GLBTQ community goes Greek

By Emily Leayman

The East Coast’s first all-inclusive Greek organization, the “diaternity,” has its roots in the GLBTQ Resource Center in the back of Old Main.

Lambda Delta Xi was officially founded in October 2014 and received university approval in November. The term diaternity,

Lamda Delta Xi’s Shield http://lambdadeltaxi.weebly.com

Lamda Delta Xi’s Shield
http://lambdadeltaxi.weebly.com

according to the LDX website, means it is gender inclusive.

The idea to begin Lambda Delta Xi emerged in spring 2014 with a graduating student. Nykolai Blichar, president of the student group Allies, took on the project with the help of about 11 founders.

“A lot of us…we break the society norms…We understand that sexuality and gender identity is fluid. By picking the term diaternity, we were able to do just that,” said Blichar.

According to Blichar, colleges and high schools from the local area to Canada expressed interest in starting their own chapters. The members are reaching out to high school Gay-Straight Alliance clubs, borough clubs and other colleges.

In its infancy, Lambda Delta Xi accepted applications through April 17 for this semester. Blichar says that it is open not only to the queer community but to its allies and advocates as well. He has recently seen members join that have not frequented the GLBTQ community before. The initiation process lasts a semester, so the founders will finish training this semester and prospective students at the end of the fall.

So far, the group has aided in adding gender-neutral bathrooms to campus, and the Vagina Monologues performances in February, according to Blichar. Some of LDX’s philanthropies include advocacy groups Equality Pennsylvania and Trans Central PA, as well as The Trevor Project, which provides suicide prevention services to the queer community.

“Its purpose is for education and service projects, not just on campus but in the community,” said another founder, Rachael Coffroth.

Blichar says that the diaternity is in the process of getting its constitution approved by the Student Government Board and applying for Maroon Status, which would make it eligible for Student Government Association funding. Founders are working on training sessions and will meet over the summer to develop a recruitment manual for prospective members.

LDX is receiving guidance from its “honorary member” Shakeera Wynne, part of the multicultural sorority Zeta Phi Beta. She aims to teach the group about Greek organizational history and rules, while providing suggestions for events and more.

“It’s really great to know that idea came from…Kutztown students,” Wynne said.

While the group is considered Greek, Blichar feels the diaternity is different in terms of the support it can offer members of the GLBTQ community and its distance from hazing.

“We picked [the] diaternity because we wanted to move away from the generalizations and stereotypes that come with a fraternity or sorority,” he said. “Labels are not our issue. We just want people to feel welcome and at home with Lambda Delta Xi.”

Lambda Delta Xi holds weekly meetings Tuesdays at 3 p.m. in the GLBTQ Resource Center, Old Main 4.

For more information on LDX, visit http://www.lambdadeltaxi.weebly.com.



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