Penn State Greek Life wants students to know that it really does get better.
A video uploaded to YouTube on Wednesday features several fraternities and sororities advocating for the It Gets Better Project, a national movement geared toward lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youths facing harassment.
Nick Doyle (junior-theatre and psychology), a member of Delta Lambda Phi, produced the video with help from the Interfraternity Council, the Panhellenic Council, the National Pan-Hellenic Council and the Multicultural Greek Council to show that greek life on campus cares about those who are going through a hard time.
“We are a community that does care, is open and wants people to know that what they are going though may be difficult, but a lot of people care and love you,” Doyle said.
The video shows members of various fraternities and sororities holding signs and cut-out letters that read, “It Gets Better,” combined with inspirational messages encouraging people to see the better side of a difficult situation.
Doyle decided to pitch the idea of producing a video for Penn State in the spring semester of last school year. He was motivated by the national It Gets Better Project organized by Dan Savage in 2010 that has inspired over 50,000 user-made videos worldwide, according to the It Gets Better Project website. Doyle, however, wanted to narrow down the campaign to show how Greeks can help bullied LGBT youths.
“I think people stereotype greeks as exclusive toward the gay community, but I wanted to show that is not the case,” Doyle said.
In order to do so, Doyle went to Roy Baker, director of Fraternity and Sorority Life, and the four greek councils on campus to gain support and everyone was eager to help, Doyle said.
“When Nick talked to me about this project, I knew he would make it incredible,” Baker wrote in an email. “When I saw it for the first time, I had to share it with as many people as I could. I knew it would be good, and I wasn't disappointed.”
Amanda Cillo , vice president for communications of Panhellenic Council, said the video supporting It Gets Better was a great fit for the many sororities and fraternities that already work with national philanthropies and other causes.
“We are such a diverse group of people willing to lend a hand,” Cillo (senior-public relations) said.
Doyle borrowed video equipment from his fraternity brothers and sent out a sign-up sheet to Penn State chapters in order for them to get involved. Nineteen sororities and fraternities are included in the video, which lasts just under two minutes and, as of press time Thursday, has almost 2,000 views.
Doyle has been contacted by Eisenhower Auditorium to feature his video when the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles and Speak Theater Arts puts on a collaborative, theatrical production of It Gets Better in February 2013.
Although the video was started with the LGBT community in mind, the message is relevant for anyone going through a hard time in their life, Doyle said.
He hopes that the message of It Gets Better will resonate with everyone because of its importance and its ability to really inspire someone who needs it.
“Being who you are and an individual is wonderful and there is so much life to live,” Doyle said.