By Meghan Creane
Every Union student knows Union’s address, but what is not always clear is that for four brief years, each member of the Union community is a resident of Schenectady. This is something the brothers of Theta Delta Chi are trying to make clear this year through their philanthropic efforts.
Lead by their Philanthropy Chair Nathanial Raynor ‘15, Theta Delta Chi reached out, with help from the Kenney Community Center, to local children of Schenectady to host them for a Football Family Fun Day on Frank Bailey Field on Saturday, Oct. 21. This is the second time Theta Delta Chi has held this event, which was first hosted last year by Philanthropy Chair Chris Low ‘14.
According to Raynor, “The goal of the day is to really connect with the community and create a bridge between the Union students and the local kids.”
On Saturday that bridge was football. Theta Delta Chi has long been known as the “football frat” on campus, making them the ideal candidates for such an event. The brothers of Theta Delta Chi were joined by several sisters of Sigma Delta Tau, who were a fun presence for the sisters of the young boys playing football.
They did some cheerleading and spent the day running around in the Schenectady sun.
“The kids are always shy at first,” says Raynor. “But throwing the ball around and giving them some football instruction really helps them ease into things.”
Using football as a way to connect, the brothers took advantage of the bonds that form with the kids to start a dialogue with them. This goes hand in hand with the new efforts of Theta Delta Chi philanthropy.
“We aren’t just trying to give money or raise funds but also make an impact on the area of Schenectady,” says Raynor.
This is one of many efforts made by the various Dutchmen and Dutchwomen athletic teams to connect with the community, and exemplifies the impact sports can make both on and off the field.
Team sports like football forged a connection between the students and the Schenectady kids, many of whom had never even been on Union’s campus before. It provides a special opportunity for both the local kids and the students involved.
Opening up the field and providing opportunities to play creates an opportunity for a more permanent connection between the students and the city of Schenectady.
As Raynor puts it, “Us students who live on campus often forget that for the four years we are here and the many more we could potentially spend here, we are all residents of Schenctady.”