Cornell’s Theta Delta Chi fraternity will light its house green tonight to show support for veterans, in response to a letter to the editor by Cornell Undergraduate Veterans Association President David Outlaw ’17, published in The Sun Wednesday.
Outlaw said he recently requested that the clock tower be lit green on Veterans Day as part of the Greenlight A Vet campaign, but said the University denied his request for the second year in a row. The campaign aims to “create a visible national support for our veterans by changing one light to green,” he explained.
“Green is the color of hope, renewal and well-being,” he wrote in his letter. “‘Greenlight’ is also a term commonly used to activate forward movement. The simple action of changing one light to green will spark a national conversation regarding the treatment and recognition of veterans and ‘green light’ them forward as valued members of our communities.”
President of Theta Delta Chi Mohammad Imtisal Qadir ’18 said the idea to light the fraternity house green was inspired by CUVA’s participation in the Greenlight a Vet campaign.
“Outlaw’s recent letter to the editor about Cornell’s refusal to light the clock tower green was the catalyst that pushed our fraternity to make the collective choice to light our house green,” he said.
Qadir said he hopes that lighting the house green will “push others in the Cornell community” to “engage in conversations about veterans and their vital contributions to our communities.”
“Veterans are often stigmatized in American society, and they face significant hurdles when returning home from service,” he said. “As a brotherhood, we have engaged in conversations about veterans and their vital contributions to our communities.”
President of the Interfraternity Council Blake Brown ’17 said the Cornell community actively celebrates “students of diverse backgrounds, experiences and talents” but often overlooks “the stories and experiences of veterans on the Hill.”
“I can imagine that for many veterans, adjusting to University life can be challenging, and it goes without saying that their immense sacrifices deserve our recognition and respect,” he said. “I’m proud that groups like Theta Delta Chi are taking a lead in honoring our veterans, and I hope that their action inspires community-wide recognition and administrative support.”