DKA shows creative fraternities can be just as successful as Greeks

If you’ve been to the Bill Cosford Cinema, the School of Communication or any cinematic arts events on campus, you’ve probably met a DeKa.

Delta Kappa Alpha, or DKA as it is commonly known, is UM’s gender-inclusive professional cinematic arts fraternity, and DeKa is the nickname affectionately given to its members.

“We’re a family of likeminded people who share similar interests in filmmaking, the entertainment industry and motion pictures,” said senior Rund Shami, a motion pictures major.

DKA offers hands-on experience for both student filmmakers and film enthusiasts. There are always opportunities for student collaboration, so trying one’s hand at a new skill, such as screenwriting or directing, is always encouraged.

“I was very nervous about doing anything production-wise,” said senior Edward Puñales, a journalism major who serves as DKA’s unofficial sound engineer. “I was intimidated by the technical aspect, by the social aspect. Since I joined, I’ve not only written some stuff but I’ve also been a crew member on a bunch of sets. I’ve directed three short films myself, which was really scary.”

DKA pools its resources and skills to take on big projects. The most recent venture was a web series called “Meme Boy.” Members have worked on the series for more than a year and are planning to release it on YouTube soon. They have also planned a film festival, White Carnation, to highlight the fraternity’s work.

DKA also hosts its popular annual horror film festival, “Scares and Scores,” in partnership with the Society of Composers and an Oscars viewing party with the Cinematic Arts Commission.

The fraternity prides itself on a positive, ongoing relationship with professors at the School of Communication. DKA was even asked to weigh in on decisions regarding the film curriculum.

“They reworked 151, which is the basic level film production class, based on our suggestions,” said former DKA president Sydney Gold. “It showed that they really trust our opinions.”

Although UM’s chapter has only been on campus for four years, it was recognized in summer 2017 as one of the top three chapters of DKA.

To find out more about DKA and to keep up with upcoming events, follow @UMiamiDKA on social media.