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Greek policies on social media inconsistent

By Laura Fitzgerald, Senior Staff Writer

Greek chapters at Miami are generally held to a higher standard when it comes to social media, but that hasn't stopped several chapters from posting inappropriate content on their accounts.

Recently, the Alpha Delta Phi (ADPhi) fraternity's Instagram account, "AlphaDeltaPhi_Miami," included explicit references to sexual acts and alcohol. A member of the fraternity said it was not officially affiliated with the chapter, despite the depiction of the fraternity house and its members in all the photos and frequent comments from members.

A recent post mentioned ADPhi's win in Greek Week. The post also referenced getting the fraternity's Greek Week chair a "handjob," a tweet from the Interfraternity Council (IFC) congratulating them on the win and a "warm nati," or Natural Light.

The page was taken down last Monday.

Most Greek chapters have individual media policies regulating what their members can and cannot post. However, rigor of these guidelines varies between chapters, from not allowing alcohol in any captions or pictures to the explicit reference of it, such as the ADPhi Instagram account.

Senior Zach Scheid, IFC president, said he was not aware of the ADPhi account. IFC does not monitor individual chapter's accounts, as each chapter has its own policies for regulating social media. IFC only intervenes with a specific chapter if an issue is brought to its attention.

IFC is in the discussion phase of adding a position to specifically monitor chapters' social media accounts. IFC does have a vice president of public relations, who manages IFC's Twitter and Facebook pages.

However, other chapters' social media guidelines are stricter.

Olivia Vandervoort, vice president of standards for Kappa Delta, said her sorority reminds its members to create a positive media presence for themselves, their organizations and employers.

"Anyone, including potential employers, can see what is posted online, so it's important to be mindful," Vandervoort said.

Sophomore Jacquie Edwards is a member of Kappa Delta with Vandervoot. She said she doesn't think the policies are difficult to follow.

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"The only things that they don't ask us to do is stuff that's illegal, like wrist bands and drinking," Edwards said. "So, that's really not too much to ask, I don't think, if we're not supposed to be doing it anyway, regardless if we're in a sorority or not."

As the vice president of public relations for the Panhellenic Association, senior Alexis DeBrunner manages Panhellenic's Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and website.

The accounts feature sorority events and other promotional features, like Undercover Leaders, which features women who do not hold a leadership position in their sorority but other members feel they should be spotlighted for their contributions.

DeBrunner said language is crucial when posting. For instance, instead of writing "Panhel," she uses "Panhellenic." Or instead of "babies" to refer to girls in the newest pledge class, she uses the term "new members."

Lately, Panhellenic's posts have been featuring promotional pieces for sorority recruitment in the spring, DeBrunner said.

DeBrunner said she has never had a problem with inappropriate activities with whole chapters' social media, but students should be mindful of the image they project on social media.

"Anything that you wouldn't want your parents or employers to see, [is] probably not the best thing to put on social media," DeBrunner said.

Director of Student Activities Jennifer Levering manages MU Greek's Instagram and Twitter accounts. The accounts feature Greek events such as philanthropy events.

Levering said the accounts are aimed at both current and potential Greek members to try to promote engagement within Greek life.

"It's really just to promote the Greek community," Levering said. "So anybody that's looking in can see all the great stuff that Greeks do."