By Kay Elam, Sigma Delta (Huntingdon College), Rituals, Traditions, and Jewelry Committee
It’s been a year since new words and phrases became a part of our daily vocabulary. Words and phrases such as Coronavirus, COVID-19, quarantine, pandemic, shelter in place, community spread, social distancing, herd immunity, super-spreader, flatten the curve, and personal protective equipment (PPE) are now heard or read on a daily basis.
Like you, the Rituals, Traditions, and Jewelry Committee (RT&J) has had to make many adjustments during the past year. If you’d told me a year ago we’d have some of our Rituals online, I’d have wondered if you were visiting Jupiter. Yet here we are with over two dozen Services, Ceremonies, Rituals, and Ritual-related workshops available to chapter officers on the Fulfilling the Promise website.
The best part of these bleak months is how our chapters, both collegiate and alumnae, have accepted these changes with enthusiasm. Many have developed creative ways to engage members and keep Ritual relevant for all. Thanks to each of you for working with RT&J to make the best of this unexpected, but unavoidable, crisis. You have been a bright spot in this otherwise challenging time!
In addition to adapting our Services, Ceremonies, and Rituals to an online format, RT&J had a super busy year. Like most of the Fraternity, we’ve converted our telephone conference calls to Zoom (which I personally love). We’ll be holding nine more calls this month with Keepers of the Ritual (KORs) from all collegiate chapters.
Plus, most RT&J members have conducted several online workshops and trainings (which I also love). It’s not like being there in person, but it’s still fun to see all of your smiling faces. With these workshops being virtual, we’ve found it easier to do them more frequently than usual and without the expense a chapter would incur with in-person visits.
Finally, the Executive Board approved several changes to the Book of Policies proposed by RT&J. Several of the changes came about because of questions and ideas garnered from the annual KOR and KOR Adviser calls. In other words, your input is important and we do listen.
The main changes include:
- Clarified provisions in “How to Wear the Badge”
- Specified “tops” on which the badge may be worn and allowed Ritual attire
- Specified how to wear AOII Recognition Pins and organizational jewelry, especially in relation to the AOII badge
- Expanded approved Ritual attire to include rompers, jumpsuits, and dress slacks (Yes, really!)
- Defined the acceptable length of skirts, dresses, rompers, and jumpsuits
- Specified what alumnae and collegians should wear to Rituals performed by alumnae chapters
- Included attire specifications for the Chartering Chapter Service
Though it’s been a different sort of year for all of us, our beautiful Rituals, whether online or in person, have made an otherwise crazy time a little more tolerable. I’ll always remember these strange, virus-filled months as a time when our chapters prevailed under difficult circumstances.
You may contact the Rituals, Traditions, and Jewelry Committee (RT&J) about anything Ritual-related at RT&J@alphaomicronpi.org.