An Awesome Responsibility

in RT&J
AOII Alpha Rho Chapter

by Ginger Banks, Pi Kappa (U of Texas Austin), Rituals, Traditions, and Jewelry Committee Chair

Awesome. That word describes the exciting responsibility and opportunity AOII collegiate members have in selecting new members for our Fraternity.

Think about it.

Collegiate members select the new members of our Fraternity, not just for their chapters, but for AOIIs everywhere – past, present and future. The only exception is when a new collegiate chapter is established; only then do alumnae memmbers have the opportunity to select new members.

It is a profound responsibility. It is exciting, inspiring and awesome.

Among the many factors collegians must consider during membership selection is a central, vital and crucial component: values.

Someone once told me AOIIs are not made; they are born. How true. If a woman hasn’t embraced the values AOII is made of by the time she goes through recruitment, AOII isn’t going to reshape her character. AOII’s intent has always been to build on the common values held by members to help them grow personally, develop their chapters, and contribute to the betterment of their communities.

Founder Stella George Stern Perry underscored those thoughts in August 1936 when she wrote:

“…What we wanted, and want — if our original intention is kept — is high- minded, like-minded, loyal-hearted girls who will work together happily and hard according to their talents for worthy achievements in and for their college… We want girls who will not only have a lot of fun and happiness out of college. but also put some useful service into it, who will have enough grace to be popular, enough generosity to enjoy their life with others and the esteem of others, but enough character to do all this without making the slightest concession of principle or standards of conduct.”

Focusing on AOII values as expressed in our Ritual during recruitment sets the right course for membership selection. It also helps members realize the profound importance their decisions have not only on their chapter, but on AOII as a whole for years to come.

Many collegiate members may think about our Ritual as just an activity we perform each month, but our Ritual is much, much more. It provides inspiration and guidance for living our lives and operating our chapters.

Our Ritual charges us to make responsible decisions in the growth and operations of our chapters.  We always need to remember that “the maintenance and development of our chapters are in our hands.”

We also need to remember how important it is to select members who will contribute, reflect credit on AOII and each of us, and to whom we have confidence entrusting the future of AOII.

For 120 years, AOII collegians have demonstrated that the faith our Founders confidently place in them to select members of AOII was extremely well-placed.

That’s truly awesome!

The Rituals, Traditions, and Jewelry Committee (RT&J) welcomes your thoughts.  Please contact us at RT&

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