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What is a sorority initiation? Why do I have to wear white? What is going to happen?

For new members or potential new members, these questions have probably run through your head. When initiation is brought up during recruitment, sorority members might be vague about what it is and might tell you that after you go through initiation you will be a full member of the sorority. That is because what is said and done during initiation is secret to the members of that organization. While it can be exciting to know you’ll soon be fully part of the organization, it can also be somewhat daunting not knowing what to expect. Let’s break it down together. 

Each sorority has its own set of rituals that tie together the members of the organization by sharing secret information about the sorority with them.

Typically the rituals are written by the founding members of the organization and leave a special imprint with those who participate because words and meanings last through generations. Initiation is one of the ritual ceremonies that every sorority has.  

Initiation is a ceremony where new members are brought into full membership of a sorority.

During your new member process, you will learn public information about your chosen sorority – founders’ names, where and when the organization was founded, its colors, its philanthropies and so on. During initiation, you will then gain knowledge of secret information about the organization that is not revealed to nonmembers. This information could include secret mottos, values, missions, ideals or anything else an organization deems as sacred. Only members of that particular sorority are ever allowed to know what the ritual contains – creating a bond that sorority sisters cherish for a lifetime.  

The ceremony of initiation is also a celebration of the chapter and organization gaining new lifelong sisters.

Sisterhood is a huge aspect of why many women join a sorority, they want to obtain a sense of belonging and friendship. Ritual is one of the many building blocks of sorority that add to a strong and thriving sisterhood and sense of belonging. All you need to prepare as a new member is to keep an open mind and be excited to learn more about your organization. You may also want to take this time to reflect on why you joined your organization and be present in the moment. Your initiation will be an experience you reflect on many times throughout your collegiate and alumna journey.

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