Coming up with Greek letters and symbolism to represent your organization is probably the easiest part of starting a local sorority. Getting girls interested can be difficult, and getting girls to actually participate is an uphill battle to say the least, but in my experience, the greatest challenge in creating a sisterhood has been establishing initiation rituals.
Rituals are so hard to come up with for new organizations because if there is one thing that all sororities have in common, it’s the attitude of sanctity and privacy that they have towards rituals.
I understand and respect the secrecy of initiation, but it becomes that much harder for founders of new sororities to come up with their own because they have no examples to draw from. Initiation is essential to Greek life; without it, an organization is more of a club than a fraternity or sorority.
In my research of initiation rituals, it was extremely important to me to avoid sites that exposed private information, and made the search all that more difficult. Finally, I was able to find a source that discussed the basic elements of a sorority initiation without violating a sisterhood.
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.
– All white or dark colored sheets covering the walls
– Candle lighting (typically active members light the candles of pledges)
– Organization’s songs and chants are sung
– Significance of motto, creed, regalia, etc. is taught
– Secret whistle, door knock, password, and handshake taught