As a membership organization, Phi Delta Theta holds certain standards of conduct to which all members are required to adhere. As technology continues to develop and greatly expand the audience of Internet-based communications, these membership standards must extend to the Internet and the posting of information related to, and concerning, the National Fraternity and its membership.
Although Phi Delta Theta cannot restrict what members post and communicate online, it can set out policy on what its members say and communicate in relation to the fraternity, its chapters and the organization as a whole.
I. Usage of the Phi Delta Theta Name and Insignia
The name Phi Delta Theta, the Greek letters and the fraternity’s crest are all registered trademarks of the National Fraternity. Members in good standing may use the Greek letters, Fraternity name and vision for electronic signatures or within profiles. Based on trademark protection, any non-member, or member not in good standing, must obtain permission in writing from the National Fraternity for usage of these names and logos for any purpose, as well as posting on the Internet and on such online services such as Facebook, Linked-in, etc.
As the sole owner of its trademarks, Phi Delta Theta has the legal right and obligation to request the removal of objectionable/illegal content from websites and any internet service if the name Phi Delta Theta or one of its registered trademarks is used.
Individual members, who identify themselves as Phi Delta Theta members and post negative, insulting, threatening information, or engage in any behavior that is contrary to the membership standards of conduct outlined in the Phi Delta Theta Membership Agreement, may be subject to discipline at the chapter or national level.
The contents of a chapter home page must be maintained regularly, must contain appropriate content, and must be in good taste. While Phi Delta Theta recognizes the right to free expression, it is an expectation that a member will not use or associate himself in any media or electronic communication with the name, symbols or chapters of Phi Delta Theta in a manner that is in conflict with the Fraternity core values. Examples that are inconsistent with Fraternity values include, but are not limited to:
a) Illegal drug references
b) Alcohol references if underage
c) Prejudiced/discriminatory speech of any kind
d) Reference to any other illegal behavior
e) Lewd photographs or language
f) Any language that libels another individual or group, is abusive, promotes illegal activity, or is threatening.
II. Links from Phi Delta Theta Website
Chapters and alumnae associations or groups that maintain a website that uses the Phi Delta Theta name or insignia should only feature authorized links to Facebook, Linked-in, Myspace or any other Internet sites or services. If a link to these sites is currently displayed on Fraternity-related sites, they must comply with this Communication policy. Chapter and associations that refuse to remove such links will no longer be linked to the Fraternity website.
III. Suggested Guidelines for Phi Delta Theta Members
Internet forums, weblogs, message boards and services such as Facebook are very public venues and read by thousands of people daily, including potential new members, new members, alumnae and parents. When you post information, and identify yourself as a member of Phi Delta Theta, you are representing Phi Delta Theta as a national organization. We strongly urge you to consider the impression that your post will make to fellow brothers and the public at large. Members should never disclose privileged information, such as information concerning ceremonies, the Fraternity’s ritual, or membership selection, which is reserved only for members of Phi Delta Theta.
IV. Communication’s – Publications and Materials
Reproduction of manuals and publications of the fraternity without express permission from the Chief Executive Officer is expressly prohibited.
V. Communication’s – Web Policy
The Chapter will use websites, which enhance the communications and public image of the chapter and the fraternity. On a regular basis, the Board of Trustees Vice President or designee will be asked to review chapter web sites to determine if their links to the fraternity web site should be maintained or removed.
VI. Communication’s – Public Statements or Release of Information
It is the policy of Phi Delta Theta Fraternity to furnish information about the fraternity and its activities to members and the general public within the limitations imposed by legislation, ethics, private membership (rituals), and the regulations of the Internal Revenue Service; and to cooperate with representatives of all communications media and Colleges/Universities officials.
A. News Releases
All news releases, feature stories, and/or official fraternity statements are prepared by the Board of Trustees Vice President – Communications or designee for distribution to newspapers, magazines, radio and television.
B. Emergency Situations
Upon learning of the occurrence of an emergency serious enough to evoke public interest, the Board of Trustees Vice President (or his designee) shall, as quickly as possible, collect all available information concerning the occurrence and notify all appropriate persons. He will also coordinate the release of information to news media representatives. Other members of the fraternity should be cautioned not to answer questions from news media representatives, unless they have authorization.
The Board of Trustees Vice President (or his designee) shall be the official spokesman for the fraternity in response to news media queries. However, members of the Board of Trustees, other fraternity board and committee members, and local advisers may be contacted by news media personnel. Insofar as possible, responses to news queries and the release of pertinent information should be handled by the following individuals, in order:
1. Board of Trustees Vice President
2. Board of Trustees President
3. Chapter Advisor
4. Secretary of the Board
5. Treasurer of the Board
6. Province President
Unless prior clearance has been given and consultation regarding all events surrounding the emergency or incident has been received, inquiries from media representatives should be referred to the Board of Trustees Vice President. In all cases, the Province President should be notified of any direct media contact.
VII. Communication’s – Circularizing Membership
The Board of Trustees Vice President may authorize the circularizing of the membership for services and products so long as they are in good taste and consistent with the vision of the Fraternity.
VIII. Communication’s – Editorial Policy of website
The primary focus of the editorial content of the website is on professional development for alumni and student members and information of interest to Phi Delta Theta Oklahoma Beta Chapter alumni. Student and Chapter news should be reviewed for appropriateness and will be included when it is of significance, use, or interest to the entire organization. Fraternities have had, since their inception, many negative stereotypes. These stereotypes continue today and some may have truth behind them, however fraternity life also offers many positive benefits to the college community and much to alumni. The intent of our websites is to promote the positive images of the fraternity. Like any group, the negative acts of a few can sometimes affect the positive work of the majority; we will do everything in our power to make sure that these items are handled with due professional care.
IX. Communication’s – Electronic Mail Policy
The following Electronic Mail Policy (E-mail Policy) covers any staff or volunteer position within Phi Delta Theta Fraternity when conducting fraternity related business. Volunteer positions would include, but not limited to Board of Trustees, active members, committees, task forces, or any other individuals conducting business in the name of Phi Delta Theta.
The most sustainable and productive E-mail policies are those that give appropriate respect to our members’ desire for and expectations of privacy. It also should provide for responsible and thoughtful procedures when legal obligations or business needs suggest that some invasion of those privacy interests is warranted.
Basically, the rules of common courtesy and consideration of others apply to the use of E-mail among our members. The major underlying principle is that E-mail should be held as much as possible to the principles that are normally associated with the U.S. Postal Service.
Fraternal E-mail should not be used for illegal or wrongful purposes. This includes an understanding of privacy, universal service, as well as freedom from fraud and harassment. Added to this understanding is a plea to avoid the distribution of junk mail and unauthorized solicitation of our members. Phi Delta Theta Members may not use E-mail messages to infringe the copyright or other intellectual property rights of third parties, or to distribute defamatory or fraudulent messages.
Listed below are some guidelines for our E-mail usage. This is, by no means, a list to cover all situations. However, this list will cover most situations encountered by our members while conducting fraternity related business.
1. Posting of chain letters is unacceptable.
2. Do not Spam or send mass E-mail unless part of an E-mail group formed for just such purpose.
3. If requested not to E-mail to an address, immediately stop.
4. The use of offensive, insulting or abusive language is forbidden.
5. The transfer of sexually explicit images is forbidden.
6. Illegal activities are forbidden.
X. Terms of Service
The Phi Delta Theta Oklahoma Beta Chapter Fraternity Online Community is provided by the Phi Delta Theta Oklahoma Beta Chapter Board of Trustees and is designed to facilitate communication among members for personal or Association-related purposes.
A. Privacy and Security
The Phi Delta Theta Oklahoma Beta Chapter Board of Trustees has not, does not and will never sell member information to anyone. All member information is strictly guarded for use by individual members and the Phi Delta Theta Oklahoma Beta Chapter Board of Trustees for personal and Association purposes only. The Phi Delta Theta Oklahoma Beta Chapter Board of Trustees has taken all reasonable precautions to secure the personal information available through the Online community. The Phi Delta Theta Fraternity Online Community is password protected to allow access by registered members only. Although this precaution should effectively protect any personal information available through the Phi Delta Theta Fraternity Online Community from abuse or outside interference, a certain degree of privacy risk is faced any time information is shared over the Internet. Therefore, through the Online Directory feature of the Phi Delta Theta Fraternity Online Community, you have the ability to hide your information from being viewed by other community members.
B. Policy and Guidelines for Proper Use
To safeguard the operation of the Phi Delta Theta Fraternity Online Community, the Phi Delta Theta Oklahoma Beta Chapter Board of Trustees has adopted many guidelines and policies that are used by the Association to govern conduct particularly, conduct that occurs in an Online environment. In addition to the Association’s policies and guidelines, users of the Phi Delta Theta Oklahoma Beta Chapter Fraternity Online Community must abide by the following specific rules and regulations:
1. Unauthorized copying, reproduction, republishing, uploading, downloading, posting, transmitting or duplicating any of the material is prohibited. You may download or copy any downloadable materials displayed on the Phi Delta Theta Oklahoma Beta Chapter Fraternity Online Community for home, noncommercial and personal use only; provided, however, that you maintain all copyright, trademark and other notices contained in such material and you agree to abide by all additional copyright notices or restrictions contained in any material accessed through the Phi Delta Theta Oklahoma Beta Chapter Fraternity Online Community.
2. Use of information or communications available through the Phi Delta Theta Oklahoma Beta Chapter Fraternity Online Community for any commercial, public or political purposes is strictly prohibited. Prohibited activities include, but are not limited to, solicitations for commercial services, cold-calling of any kind or mass-mailings for commercial purposes. Information available through the Phi Delta Theta Oklahoma Beta Chapter Fraternity Online Community may be used for specific personal and University-related purposes only.
3. Users shall not restrict nor inhibit any other user from enjoying any service on the Phi Delta Theta Oklahoma Beta Chapter Fraternity Online Community. Posting of obscene materials or use of obscene language, posting of vulgar materials, or use of vulgar language, or use of abusive, defamatory, profane, or threatening language of any kind, will constitute a violation of these policies governing the use of the Phi Delta Theta Oklahoma Beta Chapter Fraternity Online Community. Additionally, users shall not upload, transmit, distribute or otherwise publish any materials containing a virus or any other harmful component.
4. All aliases adopted by Phi Delta Theta Oklahoma Beta Chapter Fraternity Online Community users are subject to approval by the University and/or the Phi Delta Theta Oklahoma Beta Chapter Board of Trustees to ensure that the proper image is associated with the institution. The Phi Delta Theta Oklahoma Beta Chapter Board of Trustees has responsibility for screening communications on its website; however when using websites such as Facebook or Linked-In it is difficult to manage everything in advance, and the Board of Trustees Vice President will actively monitor the use of the Phi Delta Theta Oklahoma Beta Chapter Fraternity Online Community. For this reason, it is essential that the members of the Phi Delta Theta Oklahoma Beta Chapter Fraternity Online Community report any abuses or misuse of the Phi Delta Theta Oklahoma Beta Chapter Fraternity Online Community to the Board of Trustees Vice President. If the Phi Delta Theta Oklahoma Beta Chapter Board of Trustees determines that a user’s participation in the Phi Delta Theta Oklahoma Beta Chapter Fraternity Online Community creates a liability for the Member Association, or that the user has violated the policies set forth herein, the Phi Delta Theta Oklahoma Beta Chapter Board of Trustees reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take actions against the user. The Phi Delta Theta Oklahoma Beta Chapter Board of Trustees reserves the right to expel a user and deny a user further access to the Phi Delta Theta Oklahoma Beta Chapter Fraternity Online Community if such user violates these policies or any applicable laws or regulations.
C. Liability and Indemnity
The reliability of the information available through the Phi Delta Theta Oklahoma Beta Chapter Fraternity Online Community is largely dependent upon the actions of community registrants. The Phi Delta Theta Oklahoma Beta Chapter Board of Trustees can make no representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness, or timeliness of this information.
The Phi Delta Theta Oklahoma Beta Chapter Board of Trustees does not warrant that the Phi Delta Theta Oklahoma Beta Chapter Fraternity Online Community website will operate error-free or that the site and its server are free of computer viruses or other harmful material. To the fullest extent permitted by the law, the Phi Delta Theta Oklahoma Beta Chapter Board of Trustees disclaims all warranties, including the warranties of merchant-ability, non-infringement, and fitness for particular purpose. In no event shall the Phi Delta Theta Oklahoma Beta Chapter Board of Trustees or the University be liable for any damages whatsoever, including, without limitation, incidental, consequential, or punitive damages, resulting from the use of or inability to use information or materials available on the Phi Delta Theta Oklahoma Beta Chapter Fraternity Online Community website.
By using the Phi Delta Theta Oklahoma Beta Chapter Fraternity Online Community websites, you agree to indemnify, defend, and hold harmless the Phi Delta Theta Oklahoma Beta Chapter Board of Trustees and their respective agents from and against any and all losses, claims, damages, costs, and expenses that may arise from your use of the Phi Delta Theta Oklahoma Beta Chapter Fraternity Online Community websites or your breach of these policies. The Phi Delta Theta Oklahoma Beta Chapter Board of Trustees will provide notice to you of any such action or claim, and reserves the right to participate, at our expense, in the investigation, settlement, and defense of any such action or claim.
Please note that the Phi Delta Theta Oklahoma Beta Chapter Board of Trustees may revise these policies and your continued use of the site constitutes your agreement to comply with such modifications. You should review the policies periodically to ensure that you are familiar with them.
Participation in the Phi Delta Theta Oklahoma Beta Chapter Fraternity Online Community is a privilege.