Members of the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity gathered last night to address an important topic on the Penn State campus today -- diversity.
Held at the fraternity's house, 500 W. Beaver Ave., facilitators from the Race Relations Project organized and assisted in a discussion about race and the fraternity members' feelings about the issues that surround prejudice, diversity and race.
The Race Relations Project began about five years ago, Nate McElroy (junior-history), a co-facilitator of last night's discussion, said. The heads of the Race Relations Project are sociology instructors Sam Richards and Laurie Mulvey.
"[It began because there was] a hostile climate towards [race], and a lot of demonstrations and activities going on," McElroy said.
The Race Relation Project's goal, he added, is "to get people to think about what they actually think about race, just by fostering an open dialogue about race, have people feel comfortable about talking about race because they usually aren't."
Jason Litman (sophomore-supply chain management), another co-facilitator last night at Delta Kappa Epsilon, said the Race Relations Project is an interaction between individuals.
"I think, in my mind, we all see race," Litman said. "The Race Relations Project promotes diversity because it gives people a chance to talk about opportunities."
Delta Kappa Epsilon hosted the event to educate its members, Stacy Lambe, president of Delta Kappa Epsilon, said.
"I thought [hosting the Race Relations Project] would be a good opportunity and [I wanted to] explore the opportunity at hand," Lambe said. "[The] goals are to breakdown those barriers and break down what people think versus what they feel."
Grant Miller, president of the Interfraternity Council (IFC), said the Race Relations Project is a "really good educational opportunity" for the greek community.
"It is a great way to educate while having fun with brothers and sisters," Miller said.
Miller said he has been promoting the Race Relations Project to members of IFC at presidents' meetings.
Those who are volunteering with the Race Relations Project are taking or have taken Sociology 119 (Race and Ethnic Relations), both McElroy and Litman said. To organize a discussion with the Race Relations group, visit the organization's Web site, www.racerelationsproject.psu.edu.