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ThetaConnect is the new mobile app created for Thetas! ThetaConnect allows Thetas to connect with other Thetas in their area based on hobbies, interests, and career fields. Users are able to create and attend events in the area that fit in their schedule and that they are interested in. It is free for all Android and iOS users!
And today is ThetaConnect Day! To celebrate, share your photos and stories to social media using #ThetaConnect and email firstname.lastname@example.org with any special photos or stories to feature on our social media channels. Even if you only have time for a quick phone call to a sister you haven't seen in a while, make the call and share your story!
Some of the app features include:
Meet a Theta appears on your home page and allows you to connect with Thetas in your area with similar hobbies, interests, and career fields. Tap their profiles to see similar connections you have with them. Be sure to then add her to your contacts, to make it easier to invite her to upcoming events.
Theta Events appears on your home page and allows you to see what upcoming events are happening in your area. Tap an event that interests you to learn more about the event and to RSVP. See an event that a Theta sister would be interested in attending? If she doesn't have ThetaConnect, please send her an invite by typing in her email address.
My Events is available by tapping the red button at the top right-hand corner of your screen, called Events. Here you can create a new event, see events in your area, find the events you are going to, as well as the events you're invited to.
Please download the app today and use #ThetaConnect to post photos of your events with sisters!
In my role as social media specialist, I have the pleasure of interacting with Thetas online every day. I consider representing Kappa Alpha Theta on social media a big responsibility, and I keep Theta's mission and values in mind as I respond to comments and disseminate content on behalf of the organization. I try to bring Theta's authentic "voice" to our social media presence, with the goal of keeping thousands of Thetas connected to and engaged with this beloved sisterhood.
One of my favorite aspects of social media is its ability to amplify positive momentum. For example, if a member completes a service project as part of 150 Days of Celebrating Service, she has done her part to spread the widest influence for good and can be proud of her contribution. If she posts about the experience on a social media platform, her entire friend network will learn about her good deed and perhaps be inspired to serve, as well. And if I, as Theta's social media specialist, am able to see and share her content, thousands of women all over the world can continue spreading the widest influence for good in her stead. The ripple effect of our digital world allows one act of love to reach thousands or even millions of other people.
By using Theta's official hashtags, you can be an advocate for Kappa Alpha Theta online. Help spread the word about important aspects of Theta using these hashtags:
- #Theta1870: The official Theta hashtag. If you are posting about Theta generally and other, more specific hashtags do not apply, this is the best one to use. This is also the hashtag to use for Founders Day.
- #LeadingWomen: Our tagline applies to many members who are leading the way on campus, in the workplace, in their communities, and in their personal lives. Use this hashtag anytime you are posting about a Theta who is showing leadership in her actions.
- #Theta16: The official hashtag of Grand Convention 2016!
- #ThetaELCs: For any post about our educational leadership consultant (ELC) program.
- #ThetaFoundation: For any posts related to Theta Foundation programs and services.
- #ThetaHighFives: We use this hashtag when recognizing outstanding volunteers every other Friday, but feel free to use it anytime you want to give someone a shout-out!
- #ThetaHistory: This hashtag is used for our #ThrowbackThursday posts and anytime we talk about Theta's history. You might have also noticed that content posted to this hashtag on Twitter and Instagram is displayed on our heritage site!
- #ThetaHousing: For any posts about the Fraternity Housing Corporation or Theta facilities.
- #ThetaLove: For any general post about sisterhood. We can all use some #ThetaLove!
- #ThetaScholar: For posts related to Thetas pursuing academic excellence.
- #ThetaService: For any post about Thetas engaging in service work or helping others.
- #Theta150: For posts associated with our 150 Days of Celebrating Service initiative and any future content related to celebrating our sesquicentennial!
As always, if you have Theta photos to share, please email them to email@example.com. Thank you for helping us tell Theta's story online!
This summer, the National Panhellenic Conference (NPC), of which Kappa Alpha Theta is one of 26 members, and the National Interfraternity Conference (NIC), which has over 70 member groups, endorsed the Safe Campus Act and Fair Campus Act, which were both introduced in the US House of Representatives on July 29. The impetus for this action—as I wrote in a blog post in August—was a desire to address the problem of sexual misconduct on US campuses. The statistics are appalling and unacceptable: there are too many occurrences and too many victims. The status quo must change. Kappa Alpha Theta supported the efforts of NPC and NIC to utilize our collective position of leadership to make a positive change on college campuses through a multi-faceted legislative approach.
Recently, after collaboration with two senators (including a member of Kappa Alpha Theta) who have led the charge in offering legislative solutions to address the problem of sexual assault on college campuses, NPC and NIC agreed to withdraw their endorsement of the current form of the Safe Campus Act. The senators agreed to collaborate with NPC and NIC to continue to support a legislative agenda that, in addition to offering solutions related to sexual assault adjudication, focuses on protecting our right to organize as a single-sex organization, preventing organizations from being penalized for allegations of criminal misconduct which do not directly involve our organizations, and respecting the vital role alumnae play in supporting our students who rely on confidential counsel from their mentors. Kappa Alpha Theta continues to support the efforts of NPC and NIC.
Of ultimate importance is eliminating the problem of sexual assault altogether, and unfortunately that cannot be achieved through legislation alone. Theta has a long tradition of offering not only support for survivors of sexual misconduct and sexual violence, but also a commitment to engaging members in prevention and intervention efforts. Through our award-winning Sisters Supporting Sisters initiative, we connect members to a comprehensive program of educational resources addressing interpersonal violence, healthy relationships and communication, emotional well-being, and more.
Our Fraternity also has a long tradition of respecting the voices and opinions of our members. We are proud of the Thetas who continue to lead discussions on this important topic, and we remain committed to working with our sister groups, NPC, campus professionals, and victims' advocates to develop effective solutions.
While it can certainly feel overwhelming when reading through the statistics, it is important to us to be informed and also discuss our ability to make a difference on such an important issue. Recently, Theta developed a statement about sexual violence that will guide our work to empower our members to be leaders in campus safety. Hence, Kappa Alpha Theta:
- Supports survivors of sexual misconduct and sexual violence.
- Is committed to engaging members in prevention and intervention efforts.
- Does not support events contributing to the objectification/sexualization of groups of people, including women, or the reinforcement of negative gender roles.
- Works to connect members to resources to prevent sexual misconduct and sexual violence, as well as resources for those members who are survivors of interpersonal violence.
- Encourages all college chapters to host presentations from campus/professional experts on college/university policies and procedures, as well as prevention and intervention best practices and recommendations on an ongoing, regular basis.
Throughout the next few weeks, we will discuss these issues more in-depth as a part of a social media campaign to raise awareness about sexual violence. Our posts will include more conversation on the issue, how to support survivors, rape supportive culture, and opportunities to be an advocate against sexual violence. We hope you join us in the conversation; we want to hear from you.
Institutions of higher education (IHEs) have a responsibility to ensure that all students can live, study, and thrive in a safe and secure environment. But sexual violence allegations on college campuses raise issues that are specific to the fraternity and sorority community. And as values-based organizations and leaders on our campuses, we have a higher calling to promote student development and a positive campus culture.
The Safe Campus Act and the Fair Campus Act provide unprecedented protections to all student victims affected by sexual violence on campus. They are comprehensive in scope, resulting from months of collaboration among leaders of men's and women's fraternities, in consultation with a wide array of subject-matter experts, including law enforcement officials and victims' rights advocates. Their purposes are multi-faceted:
- Require IHEs to provide sexual violence education and prevention, including reporting, bystander intervention, alcohol use and abuse, and fostering development of healthy interpersonal relationships.
- Ensure victim safety and security protections by requiring IHEs to devote appropriate resources for the care, support, and guidance of students affected by sexual violence, including prescribing specific sets of options for reporting and victim care strategies.
- Remove perpetrators of sexual violence from both our campuses and their surrounding communities.
- Maintain our rights to freedom of association, and preserve the network of support we provide to victims, by preventing IHEs from punishing student organizations, such as fraternities and sororities and their members, without a hearing and due process protections.
- Reaffirm our right to exist as single-sex organizations.
- Allow volunteer advisors to student organizations, including our advisory boards, to maintain their traditional role in preserving campus safety by preventing their designation as campus security authorities.
The Safe Campus Act and Fair Campus Act also present a significant opportunity to showcase the value of the membership experience we provide as a leading source of leadership and personal development for college women. Media coverage regarding this initiative has been largely positive (such as this op-ed piece by a San Francisco Chronicle columnist)—a nice change from the trend of the past year. And more to the point, we have an opportunity to play an important role in providing peer-to-peer education regarding sexual violence.
Let's be clear. The ultimate goal is to make this conversation moot. That's why initiatives related to prevention of sexual assault and sexual misconduct are listed first above. I am proud that Theta has a long tradition of offering not only support for survivors of sexual misconduct and sexual violence, but also a commitment to engaging members in prevention and intervention efforts. Through our award-winning Sisters Supporting Sisters initiative, we connect members to a comprehensive program of educational resources addressing interpersonal violence, healthy relationships and communication, emotional well-being, and more. Appreciating that each college campus possesses its own unique culture, we also encourage our chapters to partner with their host institutions to develop programming that meets the needs of their individual campuses. Our education and leadership personnel will continue to work with chapters and among themselves to ensure that we are delivering value through best-in-class programming.
And finally, I would like to encourage everyone, particularly our college women, to join us in a social media campaign. The first six weeks on a college campus are known as the "Red Zone." During the "Red Zone," students, especially first and sometimes second-year students, are at the highest risk of experiencing sexual violence (as compared to the rest of the academic year). Kappa Alpha Theta is participating in NPC's social media campaign from Aug. 17- Sept. 25, during which we will create awareness about the "Red Zone" as well as other campus safety concerns. We encourage you to share, repost, or retweet our messages, or to create your own. (Remember to tag Theta!) The more awareness we create about the "Red Zone," the safer women will be on campuses throughout the U.S. and Canada.
A New York Times article recently found that "31 percent [of college admissions officers] said they had visited an applicant's Facebook or other personal social media page to learn more about them." Our social media presences are becoming part of our perception—and one that can't be ignored as online ecosystems grow. Employers and universities alike want to create communities that reflect their mission and standards, which is why it's important that prospective employees and students mirror that image. A CareerBuilder survey found that "hiring managers are using social media to get a glimpse at the candidate's behavior and personality outside of the interview, and are most interested in professional presentation and how the candidate would fit with the company culture." In fact, the survey found that 50% of employees have taken a candidate out of the running due to "provocative/inappropriate photos/info" on social media sites. And within the past year or so, we've all heard stories of employees being shown the door-promptly-after posting negative content online while at work or on behalf of the company.
So how can you navigate the ever-evolving social media sphere to stand out in a professional, yet well-rounded way? Take a look at Ragan.com's infographic for helpful tips on personal branding. Here are a few keys takeaways.
Create and maintain an online personal brand. When employers search for your name online, having consistent and well-managed social sites is incredibly important. Be sure that your Twitter handle and bio are reflective of your personality, but also professional enough that an employer wouldn't mind mentioning on their website or blog. Use your real name and a suitable photo or headshot.
Be aware of the content you publish. Ensure all public-facing content is something that you would be fine with having your parents, boss and/or professors see. Not only does this go for photos, but also negative comments or profanity in your captions, comments and feeds.
Engage with professionals online. Thousands of employers and professionals are online each and every day. Twitter, like LinkedIn, can be an especially useful platform to job search and engage with hiring managers and recruiters. Don't be afraid to reach out to industry experts and connect with them.
Share good content. Contribute to the conversations already happening! Reply to articles online that you find interesting, share blog posts or articles that you've recently read, and keep the momentum going.
Being professional and respectable online doesn't mean be boring! It simply means being cognizant of the information you're posting online. Employers and universities want to bring on board smart, positive and personable employees, and the best place to get a good sense of your personality is often online.
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