By Samantha Paine
KU is home to many Greek organizations, each with different focuses and goals set for their members. Many have heard the names of the top popular fraternities and sororities on a daily basis, have passed the groups out spreading word for recruitment on campus and have seen the shirts proudly worn and emblazoned with their Greek letters. However, there are some organizations that go unrecognized.
Lambda Delta Xi Diaternity is one of these less-celebrated Greek organizations. This group is open to all, but holds a heavy focus on the LGBTQ community and invites all those who wish to be involved in Greek life, but have a hard time finding the right organization for them.
The non-gendered label “diaternity” helps to make students who may not be of a binary or cis gender feel more comfortable in associating with it. It also acts as a guaranteed safe space, something that is not certain in other Greek groups. While some LGBTQ students may wish to be involved in a different sorority or fraternity, the diaternity offers support and inclusiveness to all who wish to seek it.
“I knew I couldn’t join a sorority or fraternity because nobody would take me,” said Isaac Helriegel, current secretary of Lambda Delta Xi. Those who sympathize with this plight now have an open option that goes above and beyond only representing the two far ends of the gender spectrum.
Currently, it is a smaller organization, having been founded in 2014, but it is growing. That being said, many students, including myself until a few months ago, are unaware of Lambda Delta Xi and may not be aware until getting more involved in the LGBTQ community on campus.
“The principles that our organization was founded on are solidarity, education, advocacy and activism, and those are the things that we try to live in our daily lives as well as through the events we plan,” said Caitlin Weber, current president of Lambda Delta Xi.
The Greek organization schedules their own events on campus, such as a celebration for National Coming Out Day with informative literature and fun activities, a workshop for World AIDS Day, non-profit poetry events and all-inclusive sex education classes. They also support philanthropic efforts, such as the Bradbury-Sullivan Center in the Lehigh Valley and The Trevor Project, both geared toward the safety and education of LGBTQ communities.
Many events are targeted at education, in an effort to provide their members and the community with a benefit they can carry away from events. “We choose things that are not talked about quite as often or we choose things that people aren’t covering, at least here,” said Kylin Camburn, current vice president of Lambda Delta Xi.
As far as the commitment levels of the members go, the organization surely makes up in quality what it may lack in quantity. “I don’t want to disparage any other groups, but [our members] show their commitment through action rather than outfit,” said Weber.
This organization has a lot to be proud of, namely, its status as the first non-specific gendered Greek organization on the East coast, and the first organization to fully drop gendered terminology and use the term diaternity in the country.
Hopefully in the coming years, Lambda Delta Xi will grow and flourish, while gaining the recognition it deserves on campus and in the community. Until then, the community should continue to promote and spread the word about this impressive group.