FALL 2018 | PRESIDENT LAUDS LAMBDA’S DIVERSITY AND ACCEPTANCE
by Da’Jeal Willaby-Partee ’20 | Chapter President
My name is Da’Jeal and it is my honor to introduce myself as the newly elected president of the Lambda chapter of Phi Gamma Delta. As I write this address, I can not help but take a deep breath and reflect on the fact that around this time last year, I was unable to participate in elections, and looking forward to the initiation of myself and my fellow brothers in the 2017 fall pledge class. I have the honor of saying that my first ever election resulted in me becoming an elected cabinet member.
I am currently in my junior year and majoring in neuroscience on the pre-med track. As a Bonner Service Scholar, I have established a strong relationship between FIJI and Mental Health America of Putnam County, where I currently work as an assistant/event coordinator. This relationship was established during my sophomore year while I held the house position of philanthropy chair. Community outreach through service was and will continue to be of great importance to me. While holding the position of external relations chair, I established the gentlemen of FIJI as the main male participants of the TZ buddies program. Through the TZ buddies program, my brothers and I serve as role models for the youth of a local Greencastle elementary school.
The current climate of the house is one of acceptance. The Lambda chapter of FIJI serves as haven where all who hold positivity and love in their hearts are unconditionally welcome. This acceptance has brought about a diversity to which the name FIJI is consistently associated with on campus. This diversity can be seen in our brothers. We are not limited by nationality, economic status, or race. Our guests serve as even more evidence of the diversity our acceptance has fostered. Our home is frequented by students of color, international students, and even students who chose to maintain their independence of the Greek system.
As president, I plan to prove that FIJI is the exception for all that is problematic with Greek life. I am not a person to make grand declarations like this without putting a plan in action. To counteract the negative norms that Greek life has become associated with, such as rape culture and binge drinking, I will ensure that my cabinet is trained in situation intervention, such as the Green Dot program. Internal and external communication will be maintained to ensure that we are doing all that we can to continue growing as a house, as well as leaders on campus.