by Ginger Banks, Pi Kappa (U of Texas Austin) Rituals, Traditions, and Jewelry Committee Chairman
OK. How many of you think the words “exciting” and “Ritual” can work in the same sentence?
We’re guessing not many of you raised your hands. In fact, the members of the Rituals, Traditions, Jewelry Committee (RT&J) may be the only ones who think those two words fit together logically. No doubt that may be because of some exciting innovations we implemented during 2017-2018 to help members better connect with our Ritual. Here are some examples of our initiatives:
Ritual Education Docents (REDs) Task Force
Starting during fall 2018, RT&J will select at least one alumna in each network who will be available to conduct a Ritual procedures workshop for collegiate chapters and assist with logistical and related issues. This outreach will build on the connections and relationships RT&J has established through our RT&J Network Liaisons to provide greater accessibility to on-site Ritual education.
Responding to collegiate chapters’ requests to combine Rituals to address timing issues, RT&J made available several combined Rituals. Various combinations include Rituals for Initiation, Installation of Officers, and Welcome of Collegiate Seniors to Alumnae Status. The combined Rituals are available from each RT&J Liaison.
In addition to continuing the conference calls RT&J started last year for Keepers of the Ritual and their advisers in each network, recently RT&J conducted a first ever call for Alumnae Chapter Presidents. The great participation in and response to the calls leave no doubt RT&J will continue them.
Thought-provoking messages written by RT&J members, including “Ritual As A Life Skill,” “Don’t Forget To Remember,” “The Company You Keep,” and “Using Ritual On A Daily Basis,” and topical articles about AOII’s Ritual publications, Ritual as related to recruitment and new members, and Stella’s letter to new initiates, are among RT&J’s contributions to the Fraternity News section of the AOII website. All of these educational resources are still available online.
We welcomed Karen Hickman to RT&J in January 2018 and thanked outgoing member Bev Townsend for her many years of outstanding service to RT&J and the Fraternity.
So, there! Ritual and learning about it really can be exciting. But, wait! There’s more!
This isn’t about Ritual, but it does pertain to the “J” part of RT&J’s responsibilities: jewelry. Knowing that our members want more choices (and jewels!), RT&J has authorized the production and sale of bejeweled badge pendants that will allow the badge to be worn temporarily as a necklace. They were available for ordering during the 2018 Leadership Institute and will be on the Herff Jones website soon. You can also access the Herff Jones website at any time by click on “Shop” in the top toolbar of AOII’s website.
Several of these initiatives were direct results of inquiries and suggestions RT&J received from members. Hearing from members about all aspects of Ritual performance and education, and jewelry (!) is exciting (and encouraged!). If you have suggestions or want further information about any of these initiatives, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hearing from our members and RT&J responding proactively. Now, that’s excitement upon which we all can agree!