The Daily Aztec

Delta Beta Tau aims to expand on campus

Kelly Smiley, Photo Editor

Kelly Smiley, Photo Editor

by Katherine White, Contributor

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Delta Beta Tau, a fraternity that practices buddhism, is teaching students patience, diligence, meditation and wisdom.

It is the first Buddhist fraternity in the country to teach these principles.

The fraternity started at San Diego State in September 2015 with eight students, but has grown to over 30 members.

There is no recruitment process to join the organization. All students are welcome regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation or religion.

“It helped me be more empathetic and be more mindful,” senior Matthew Tristan said. “These practices can really help you in your daily life.”

Each week new members introduce themselves and meditate for 10 minutes, Delta Beta Tau Co-founder Jeffery Zlotnik said.

For first timers who have never meditated, Zlotnik is a guide to help them through the practice.

At the meeting Zlotnik also introduces the topic for the night which can be about morality, patience, compassion, kindness or love, he said.

At the organization’s meetings, everyone has the opportunity to share how he or she feels without being questioned nor judged, he said.

“Don’t correct people,” Zlotnik said. “That’s what I want people to understand is that they don’t need to feel like they’re being judged or critiqued for how they think.”

“Letting human beings express their feelings without feeling like it needs to be immediately fixed or corrected,” Zlotnik said. “I think it’s a part of our problem with society, everybody is telling people who is right and who’s wrong and in this setting we want people to be comfortable to express their feelings.”

The pledge class offers meditation retreats, guest speakers and practicing generosity. This semester there will be four retreats around San Diego with one overnight retreat in Irvine.

“For me this opportunity is to help me while I’m in school, it helps me be mindful and patient,” senior Pej Zaimarad said. “I want to be able to promote that within the community. Especially with the pressure of being a student with expectations, you really need to be able to be level headed and the meditation helps with all the chaos.,”

There are also volunteer opportunities to encourage generosity and give back to the community.

“We want Delta Beta Tau to stay true to its roots and not change because our motto is “for the benefit of others” and we want to keep that strong,” sophomore Alyssa Burkitt said. “Part of the pledge class is retreats, you explore different ways to meditate to figure out how you can grow in your meditation practices,”

Delta Beta Tau intends to expand within San Diego and eventually develop more chapters around the country.

The fraternity meets every Wednesday from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. in room 211 in the Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union.

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