By: Kendra Swanson (Zeta Pi, Arizona State University) and Monica Hiller (Gamma Tau, Oklahoma City University)
Kendra Swanson was a resident consultant at the Lambda chapter at Syracuse University for their reestablishment in 2016. Here are her reflections on how she emulated Ritual and saw Ritual in others through her experience.
The values of Alpha Chi Omega have resonated with me throughout my experience both as a collegiate member of the organization and as a staff member.
I had the privilege of serving as the resident consultant for the reestablishment of the Lambda chapter at Syracuse University last year and found that our values shine throughout the entire recruitment and establishment process. I was constantly reminded of the importance of wisdom, devotion and achievement through numerous experiences.
Wisdom was prevalent as I was constantly learning from the dedicated staff, volunteers and establishment team, further enhancing my knowledge of what it means to be an Alpha Chi Omega and how I can serve others in my daily life.
When I think of devotion, I think of the constant and consistent love, loyalty and passion that is given to every event and every aspect of working toward a common goal of welcoming women to membership in Alpha Chi Omega and creating lifelong bonds.
At the end of the semester, I had the opportunity to assist in planning and executing the installation banquet for the members, and this event embodied achievement in every sense of the word. This moment was when all of the puzzle pieces came together, the Lambda chapter of Alpha Chi Omega was officially installed and the values molded into one remarkable experience.
Lambda Chapter, Bid Day Fall 2016
Monica Hiller is vice president recruitment at the Gamma Tau chapter at Oklahoma City University. Monica injected Ritual into Gamma Tau’s recruitment experience by making sure lifetime members thought of others before themselves. She challenged her chapter to think of potential new members’ feelings and experiences while they were going through the recruitment process instead of dwelling on the long days and busyness that is recruitment.
Ritual is the very essence of what makes an Alpha Chi Omega, an Alpha Chi Omega. Without the Ritual, there would be no sisterhood, but without the sisterhood, there would be no need for Ritual. This is where recruitment comes in.
As vice president recruitment this year, it was my job to combine our sacred and secret Ritual with the very public affair that is recruitment – a seemingly impossible task. So how did I do it?
The most important part of recruitment is the week-long preparation for recruitment. Gamma Tau calls this Sisterhood Week. This is a time of sisterhood growth, greater understanding of Alpha Chi Omega and training on the best way to recruit new sisters into the house. I made sure the Ritual was a part of our Sisterhood Week.
Alpha Chi Omega’s Ritual encourages leading a good life of kindness and loyalty. It asks sisters to go beyond themselves and think of others. That is how I led recruitment. We focused on being good people before we focused on being good recruiters. We focused on the thoughts and feelings of potential new members before we focused on our long evenings and sore feet.
The way I interpret Alpha Chi Omega’s Ritual is this: If you’re leading the kind of life that makes the people around you proud, you’re doing a good job. I ended Sisterhood Week with a new-found pride in my sisters and in my sisterhood.
Recruitment is the “what” and Ritual is the “why.” Recruitment and Ritual go hand in hand. One cannot exist without the other.