Pi Sigma Alpha Virtual Induction Ceremony Guide
Through the course of the pandemic, Pi Sigma Alpha chapters have been nimble in adding meaningful online induction events for their incoming members. These events are a celebration of achievement and despite the notion of being "Zoomed Out" there are many reasons why a chapter should add one of these events when an in person ceremony is not possible. There is no right or wrong way to host an online new member ceremony. The Ceremony and Rituals are adaptable and can be customized to fit your needs. If you’d like to talk it through with the National Office and let us help you determine what works best, please make reach out to Executive Director Sean Twombly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Planning Is Your Key to a Successful Induction Event
Invite widely. In addition to incoming members, invite faculty, and perhaps former officers, or one or two alumni to say a few words. Make the event special by inviting a senior member of the university administration (president, provost, or dean). Have the president offer congratulations to the new members and the whole chapter on their success. If the president can't attend, have them record a video of congratulations.
Invitations. Develop an invitation graphic that can be delivered via email to your new members. Hi-resolution versions of the Pi Sigma Alpha logos are available to chapters upon request. If you need help, the National Office can design a PDF or JPG invitation ceremony graphic for you. We would include your date, time, and online method instructions. This can be sent in an email as the invitation to the online ceremony and/or on your website and social media channels to invite members.
Script Everything. An event runs more smoothly with a script. This allows you to set a schedule for the event and provide an opportunity for each of your participants to understand what role others will play and what they will say. Find a role for student officers, faculty advisor and guests. Be specific in how long you want them to talk and what you would like they to key in on.
Powerpoint Program. Think about developing a Powerpoint or Prezi to run during your event. It allows folks to follow along and provides you the chance to share some of the chapter's story - as well as the organization's history. You can list officer names, incoming member names, share what events the chapter has done, photos etc. It need not be complicate. The template here is designed to help be a starting point. Be creative.
Centennial Ritual of Induction. Use the centennial ritual document to connect the event to the PI Sigma Alpha centennial. Script out who will play what role in the process.
Customized Background. The National Office is happy to offer backgrounds for you and/or your officers to use during the online induction ceremony. Reach out to the national office help or advice.
- Invite the Pi Sigma Alpha Executive Director or Pi Sigma Alpha National President to join and say a few words about the the organization and its history.
- If you invite a keynote speaker, set a shorter time limit for them. The max would likely be 12-15 minutes. Leave time for questions!
- For the induction, have the certificates, honor cords, medallions, pins etc with you (unless you are able to get them to students before the induction event). Hold up examples so students can see what they are going to receive (if they haven't already)
- As part of a special centennial initiative the national office has reached out to past presidents of each chapter to ask for a short video congratulating new members and offering a few words about what they are doing now. Check with the national office to see if they have any videos for you to use!
- Be sure to take a photo! As everyone to smile and do a screen capture. Post to social media and save images in your history folder (Google Drive, etc)
- Weave in some fun or engaging elements. Add a trivia contest or some giveaways. Something as simple as a Starbucks gift card. Ask the national office for a few items (coffee tumblers, pens and highlighters ,etc) and you can run a little Pi SIgma Alpha history quiz at the end (to see who was paying attention!). Or run a Quizlet or Kahoot game or some other fun trivia you can develop and offer some local prizes.
- Food is still possible. If you have the funds, you can have food delivered to each RSVPed student via UberEats or something like that. Even just a little treat. Or you can make up gift bags with cookies or brownies from a local bakery and include a can of sparkling water and have the students pick this up from the department in advance of the event so they are all sharing in the same thing.