Initiation. What’s so special about it?
AOII’s Ritual for Initiation has never changed. What our Founders wrote 121 years ago was so fundamental and farsighted, changes have never been necessary to ensure our Ritual is applicable to members and chapters and is adaptable to changing norms.
There never has been, nor ever will be an official interpretation of our Ritual. What does that mean? It means each member’s perspectives are valid, valuable, and important. It means each of us develops our personal relationship with our Ritual and ways it is useful specifically to us.
In October, our chapters that participated in fall recruitment will initiate the new members they selected a few weeks earlier. This is an exciting time for both the chapters and the Fraternity as AOII welcomes the new initiates into our sisterhood.
Alpha Omicron Pi’s Initiation is a beautiful Ritual which reveals to the new members the true meanings and core values of our Fraternity. The expectations our Founders had for themselves, our members and chapters are found in our Ritual.
As with formal pledging, during initiation the collegiate chapter and the candidate (new member) exchange mutual promises. These are the very same promises that Jessie, Bess, Helen and Stella, our AOII Founders, made to each other in 1897 and are identical to those every AOII sister and the Fraternity have exchanged during initiation ever since.
Initiation into Alpha Omicron Pi is voluntary, yet the decision to be initiated should not be taken lightly. Once an individual makes the choice to take the initiation vows, she commits to be a lifelong member. At the same time, the Fraternity pledges to each member unending support, friendship, and a system of values that is a constant source of guidance and strength.
In addition to chapters scheduling Ritual workshops soon after initiation, it is also important that sponsors spend time with newly initiated members to discuss Ritual. Sharing thoughts about the philosophy Ritual expresses is valuable as each new initiate processes her experience. Equally as valuable is the deeper appreciation and application of Ritual previously initiated members can derive from sharing their perspectives.
The Ritual for Initiation is not only special for those women who are being initiated. It is meaningful for all initiated sisters, collegiate and alumnae, who have the privilege to attend. It is a time for members to reflect on their Initiation vows and the reciprocal commitments each sister exchanged with the Fraternity.
Initiation is special. It’s a time of celebration. It’s a time of commitment. It’s a time of renewal. It’s a time of sharing. It’s a time of reflection.
Initiation is the commencement of the realization of the countless benefits each member can derive because of the shared promises that are made with our Fraternity and the principles of Alpha Omicron Pi.
That’s pretty special.
If you have questions or need ideas from the Rituals, Traditions, and Jewelry Committee (RT&J), please don’t hesitate to contact us at RT&J@alphaomicronpi.org.