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Fraternity Blog

Posted On: Thursday, August 30, 2012 10:48 AM, by Liz Appel Rinck
Liz Appel Rinck
Soaring kites; golden kites; the kite-shaped badge.... For Thetas, the kite is a beloved symbol. It's impossible to identify the first time members were inspired to use their arms to form a kite shape and take a photograph, but since the first portable camera was invented before Theta was founded, it's a good guess that it was early in our history.

Observant readers of the Theta magazine have noticed that "kiting" photos don't appear in our publication, and some have wondered why. There are a couple of reasons, actually. One is that the kiting posture is—generally speaking—not very photogenic. Another is that, especially in photos of large groups, the arms making the kite shape(s) can obscure people's faces. And it's faces we want to see in photos.

Several years ago, we started receiving photo submissions of members forming different kinds of kites. In one example, members stand in a line, with their backs to the camera, using their fingers to make kite shapes across one another's ... well, backsides, for lack of a better word. Again: it's faces we want to see. In another example, members place their forefingers across their open mouths, to create what is supposed to be a "Theta" shape. This pose does ensure that faces are visible, but it's not terribly appealing, to put it mildly.

So Theta magazine policy is that we don't print photos of members making any Fraternity symbols with fingers or hands or arms. While we're not into censorship, we'd like to encourage individual Thetas to be thoughtful about the photos they post to social media and chapters to be conscientious about images posted to their websites. If a picture paints 1,000 words, we probably don't want some of those words to be "What on earth?" or—even worse—"Ewww."

Liz Rinck, Gamma/Butler, is director of communications at Kappa Alpha Theta Fraternity and editor of The Kappa Alpha Theta Magazine.