By Mary Matarazzo Bryant, Delta Omega (Murray State University), Rituals, Traditions and Jewelry Committee Chair
Within the historical files of the Rituals, Tradition, and Jewelry Committee is a Manual of Information for RT&J Members. In the Introduction it states, “It is the duty of RT&J to uphold the philosophy and traditions established by the Founders. The whims and waves of thought on college campuses swing from one extreme to another from year to year. Demands for change, for new Rituals, new jewelry, become challenging. This committee cannot remain static in its action, but it must know how to distinguish fad from fact and need from notion.” These duties for RT&J are still true now, many years later.
A frequent question to RT&J Committee members in the last months has been, “Why have attire polices changed to “badge wear” for all Rituals, Ceremonies and Services?” RT&J considers all decisions with respect and care. There were numerous, detailed policies on attire that had developed over time since the 1970s. Enforcing those rules had become the focus of Ritual in many chapters. Several options were placed on the table for consideration by RT&J. All members were unanimously in favor of the change to badge wear. The primary intent of this change was a desire to focus more on the words and message of Ritual and not on the attire. Also the financial obligation of members to purchase required attire was a consideration. RT&J Committee members want all AOII members to value the experience of each Ritual, Ceremony or Service, and do not want attire to be a distraction.
The Guide to Badge Wear, located via AlphaLink and Fulfilling the Promise, is approved by the Executive Board and RT&J. In Alpha Omicron Pi, our badge is our mutual piece of jewelry. It may be worn only by initiated members. Our badge represents our motto, very special mutual promises, and our link to everyone who ever has been or ever will be a member of Alpha Omicron Pi. Our badge is a constant reminder of the ideals which we hold in common.
Wearing the AOII badge is one of the most important and symbolic privileges that is granted with Fraternity membership. The badge should be worn for all AOII Rituals, Ceremonies and Services. All collegiate chapter members, alumnae chapter members and individual members attending may wear clothing that is appropriate and respectful for wearing the badge without detailed restrictions. If you haven’t been wearing your badge then embrace the charge to RT&J that we “cannot remain static in our actions.” All members of Alpha Omicron Pi are entrusted with recognizing and honoring the importance of displaying and wearing the badge with pride, dignity, respect, and care.
You may contact the Rituals, Traditions, and Jewelry Committee (RT&J) about The Guide to Badge Wear or anything Ritual-related at RT&J@alphaomicronpi.org.