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October 19, 2020

Dear Katherine Lauer,

This letter is to inform you of your specific terms of discretionary probation with the Kappa Chapter of Kappa Alpha Theta. After your
advisory board review on October 18, 2020 at 7:45 pm via Zoom, the advisory board has unanimously decided on discretionary probation
in accordance with Kappa Alpha Theta Bylaws, Article I, Section 8, A, for the following offense(s):
☐ a. Failure to meet financial obligations.
☐ b. Failure to meet scholarship standards.
☐ c. Failure to comply with university, college, or chapter rules and regulations.
☐ d. Failure to abide by federal, state, province, or local laws and ordinances.
☒ e. Conduct unbecoming a member of the Fraternity.
☐ f. Intentional breach of Fraternity vows.
☐ g. Failure to comply with Fraternity laws or the policies and procedures established by Grand Council.
☐ h. Disloyalty to the Fraternity or the fraternity principle.

Your conduct constituting this charge/these charges is the argumentative communication (verbal or otherwise) with members as a result
of your social media posts that disregards different opinions. The advisory board has decided on the following terms of probation,
pending approval of the college district director:
1. Watch a video, selected by the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee, while having open dialogue with the Chief Operating
Officer (Allie Dew) on this topic to get a broader education on America today.
2. Keep track of your individual social media posts for the week of October 19 October 26, 2020 and assess their alignment with
the Kappa Alpha Theta online social media contract , specifically Part 1, Number 2 on page 2 (attached), in addition to asking
yourself if this post does the following:
a. Doe hi po help or h r m per onal brand
b. Does this post help or hurt the Kappa Alpha Theta brand?
c. Does this post help or hurt women of another race?
d. Have I fact-checked my post?
3. Focus on positive, collegial conversations with members when approached about your online social media posts.
4. Return to the Member Development Committee on October 26, 2020 to discuss my observations and learning as they relate to
Probation Terms 1, 2 and 3.
5. Must attend all chapter meetings, or classes scheduled during chapter, when held and review the chapter minutes when
meetings have been missed.
6. Follow all Kappa Chapter rules and regulations.

The terms of probation are to be in effect immediately and will be reevaluated on October 26, 2020. If at this meeting it is determined
that you have successfully met all terms of probation and the advisory board feels that you are ready to become a member or new
member in good standing, this extended discretionary probation status will be lifted.

Note: In the event that you fail to comply with the above stated restrictions, either another probationary period will follow, your membership in Kappa Alpha Theta could be up
for termination, or in the case of a new member, your pledge to Kappa Alpha Theta could be up for termination, as voted on by members of the chapter.

I understand all terms of this probation.

10/19/20
Signature of member or new member Date
___ 10/19/2020
Signature of advisory board chairman Date

Loyally,

Martha B McCabe, advisory board chairman

cc: Allie Dew, chief operating officer


Cheryl Phillips , college district director
Individual and Chapter
Social Media Guidelines
Social media is changing the way we communicate and the way we are perceived, both positively and negatively. Every
time you post a photo, or update your status, you are contributing to your own digital footprint and personal brand.
—Amy Jo Martin, author and leader on issues related to digital reputation management

TA B L E O F C O N T E N T S
Part One: An Introduction to Digital Leadership ............................................................................................ 2

A Note About Social Media Security .............................................................................................................. 3

Part Two: Theta’s Social Media Guidelines ...................................................................................................... 3

Social Media Don’ts ........................................................................................................................................... 3

A Note on Posting About Political Issues...................................................................................................... 4

Private Social Media Group Policy ................................................................................................................. 4

Potential Consequences for Social Media Guidelines Violations ............................................................ 5

Selecting Appropriate Photos and Themes for Publication ..................................................................... 5

Tips When Taking Photos ................................................................................................................................ 6

Tips When Uploading Photos ......................................................................................................................... 6

Using Videos to Effectively Promote Your Chapter .................................................................................... 7

Snapchat Geofilters........................................................................................................................................... 7

Social Media Contract ........................................................................................................................................... 8

THE SOCIAL MEDIA CONTRACT SHOULD BE SIGNED BY MEMBERS/NEW


MEMBERS EACH ACADEMIC YEAR. THE SIGNED CONTRACTS CAN BE SHREDDED
WHEN THE MEMBER GRADUATES OR IS NO LONGER ACTIVE WITH THE
CHAPTER.

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PART ONE: AN INTRODUCTION TO DIGITAL LEADERSHIP
We’ve all heard the saying, “You’re always wearing your letters.” Your choices and behavior (both positive and negative)
reflect on Kappa Alpha Theta as a whole, and that philosophy also applies to the digital world.
Social media is a powerful tool. It can be used to feed your interests, highlight your accomplishments, and keep you
connected to sisters, friends, and family. Responsible social media use can help bolster your reputation and strengthen
personal and professional connections. But social media doesn’t come with an instruction manual, and it’s important to
be educated about the risks. In the era of photo-driven social media platforms such as Snapchat and Instagram, it’s
more important than ever to think very carefully about the potential consequences of each and every social media
interaction.
Theta defines digital leadership with the following four points.

1. LEVERAGING ONLINE PLATFORMS TO PRESENT ONESELF IN AN


APPROPRIATE, POSITIVE MANNER.
Use social media to connect with friends and family and highlight your accomplishments, ambition, interests, and
adventures. It’s a fantastic tool for strengthening relationships, networking, and learning.

2. ENGAGING IN SOCIAL MEDIA (PHOTOS, POSTS, COMMENTS, BLOGS,


TUMBLR, SNAPS, ETC.) IN A MANNER THAT IS RESPECTFUL OF ONESELF AND
OTHERS.
It’s easy to forget that every word you type or photo you send online is directed at a real person. If you would not
say it to someone’s face, don’t say it online. Also remember that tone is often misunderstood on social media. Even
if you intended for the tone to be joking or sarcastic, it’s easy for that piece of content to be interpreted differently.
If the content has the potential to offend someone, do not post it.

3. STRIVING TO PRESENT ONE’S AUTHENTIC AND GENUINE SELF ONLINE,


RATHER THAN A SURFACE-LEVEL PERSONA.
Many young people report feeling pressure to convey a “perfect” life online. They feel every photo should convey a
sense of effortless perfection, hair and clothes and surrounding all just right to appear both flawless and seemingly
casual. It’s even common these days for young people to maintain “unofficial” social media accounts, sometimes
called Finstagrams, of their real lives, with their “official” social media channels held to different standards of
perfection. There is no such thing as an unofficial account: Every single account you operate should be held to the
standards of digital leadership. Being a digital leader means bringing your whole, authentic self without trying to
make your life seems glossier or more “perfect.”

4. ALWAYS CONSIDERING THE POTENTIAL CONSEQUENCES OF A POOR SOCIAL


MEDIA DECISION, BOTH FOR ONESELF AND OTHERS.
Remember that the Internet is forever. Once you have posted a piece of content online, you have permanently lost
control of it. If you would be terrified for a potential employer to ask you about a particular social media post during
a job interview, that’s a good indication that it shouldn’t be posted. Additionally, poor social media decisions can
affect others, including your sisters and your chapter as a whole. Consider how it would make you feel for your
sisters to experience negative consequences because of your bad decisions, or for your school to expel you for one
social media post that was meant to be a joke. These consequences are becoming more and more common as

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social media becomes part of our everyday lives; that’s why it’s important to educate yourself and develop respect
for the power of social media.

Social media is a fun way to communicate and engage with the world, but it’s important to be smart about it. By
committing to be a digital leader, you will help ensure your future won’t be affected by a bad decision, and you will lay
another brick in your path to reaching your highest potential as a leading woman.

A NOTE ABOUT SOCIAL MEDIA SECURITY


In order to protect your digital reputation and physical safety, please keep these social media security tips in mind.
Change passwords regularly to help prevent your accounts from being hacked (ideally every three to four
months). Consider using a password management service to keep track of your most current passwords.
Disable location-tracking features on apps like Instagram and Snapchat to protect your safety.
Don’t let someone post content to your social media channels on your behalf (i.e., handing your phone off to
someone else). That person could easily post an offensive joke or represent you poorly.
Remember that there’s no such thing as “disappearing content.” It’s always possible for someone to create a
permanent record of your social media content, even on Snapchat.
Be careful about allowing people to take your photo. If you don’t know someone very well, do not place your
digital reputation in his or her hands. Again, you cannot control what that person will do with your photo or
how you might be portrayed.

PART TWO: THETA’S SOCIAL MEDIA GUIDELINES


The following rules and guidelines were crafted to help each member ensure that she continues to strive to live in
accordance with the noble ideals and standards of Kappa Alpha Theta and to continue to promote a positive
representation of members, their chapters, and the Fraternity. We ask members to follow these guidelines in order to:
Present a consistent and loyal image of the Fraternity;
Adhere to Fraternity polices for communication (Bylaws, Article I, Section 10, Section 12, and Guidelines for Media
Interaction);
Abide by campus Panhellenic rules, school policies, and all applicable laws; and
Protect members’ privacy, well-being, employability, and dignity.
Remember, social media often becomes a concern when members are not acting like leading women. Monitoring the
posting of behavior online is not an excuse for engaging in the behavior in the first place. These guidelines are a tool but
should not substitute for the adherence to already established guidelines, policies, and laws. The Kappa Alpha Theta
Constitution and Bylaws will always supersede these guidelines.

SOCIAL MEDIA DON’TS


Appropriateness of social media content is the responsibility of the individual member and is subject to review,
discovery, or monitoring by other members and Fraternity representatives. When inappropriate content is discovered or
brought to attention, the member may be subject to disciplinary action. Inappropriate items that should not appear on a
site where Theta is referenced include, but are not limited to, the following.
Chapter business.
Illegal activity, which shall include absolutely no portrayal of drug use or underage drinking (including event
names, clothing, containers, etc.).

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Photos, posts, references, etc., to alcoholic beverages. There is a zero-tolerance policy for photographic or
artistic alcohol references on under-age member pages. Members of legal age should use appropriate
judgment in posts containing alcohol and should not reference the Fraternity. Any post with alcohol is subject
to review by chapter or Fraternity officers. Certainly, any depiction of excessive alcohol use, such as drinking
directly from bottles, being surrounded by alcohol, etc., would be in direct violation of this policy.
Photos, posts, or other references to or portrayal of inappropriate behavior as defined by, but not limited to,
member development guidelines or ritual expectations or that which would cause embarrassment or concern
for the member, chapter, or Fraternity.
Negative references to members of Kappa Alpha Theta or any other organization, swearing, and sexual or racial
slurs.
Use of words including, but not limited to, “pre-party,” “pre-game,” “pre-formal,” or phrases of that nature in
captions, album names, or event names (e.g., Theta Formal Pre-Party or Shots Pre-Formal).
Inappropriate hand or facial gestures or members showcasing various body poses, such as “Theta mouth” or
hands making kites behind backs. Such gestures are considered to be vulgar and offensive in some cultures
and contexts. As we are a global women's organization that strives to represent women in the best possible
light, it stands to reason that we would avoid cultural and gender offense whenever possible.
Promotion of any “unauthorized” Theta activity including alcohol. It should be noted that many campus
administrations consider open Facebook events as open invitations to all on campus, which is in violation of
university rules. Some chapters have been sanctioned by their host university for listing parties, events, or
activities openly on Facebook, even when the event is not officially associated with the chapter or listed as a
sanctioned Fraternity activity. Remember, if you are a Theta, an event can be associated with Theta. Consult
your university and be aware that sanctions have occurred and may occur if you list an event.
Theta discourages chapters from using social media outlets to solicit or encourage votes for either individuals
or groups (including groups that are charitable in nature) participating in contests or competitions. Individual
Thetas may vote for individuals or groups participating in contests or competitions, but they may not use Theta
resources to do so, nor may they leverage their Theta membership in support of contestants. Additionally,
Theta chapters are prohibited from participating in contests that require posting on social media.

A NOTE ON POSTING ABOUT POLITICAL ISSUES


Individual members are welcome to use social media to discuss political candidates/parties and share their views on
controversial political issues. However, per Article I, Section 11 of the Bylaws, official Theta social media accounts (such
as college or alumnae chapters) should not use Theta’s platform to endorse or discuss political opinions that might not
be representative of Theta as a whole. In today’s world, it’s sometimes difficult to find the line between championing
important causes and discussing politics. We recognize the value in advocacy and raising awareness; however, please
remember that members of your chapter may not share the same political views. Thetas are united by the shared
values of sisterhood, leadership, scholarship, and service/philanthropy. Official Theta social media content should focus
on these core values rather than specific social or political issues.

PRIVATE SOCIAL MEDIA GROUP POLICY


Chapter officers may set up public Facebook pages on behalf of the chapter in order to communicate with chapter
members, Theta alumnae, and the greater Greek community. Private chapter Facebook groups, or any private social
media groups intended to directly represent the chapter, must adhere to the following provisions.

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Posts in closed groups must adhere to Kappa Alpha Theta’s general social media guidelines as outlined in this
document. Members should keep in mind that they are still representing Theta, even within a closed group. If
content is posted that violates Theta’s social media policies, officers and advisors should follow the same
disciplinary procedures as if the content were posted publicly.
Members should refrain from discussion of confidential chapter business that is better suited to other official
mediums and refrain from discussing events/activities not sponsored by Kappa Alpha Theta.
Chapters should allow the marketing advisor or advisory board chairmen the option to be a member of the
group if she so chooses.

POTENTIAL CONSEQUENCES FOR SOCIAL MEDIA GUIDELINES VIOLATIONS


Membership in Kappa Alpha Theta is voluntary, and each member swore to uphold her ideals. While we recognize
individual member’s rights, members should understand that they have pledged to uphold various policies and ideals.
Accountability is necessary to ensure continued success of the organization, and a member may cease her membership
at any time she chooses. It is true that freedom of speech exists for us all, but members also exercised their right to join
a voluntary organization where certain standards are expected. An employee must agree to Internet-use policies put in
place by an employer and risk termination if those guidelines are ignored, and a student must abide by the code of
conduct put in place by a university or risk expulsion from the university if that code is violated. Commensurate
consequences may be expected from the Fraternity.

Members shall hold one another accountable for appropriate social media management, and violations will be overseen
by the member development committee as in any other similar situation. Should inappropriate postings, comments,
photographs, etc., be seen, any member may approach the individual member responsible for the content, chief
executive officer, chief marketing officer, or advisory board chairman so that the material can be evaluated and
removed if necessary. Alumnae and college offenders alike may be contacted by a fellow member, an alumnae chapter
officer, or a Fraternity officer to discuss the alleged violation.

These guidelines are not comprehensive and are subject to review, interpretation, and alteration by Theta staff and
Grand Council. Members are expected to keep themselves educated on the latest guidelines without continual notice of
revision and are held to the latest version and interpretation by Fraternity officers. The Kappa Alpha Theta Constitution
and Bylaws, as well as ritual guidelines, will be considered in reviews of social media content. Individual chapters must
hold this standard as a minimum expectation and may add language and processes to their chapter bylaws as they see
fit.

SELECTING APPROPRIATE PHOTOS AND THEMES FOR PUBLICATION


Sorority women are often portrayed by the media in a stereotypical light not representative of Theta values and the
Theta experience. Part of our duty as sorority women is to avoid playing into these stereotypes ourselves, especially on
social media when content can be so easily misconstrued if presented out of context. For this reason, it is important to
consider sorority stereotypes when posting on social media. Ask yourself, “Does this post perpetuate sorority types or
defy them?”

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Choosing appropriate photos is a critical part of defying the sorority stereotype narrative. Chapters are expected to use
good judgment when selecting photos posted to chapter websites, social media sites, or publications. The photos
selected should reflect the best of our Fraternity and be in line with the values of the Fraternity. Recent trends of
forming signs with hands, arms, or fingers do not always convey the Theta spirit they were no doubt trying to share.
These photos often obscure faces of members, feature questionable poses, and are not appropriate portrayals of Theta
symbols. The Fraternity expects individual Thetas and chapters to be to be thoughtful and conscientious about the
photos posted to social media and websites. If a picture is worth 1,000 words, think carefully about what those words
might be when someone views a photo.

Similarly, when selecting party themes or T-shirt slogans, chapters should be equally conscientious about the
impression that a theme or slogan might leave behind. Events that objectify members, participants, or attendees, or
events that exploit race or ethnicity—even unintentionally—run counter to Fraternity ideals. When involved in the
decision-making process, you should consider the difference between intent and impact. We all have an obligation to be
faithful to the values of Kappa Alpha Theta, including being leaders in our communities and exercising the widest
influence for good. Our promotional materials—whether photos, websites, T-shirts, or any other item—should also
represent those values and be inclusive of others.

TIPS WHEN TAKING PHOTOS


FIPG risk management policies as well as local, state/province, and federal law need to be enforced; images
implying hazing or disrespect of any member will be subject to disciplinary procedures.
Beverages should be put aside before the photo is taken, so as to not suggest any alcohol use by members,
regardless of age. It is best not to include alcohol use (including implied use).
Signage needs to reflect Theta values and be in good taste (i.e., no offensive wording or language that is sexual
in nature).
Do not encourage members to use inappropriate hand or facial gestures or wear immodest clothing. Images of
members showcasing various body poses, such as “Theta mouth” or hands making kites behind backs, should
be omitted. Read our blog post on this topic.
Members need to maintain an awareness and sensitivity of other cultures and ethnic backgrounds, especially
when taking event photos.
Images that imply a dangerous situation that would violate any risk prevention policy (i.e., standing on a
chapter facility roof) are not permitted.

TIPS WHEN UPLOADING PHOTOS


Choose the best, high-resolution picture. Avoid low-resolution photos taken with cell phones or downloaded
from social media sites.
Double-check that pictures do not include recruitment counselors, so as not to violate any Panhellenic
recruitment rules.
Secure the rights and permission for all pictures. Do not use a chapter composite photo without express
written consent from the photographer. If a picture includes a watermark from a photography studio and you
are unsure whether you have permission to use it, put it aside and find another photo.
Fix red eyes and adjust lighting, colors, brightness, and contrast. Many free website tools enable you to do this
without having to purchase photo editing software.
Crop out time stamps or "photo bombers."
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USING VIDEOS TO EFFECTIVELY PROMOTE YOUR CHAPTER
Videos are a great way to show potential new members, parents, and other external audiences more about chapter life
than what you can explain in a simple presentation. However, when producing recruitment or spirit-themed videos,
please keep the following in mind.
Try to keep the video length to two to three minutes to keep the attention of your audience, especially if it is
posted online and/or on social media.
Put your best foot forward. Now is not the time to show messy bedrooms, members lounging in pajamas, or
weeds growing on the front steps. You can showcase the best your chapter has to offer without being fake.
Make sure the video content displays the Fraternity’s core values, notably leadership, service, and scholarship.
Have the final video reviewed by an advisor or advisory board chairman, even if your local Panhellenic has
approved it.
So not showcase any type of behavior that violates Kappa Alpha Theta’s risk prevention policies, as noted in the
Risk Prevention Handbook.
Don’t encourage members to use inappropriate hand or facial gestures or wear clothing that might not clearly
represent the message you want to convey in the video. Refer to the Marketing Handbook for specific guidelines.
Don’t showcase only the social activities of the chapter. Keep in mind the cumulative impact of the images in
your video, and remember to highlight the scholarship, leadership, service, and sisterhood accomplishments as
well.
Be careful about music selection. Your current favorite song is protected by copyright, and to use it without
permission (likely requiring you to pay a high fee) is illegal. If your video will be posted online, you must use
royalty-free music. An internet search for “royalty free music for videos” will help you find some. If you are ever
unsure about content, please ask your advisor or advisory board chairman who would be eager to help you.

SNAPCHAT GEOFILTERS
Creating geofilters for Snapchat is a great way to gain visibility on campus. There are two types of geofilters: permanent
community filters (appropriate for landmarks such as chapter facilities) and short-term filters for events, for which
Snapchat charges a fee. Short-term filters are a great tool for spreading awareness of Theta at recruitment events but
be sure to follow any associated regulations from your local Panhellenic.

We encourage college chapters to take advantage of Snapchat filters to promote Theta, with the following guidance:
Read Snapchat’s geofilter guidelines before creating filters to be sure your design complies with Snapchat’s
policies.
Use our official Theta Gold when possible. (Pantone 110; Hex #D8B511; CMYK 18,25,100,0; or RBG 216,181,17)
Defer to simple, clean designs over designs that are overly trendy or cluttered.
If you want to use an image, a simple kite shape works nicely.

Be sure the filter is appropriate, reflects well on Kappa Alpha Theta, and adheres to all other social media
guidelines outlined in this document.

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