Perhaps the most beautiful and memorable aspect of the entire affiliation of any member of Pi Kappa Alpha, the Initiation Ceremony is meant to be the final examination of the candidate and the sealing of his bonds as a brother of the Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity. Great care must be taken to carry out the ceremony in the manner in which it was intended. The ceremony must be rehearsed and followed exactly according to the details and instructions in the Ritual of Pi Kappa Alpha. Each candidate deserves to be initiated into the bonds of Pi Kappa Alpha with the solemnity and reverence that will give him a true appreciation and understanding of the ideals and the mysteries of the Fraternity.
Part 1 of the Initiatory Ceremony is held following the new member education period. As a reminder, new members must be initiated within eight weeks or less of the Pinning Ceremony. Part 2 of the Initiatory Ceremony may be held on the day of or the day following Part 1 of initiation. All chapter members should be in attendance for all initiations and all parts of initiation. All members and candidates should be in coat and tie. This is the most important moment in the membership of any member of Pi Kappa Alpha; full attendance creates the proper impact upon the initiate. The ceremony should be performed in a solemn and respectful manner in a location that is not intimidating and conducive to making the experience special for the person going through the ceremony. This will ensure that the new initiate clearly understands the meaning of the initiation.
Keeping in mind the importance of the Initiation Ceremony, it is crucial that the right amount of planning goes in on the front end to ensure that the Ritual is performed correctly. In my travels, I always recommended that a chapter identify their Ritual team and have them meet regularly, especially leading up to initiation. These meetings serve as a time to discuss logistics and to go over the lines, even working toward memorization if your chapter is at that level.
Ideally, the date of initiation is set by the new member educator in collaboration with the executive council before new member education even begins. Making a conscious effort to optimize attendance at initiation can go a long way when it comes to furthering the significance of the event for the new member.
Our Ritual is the one thing that connects every single one of the 284,000 lifetime initiates of Pi Kappa Alpha. Investing in your chapter’s Ritual program can help promote the bigger picture of fraternity while furthering the affinity we have for our fraternity and our brotherhood, both on a chapter and international level.
Jarrett M. WayDirector of Educational Content & Strategy