Imagine it's a typical Tuesday on your campus, you are the President of ABC Chapter of Tau Kappa Epsilon and you are heading to 10:00 a.m. class. You get a call on your way to class and the voice across the phone says "Hi, this is Vince from XYZ Company and we have heard about your party next weekend and would like to come film it for our new reality series we are promoting". We know that this scenario is playing out on some of our campuses, and with our chapters, today. Reality television and the popularity of using fraternities to highlight the excitement of being a college student is exploding.
There are probably some conflicting emotions going through your minds right now. Obviously having this company film your party will add excitement to the event. It is what we may not be asking ourselves that we hope you consider prior to making any decisions.
Generally, the ‘house' will have TKE letters displayed in many locations. You may have the crest or house plate on the wall, or other creative designs using TKE letters; there may be artifacts and memorabilia hanging on the wall that can identify TKE. Many men may be wearing TKE letters proudly during the filming. Inappropriate use of our symbols and logos is a challenge and it is each of our responsibilities to protect TKE's 114 year history and its future.
This is the opportunity for you to begin to think about the risk that this will bring to you – the leader, your chapter, your fellow fraters, the campus, and TKE international office. So what should you do?
Our initial response would be ‘go ahead and invite the film crew. Schedule an event where our TKE men are formally dressed in blue blazers with the TKE coat of arms. Invite other Greek men and women, and university administrators and hold a silent auction for St. Jude. Invite the crew in and show the film crews why TKE and Teke men are Better Men for a Better World.
However, we recognize our chapter's leaders are faced with different circumstances. They have tough choices to make. The first action any leader should take in this position is to call the Offices of the Grand Chapter and speak to any one of our regional leaders; and if they are busy, you are welcome to call Frater Shawn Babine, your CEO.
It is important to understand that while we are members with the absolute right to use those our TKE letters as we deem appropriate to the values of the fraternity, no one has the right to give any other person, including a film company the right to use or reproduce our symbols and logos. According to TKE Black Book, the CEO is the only authorized agent to approve such use by a non-TKE entity or person. Any unauthorized use or misuse of the fraternity's trademarks will be handled accordingly and if needed, aggressively by the CEO's Office, including but not limited to court action.
We ask that if you are placed in these tough decisions moving forward that you call our offices for assistance. Simply call (317) 872-6533 extension 235.