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What is Initiation?

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Many chapters that participated in primary recruitment this fall are now approaching new member initiation. Every National Panhellenic Conference organization has its own ritual, which ties together members of that organization and is only known to those members. Since ritual is a secret, you probably have questions about what happens during initiation. 

Initiation is a ceremony marking a change of status from new member to initiated member. It is a celebration by the sorority to welcome new members fully to lifelong membership. The initiation ritual is not hazing. It is a serious and meaningful event. For new members, it is the time to promise to uphold the purpose of the organization for a lifetime. For active members, initiation serves as a time to renew their promise to the values of the organization.

A ritual reminds each member of her responsibilities and inspires her to fulfill them. The significance of an organization’s values is explained in its ritual, and all members are expected to live their ritual by demonstrating its values each day through their words and actions. Ritual also connects the past with the present and the future as well as connecting members of the organization throughout the world.

There’s no need to fear initiation. Keeping the ceremony private makes it more meaningful to those who experience it. It is something that is only shared between members, which solidifies the bond of sisterhood. 

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