality of our BuddyPress forum area. The site is:

http://www.suspicious0bservers.org

In general, the design and layout suck. Text, links, media, etc. floats around and is confusing. Additionally, we have had several requests to figure out how to ONLY display updates that are comments/posts and not irrelevant stuff like 'new member joined' or 'new group created'. I've had trouble figuring out how to do these tasks and I'm nervous to experiment because I do not want to mess up the user experience while i try things out.

Should we be installing some sort of BuddyPress theme? Can that be quarantined to only the Forum areas of the site? Are there plugins or settings we should be using/configuring?

I don't have much experience with BuddyPress so any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks and regards,

Adrian