Greek Life Goes Social: Fraternity and Sorority Digital Identity
Fraternities and Sororities are often the hubs of campus life and activities at a number of universities. Among the myriad of service, social, educational, and wellness programs that many college campuses enjoy, Greeks Letter Organizations (GLOs) are often the planners and leaders within their groups and other student clubs that drive activities. Many GLOs are strategically increasing their digital presence and leveraging social media to increase exposure and build a brand. Part one of my series called “Greek Life Goes Social,” will explore a few unique ways that Fraternities and Sororities are using digital tools to engage their membership, campuses, and communities. Some examples include:
- Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., (my fraternity) offers an interactive website and YouTube Channel to share messages from Fraternity Leadership and provide training for local chapters. Other video resources include a webinar to help local chapters develop and execute philanthropic programs and a webinar to help undergraduate members apply for graduate school. Alpha Phi Alpha also has an active Twitter presence, a Facebook page with nearly $35,000 likes, and a LinkedIn page.
- University of Texas sophomore Ari Gootnick, a member of the Zeta Beta Tau fraternity developed an app that focuses on Greek Life called Greek Link. Gootnick partners with other members of his fraternity to run the app, which is used to communicate Greek Life events and activities and increase interaction among campus GLOs. The Greek Link App can be downloaded from the Apple Store.
- Travel, Entertainment, And Marketing, (T.E.A.M.) is a GLO-focused event planning company that offers thoughtful Social Media Dos and Don’ts blog posts for leaders of campus GLOs. T.E.A.M. advises Fraternities and Sororities that “Online and social media is the fastest growing marketing medium in the business world. Everyone now seems to have a Smartphone and has instant access to information about your chapter and your MEMBERS.”
- On my campus, we launched a new Greek Life Blog this semester. Through the blog, our Fraternities and Sororities tell their stories of brother and sisterhood, organization history, campus engagement, and community service. This blog content will be helpful for recruitment and sharing some of the positive stories about Greek Life at Indiana University Southeast.
- The Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors (AFA) uses social media to carry a number of messages about programming, education, and development for Greek Life. Reviewing the Twitter conversation about the recent AFA Annual Meeting via their conference hashtag (#AFAAM) will reveal a number of educational opportunities that exist to support and enhance the Greek Life experience on college campuses. The AFA Executive Director, Mark Koepsell actively uses Twitter as a tool to communicate about AFA.
- Alpha Phi International Sorority offers a robust social media portal on their website which provides a range of digital options to stay connected with the organization. Alpha Phi’s digital portal also includes the Alpha Phi Blog Spot where college members and the national office share updates about the experience, philanthropy, and leadership activities within the sorority.
- Kappa Delta Sorority also provides a national social media policy to educate members about the effective use of the internet, personal websites, promotion, use of the organization name, and guidelines for chat rooms and social networks. Kappa Delta also provides a list of impermissible social media and internet behaviors which includes:
- Libel or slander
- Fraud or misrepresentation
- Unauthorized copying or transmission of copyright-protected items
- Use of Kappa Delta Sorority’s trademarks, logos, insignia, or copyrights without prior approval
- Unauthorized use of email accounts or passwords assigned to others
- Posting or sending obscene, pornographic, or offensive material
- Posting or sending political information or propaganda
- Material that casts the sorority in an unfavorable light, including, but not limited to, any materials deemed to associate the sorority with alcohol or illegal-substance use or to be sexist or demeaning to minorities or other persons
- Posting or sending material that does not comply with the mission or values of Kappa Delta Sorority
- Solicitation of alumnae for personal reasons or fundraising for personal community-service interests