By Ginger Banks, Pi Kappa (The University of Texas at Austin), Rituals, Traditions, and Jewelry Committee Chairman
Ritual. What is it? Why do we have it? What were our Founders thinking? What does it mean? How do you use it?
We hope AOIIs are discovering their own answers to the questions above. If members have not explored Ritual and found values that can be can be important in their lives, they are missing the fundamental meaning of being an AOII.
Promoting and facilitating those pursuits is the constant goal of the Rituals, Traditions, and Jewelry Committee (RT&J). What does that mean to you?
RT&J has enhanced accessibility and developed resources based on members’ input to better facilitate the understanding and application of our Ritual.
During the 2017-2019 biennium, RT&J:
- Reinforced our commitment to encouraging two-way communications with members on all Ritual-related topics.
- Created and implemented the Ritual Education Docents (REDs) Task Force to make specifically selected and trained alumnae available in each network for a single specific Ritual workshop.
- Conducted surveys of Keepers of the Ritual (KORs), KOR Advisers, and Alumnae Presidents to solicit agenda items for conference calls. Conducted calls for these officers in each Network annually. Approximately 300 members participated.
- Added alumnae chapters to the RT&J liaison program.
- Conducted Ritual workshops for 11 collegiate chapters, a State Day, and Northeast Weekend 2017 that directly impacted 1,700+/- collegians, alumnae, and alumnae initiates in a profound and meaningful way. Spoke during four Founders’ Day celebrations.
- Conducted day-long Ritual training for Educational Leadership Consultants during 2017 and 2018. Also, conducted a Ritual educational session during the 2017 International Convention and 2018 Leadership Institute.
- Created, adapted, and published Ritual resources, including an optional New Initiate Ritual Education Program, and additional resources posted online in the Officer Resource Library (ORL), including the “KOR Quick List,” “KOR Idea Sharing” document, and explanation of selecting sponsors for sponsors for pledging and initiation.
- Produced the Candle Lighting Service, Opening Ritual, and Closing Ritual during Conventions 2017 and 2019. Incorporated more than 60 volunteers as assistants and coordinators.
- Proposed changes to the Standing Rules and Book of Policies (which the Executive Board approved), including: prohibiting any member from having a cell phone and/or other recording device in Rituals and Ceremonies; removing wording that limited suggestions for Founders’ Day programs; and increased the number of Rituals publications sets provided to chartering chapters.
- Conducted a survey of Chapter Advisers concerning robes and hoods purchases, maintenance, storage, and transportation as part of RT&J’s continuing study to develop practical solutions. Based on the survey, developed a comprehensive plan we discussed with the Executive Board during June 2018.
- Approved new chapter names and submottoes for Lambda Psi and Theta Delta.
- Added badge pendants to jewelry offered to members.
- Asked members for photographs and information about historic jewelry.
- Convened for an RT&J meeting in April 2019.
RT&J doesn’t presume to have all the answers, but we’re honored to help members find their personal responses to the questions above. Let’s work together to further explore the heart part of AOII.
You may contact the Rituals, Traditions, and Jewelry Committee (RT&J)about anything Ritual-related at RT&J@alphaomicronpi.org.