UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — At a breakfast meeting last fall for the Chapel Executive Interns, Aditya Datta, a third-year Paterno Fellow and Schreyer Scholar majoring in economics, proposed to Clarence Lang, dean of the Susan Welch College, the creation of a business Ideas from the Fraternity Diversity Committee Free Doctors.
As a member of the Delta Sigma Pi professional business fraternity and former director of diversity, inclusion and community engagement, it was important to Datta that Penn State’s business fraternities provide a culture of inclusion and reflect the schools they serve, he said. .
Datta, a native of Lansdale, Pa., said he knew that for the venture to succeed, he needed access to leaders in a professional network and a scalable idea. Lang put Datta in touch with Melissa Landrau Vega, director of the Multicultural Resource Center, which opened the way to Charles Whiteman, dean of the Smeal School of Business, and Olivia Lewis, director of diversity enhancement at Smeal.
“When we came together as a committee, we started meeting with the top administrators of the school. We all recognized that the privileges that were only offered to certain groups needed to change and that we needed to distribute membership fairly among our fraternities ,” Datta said. “The only way to do that is through outreach to communities and organizations, which we’ve neglected in the past.”
The Business Fraternity Diversity Council aims to increase the participation and retention of minority members in each business fraternity. Council members want their respective fraternities to be accessible to anyone who wants to join. To be successful in their endeavours, the Council discusses important issues of dissemination in the Penn State community and its fraternity community.
“I think by being able to have an open dialogue with the people in the fraternity, it opens the door to being a more inclusive organization,” said Ekow Asomaning, a member of the Business Fraternity Diversity Council, a sophomore and a Bunton-Waller fellow. Economics and Finance. Asomaning grew up in Royersford, Pennsylvania.
Another council member, Eswar Chelliah, a third-year economics international student from Bangalore, India, said the idea of joining Greek life was daunting because of preconceived notions and bias. These personal experiences encouraged Chelliah to join the Business Fraternity Diversity Council so he could help create an environment where everyone felt welcome and remove some of the biases he once had.
“The creation of this council has brought the five business fraternities together and not only brought them closer together in terms of diversity, but also in a more holistic way,” Chelliah said. Enthusiasm and energy allow us to get the job done.”
The Business Fraternity Diversity Committee, in partnership with the Liberal Arts Career Development Network, plans an outreach event to share the professional and social benefits of Penn State’s business fraternities. The committee plans to provide professional headshots, resume and cover letter workshops, and information about Penn State’s five official business fraternities.
“The partnership with the Faculty of Liberal Arts is mutually beneficial,” Datta said. “The University has such a strong track record of success in the business world, and I think we, as a business fraternity, provide a unique pipeline that will allow us to secure many coveted positions and build that network.”
Outside of his business fraternity, Datta was involved in the President’s Leadership Institute, which he said allowed him to engage in conversations with university leaders while launching the diversity council. Asomaning’s involvement with Penn State THON and its commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion also led to Asomaning’s contributions to the Board of Governors.
Datta, Asomaning and Chelliah said they were able to take the skills they learned in the Faculty of Humanities and Smeal Business School and apply them to their work with the Diversity Committee to work effectively and efficiently.
Although Datta is studying abroad in Italy this semester, he said he remains confident that the diversity committee will be properly handled and looks forward to reconvening next fall.