Fraternity and Love Are Always There

in General News, RT&J

By Karen Hickman, Theta (DePauw U), Rituals, Traditions, and Jewelry Committee

From the very beginning when a new member receives her New Member Pin during the Pinning Service, a sponsor or elder sister promises to guard and guide her and to have her back. In preparing candidates for initiation, candidates are assured that they will never be alone. During Ritual for Initiation, the Fraternity and candidates solidify their exchange of mutual promises to be there for one another always.

My daughter-in-law, who is a younger AOII sister, was in her fourth year of medical school and beginning the months long, arduous interview process. These interviews lead to where her medical residency, in her chosen specialty, will happen for the next five years.

During this time, I was chatting with a close alumnae chapter sister who happened to ask how our younger sister was doing with the interview process. My alumna sister quickly reminded me that one of her collegiate chapter sisters – someone I was vaguely aware of yet had never met – was a physician in our younger sister’s chosen specialty. She also was at the very institution where our younger sister really wanted to “match.” Being the more connected and network savvy sister, my alumna sister lovingly demanded our younger sister’s contact information. She then made an introduction ASAP because this is what she does for others all the time – she networks!

Of course, our younger sister thought she didn’t need any help with the process. She didn’t want to bother an extremely busy physician she didn’t know at a world-renowned medical institution. I told younger sister that if it was me, I would most definitely not want to experience the verbal wrath of our alumna sister if she ever found out that said younger sister didn’t reach out. 

Seeing the light, younger sister wised up and exchanged texts and emails with our doctor sister throughout the interview period. Our doctor sister was not on the interview committee and their correspondence didn’t violate any interview process rules. A couple weeks after our younger sister submitted her list of preferred residency programs and still prior to Match Day, our doctor sister invited our younger sister to “shadow” her for a day. Was that a coincidence?  Absolutely not. Two weeks later, our younger sister “matched” at our doctor sister’s institution in their chosen specialty. They are now colleagues.  

The scenario I write about demonstrates how a sister I have never met is willing to extend a kindness to another sister she has never met. All because a mutual sister asked. Who does this?  AOIIs do. We promised this at initiation, and it continues throughout our lives. As AOIIs fraternity and love are always there.

You may contact the Rituals, Traditions, and Jewelry Committee (RT&J) about anything Ritual-related at RT&

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