By Robin Beltramini, Iota (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), Rituals, Traditions, and Jewelry Committee
While active in our collegiate chapters, we all are cognizant of our chapter’s submotto. We participate in the Ritual for Initiation often enough to recall quickly both the Fraternity’s motto and our own chapter’s submotto. If you have attended a Candle Lighting Service, particularly at International Convention, you are aware that each chapter has its very own submotto, different, but complimentary to all the others. Each is meaningful and aspirational, from Alpha Chapter’s “Love” to Lambda Psi’s “Living With Purpose.” All of them, except Alpha Chapter’s, were drafted by the chartering chapter members without actual knowledge of the Fraternity’s motto. Each submotto is reflective of the values shown by Alpha Omicron Pi initiated members to New Members and New Chapter Chartering Members.
If we look closely, we will find influences of those submotto foundations in the working traits of many AOIIs. My chapter submotto is “Sharing Equal Burdens.” As reflected in my life, it has made me one of the first “hand-raiser” volunteers because teams need willing members. As a leader, it has made me a frequent and trusting delegator.
Several Rho Chapter initiates have been integral to my life. Their submotto is “Strength of Purpose.” I will tell you that each and every one of those ladies was committed to any task she undertook and (literally) never shirked in completing the mission—for family, community, or Alpha Omicron Pi.
A local AOII alumna sister is a dear friend, has nothing bad to say about another person, is the first offer help after surgery, a personal tragedy, or on a gray day when things may not be going well. “Forever Loyal” is the submotto of her chapter of initiation, Phi Lambda.
One of my AOII former teammates is a Delta Pi initiate. Their submotto of “Devoted to Philanthropy” led this gifted quilter to use her cotton scraps and those given by others to make over 250 cloth face masks—freely shared with friends, family, essential workers such as bank tellers, restaurant staff, and case workers.
As we cope with today’s challenges, we can look at any of our submottos as a framework from which each AOII can find focus, purpose, comfort, community, and support. All submottos from each AOII collegiate chapter can be found on the Chapter Locator page of our website. I encourage you to take a minute to read through them at your own leisure.
Our chapter’s submotto has given each of us a unique focus in our campus and community that we have carried into the “real world.” We didn’t think a great deal about the relevance or importance of our chapter submotto as an active collegian, but, evidently we each have internalized it. It’s our very own “Secret Sauce” that helps makes each of us unique, yet complimentary, as we follow the values and examples of our Barnard chapter and all other chapter Founders.
You may contact the Rituals, Traditions, and Jewelry Committee (RT&J) about anything Ritual-related at RT&J@alphaomicronpi.org.