Gamma president attributes personal growth to time at Geneseo

You might not know it, but chances are you’ve seen “cool guy” senior Stephen Young on campus at some point, whether it was a Gamma Chi Epsilon event, a trip to Starbucks or just walking to class. Young was born in Pleasantville, New York in Westchester County––a city that, according Young, was actually named “the second best smelling city in the world” by GQ. Young began his career at Geneseo by chance, when financial problems prevented him from attending the University of Miami. His first time on campus was at his orientation and he came in with “no expectations.”

Geneseo, however, proved perfect for him. He immediately befriended his roommate—they remain close friends to this day—and met a lot of “wonderful people” who made him feel at home and interested in the world.

“This was the place for me,” Young said.

After filling a general requirement with a geography course, Young found his true passion and major.

“I am really interested in how things work across spaces,” Young said. “Geography is, in and of itself, spatial studies.”

Young is also the president of the co-ed fraternity Gamma Chi Epsilon. He pledged the second semester of his freshman year and said that he enjoys it due to its open-minded and accepting values.

“I’ve definitely become more open to meeting people and less likely to judge someone by their appearance,” Young said. “It’s about making more time to get to know someone before making a decision.”

An older member encouraged him to run due to his natural ability to understand interpersonal communication and how people interact with each other within an organization. Now, as president, he hopes to expand on the fraternity’s principles of acceptance.

“We’re doing a lot of work to make it more visibly accepting of, say, gender identity and we are actively against things like misogyny, racism and homophobia,” Young said. “We want to create a safe and comfortable place on campus for people who may not fit the ‘regular’ Greek society.”

Young’s other main extracurricular is his job at Starbucks, which he said he enjoys due to the opportunities for meeting people and impacting their day. “I like seeing people and making things special for people … making the interaction more than just getting coffee,” Young explained.

His appreciation for other people and their ideas is apparent, especially regarding what he said he appreciates about his time at Geneseo.

“I think in my four years here, I’ve matured more than I have at any other point in my life,” Young said. He credits this transformation to the range of people he has met.

In his free time, Young enjoys doing “a lot of nerdy shit,” as he puts it. He loves Super Smash Bros. and going to concerts. His favorite concert was Neutral Milk Hotel and local band Comfy.

After graduation, Young noted that he plans to keep his options open. He knows without a doubt that he does want “to move somewhere.” As for his dream job, Young said he would like to own a deli one day, complete with regulars to converse with who can order “the usual.”