The purpose of initiation is to teach the new members about the significance behind all the organization’s symbols, Greek letters, motto, rituals, etc. It is an explanation of everything incorporated to the organization, followed by a pledging of the members commitment to the organization, its current, past and future members of unwavering friendship, and dedication to the organization’s social, scholastic and moral growth. After a member professes their vows (depending on the organization, vows are recited through a motto or creed, signed in a book, sung through ritual songs, or proven by an activity) the pledge becomes an active member.
The ritual ceremony is universally a huge secret (with the exception of the fraternity Delta Upsilon who has an open initiation), and therefore is different for all organizations. Nationally, however, every initiation is the same within an organization. For example, XYZ sorority at the University of Texas has the exact same initiation as XYZ at New York University, but ABC at the University of Texas does not have the same initiation as XYZ. Since each initiation is the same, the ceremony becomes the binding connection that interlocks each member to the national organization. Often times complete strangers (who find out they’re in the same national organization) will become instant friends for this reason, already having a common bond. Read the rest of this entry »