Friday, October 21, 2016

Feature Friday: Dalyan Kosar, Theta Chi

Today for our Feature Friday (where members of the Greek community share reflections on their Lehigh experience) is Dalyan Kosar of Theta Chi.  

There are a lot of misconceptions about members of the Greek community, especially from those who aren’t Greek. The unfortunate truth is that the stereotypical obnoxious and apathetic behavior of a rare few often leads to the entire community being typecast as such.

Since my freshman year at Lehigh I have been involved in a special program called Homework Club, its goal being increased child literacy and STEM proficiency through afterschool tutoring. After a year of being a tutor, I was eventually given the opportunity to become one of the site leaders in charge of running the Broughal Middle School site.  This experience has given me some of the most rewarding memories of my Lehigh career, and as a member of the Greek community, it’s frustrating when all of the work that I have put in to community service projects like this one are overlooked by Greek-life critics (it’s also worth noting that over 50% of the Homework Club tutors are affiliated with a Greek organization).

The perception problem stems from a lack of cohesion between the Greek community and the greater campus population, both of which have no real desire to interact. With Greek residential areas being secluded to the Hill, and most unaffiliated living in Broadhead, Taylor, or Campus Square, there is a geographical divide that makes it not only possible, but likely that the average Greek won’t have a meaningful interaction with someone outside of Greek life and vice versa. This is where I have found clubs and extracurricular organizations to play a vital role in my time at Lehigh.

There are plenty of incredible people who simply didn’t have the desire to join a Greek chapter, just as there are a multitude of phenomenal people who found that they did, and limiting your social circle for such an insignificant reason, bars you from meeting wonderful people that could be some of your best friends. Being in Homework Club has given me that opportunity, as I have garnered friends that I wouldn’t have otherwise met, and had experiences that I wouldn’t have otherwise gained.

Homework Club is more to me than just a job, it’s a chance to expand my horizons--do things I wouldn’t normally do, with people I wouldn’t normally do things with. I encourage all of my fellow Lehigh students to try something similar. Join a club, volunteer, or maybe even start something new, and get a chance to know what life is like on the other side of the Greek divide.