The Rituals of Beta Beta Beta

 

Introduction

Much time and thought has gone into the formulation of the rituals presented here, and every effort has been made to eliminate long readings and to maintain the dignity of the occasion. Minor changes or adaptations may be made in the rituals to suit particular situations at different chapters, but if a chapter believes that major changes should be made, it should present comments and suggestions to the National Executive Committee. The rituals of Beta Beta Beta are not secret. It is wholly appropriate that friends and relatives be invited to attend the ceremonies of Beta Beta Beta. It is suggested that the counselor be charged with the custody of copies of the rituals booklet so that they will be available at times of initiation.

Preparation and Materials

Preparation To be sure that the ceremony will go smoothly and that the dignity of the occasion will be maintained, the room and the installing officers should be carefully prepared beforehand. A rehearsal is advisable and a committee should be appointed to be in charge of all preparations for the initiation and of any program that may follow. The room should be large enough to accommodate candidates, members, and guests comfortably. Chairs should be arranged in rows facing a table at the front of the room. The lighting should be subdued. The president's table should be covered with a cloth or with red and green paper. On the table there should be three lighted candles, the membership book, a pen, and such certificates or other items as are to be issued. Framed copies of the key and coat of arms should be arranged either on the table or back of the table so that they can be easily seen by the candidates. The historian should stand to the right of the president and the secretary to his left, each with a clipboard to which is attached a reading light if necessary.

Participants

  • President
  • Historian
  • Secretary
  • Escort
  • Active members of the chapter

Materials

Essential items

  1. Framed copy or replica of TriBeta Key
  2. Framed print of coat of arms
  3. Copies of the ritual for the first four participants
  4. Typed or printed alphabetical list of initiates
  5. Three red or green candles in holders
  6. Membership book and pen
  7. Certificates, etc.

Optional items

  1. Tablecloth or red and green paper to cover table
  2. Clipboards
  3. Beta Beta Beta Constitution Booklets
  4. Red Roses in a vase

Pronunciation of the Greek words

Balanos ~ Bah-lah'-nohs
Boudetase ~ Boo-day-tahs'-ay
Boax ~ Boh'-ahx
Blepein ~ Blay'-pay-een
Basin ~ Bah'-seen
Biou ~ Bee'oo

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Regular Member Ritual

Escort: Lines up the candidates alphabetically, arranging them in one or more rows in front of the table. He/She then says:

"Mr. (or Madame) President and members of Beta Beta Beta, I present to you these candidates who declare their wish to join us in the fellowship of science as Regular Members of Beta Beta Beta."

President: "Are all qualified for Regular Membership in Beta Beta Beta?"

Escort: "They are. All have signified a true interest in the biological sciences. They have met the requirements of the _________________Chapter and of the national constitution of Beta Beta Beta."

President: "Who are the candidates?"

Escort: Names each candidate, stating the full name slowly and distinctly.

President: "Candidates, we will now explain to you the symbolism, history and purposes of our Society, and the privileges and obligations of its members. (Motions toward the lit candles). While each of these fires may signify many things, may each clear flame impress upon you our major objectives: FIRST, to promote scholarship in the biological sciences; SECOND, to promote the dissemination of biological knowledge; and THIRD, to encourage research."

Secretary: "Beta Beta Beta, the honor society in the biological sciences, was founded in 1922 by Dr. Frank G. Brooks. This, the ________________Chapter, is one of many chapters located in colleges and universities throughout the United States and Puerto Rico. (At this point, read a short history of the chapter. It should include date of installation, number of charter members, name(s) of the original and current faculty advisor(s). outline of chapter program and special honors earned by and awarded by the chapter). It is the chapter that has chosen you to receive the honor and distinction of membership. You, in turn, accept an obligation to this chapter and to all other chapters. If you wish to join the perpetuation of the ideals of Beta Beta Beta, you will take the following pledge which I shall first read completely, and then in sections."

"I hereby affirm that I will strive to promote and perpetuate the spirit and idealism of Beta Beta Beta. I will be true to its interest, mindful of its honor, and will help to accomplish its objectives. I will discharge faithfully my obligations to _____________Chapter and to the Society."

President: "You have heard the pledge that you are to take. If you are willing to take it in good faith, repeat the phrases as the secretary gives them to you. The active members will rise and renew their pledge with you."

Secretary: repeats the pledge in sections.

Historian: "Candidates, here are the key and the coat of arms of Beta Beta Beta. On the key, which is a common symbol of academic excellence, you will see three Greek letters, Beta Beta Beta and a coiled serpent. The first Beta stands for the Greek word BALANOS which means acorn; it represents life in and on the ground. The second Beta stands for the Greek word BOUDETASE which means little bird; it represents life in the air. The third Beta stands for the Greek word BOAX, which means fish; it represents life in the water."

"All three words may be summed up in the one word BIOS, meaning life. In addition to the meaning I have just given, Beta Beta Beta also represents our three purposes:

  1. To promote scholarship in the biological sciences;
  2. To promote the dissemination of biological knowledge;
  3. To encourage research.

The coiled serpent in the center of the key is an ancient symbol of wisdom."

(Motions toward the coat of arms) "This is the coat of arms. It shows the acorn, the bird, and the fish, representing life on the ground, in the air, and in the water. The knight's helmet signifies that the scientist is always ready to apply his/her abilities for the benefit of mankind. The skull reminds us that science, although greater than the life of any individual, depends upon the contributions of individual scholars. The two light quarters of the shield represent truth known to us; the dark quarters represent truth still unknown. The diagonal golden band symbolizes the light and truths of science. As on the key, the serpent stands for wisdom. The colors of the Society are red and green: Blood red for zoology and leaf green for botany. The flower is the red rose, symbol of beauty and strength. The motto is BLEPEIN BASIN BIOU which means "to see the foundation of life."

President: " Before you is the membership book of the ______________ Chapter of Beta Beta Beta. As you sign, I shall give each of you your certificate of membership."

(After all have signed, the president continues)

"On behalf of ______________ Chapter and the Society, I welcome you to full Regular Membership in Beta Beta Beta. Behind you are your fellow members. At this time, they will come forward to congratulate you."

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Associate Membership Ritual

(Usually done after installation of Regular members. If there were no Regular members to be installed, the room should still be set up as for regular membership ritual)

Escort: Arranges associate members in alphabetical order in rows in front of the table. He then says:

"Mr. (or Madam) President and members of Beta Beta Beta, I present to you these candidates for Associate Membership in Beta Beta Beta."

President: "Are all qualified for Associate Membership in Beta Beta Beta?"

Escort: "They are. All have signified a true interest in the biological sciences. They have met the requirements for Associate Membership of the ______________ Chapter and of the national constitution of Beta Beta Beta."

President: "Who are the candidates?"

Escort: Names each candidate, stating the full name slowly and distinctly.

President: "You appear before this group to be inducted as Associate Members of Beta Beta Beta. It is my responsibility as the inducting officer to tell you something about the history and purposes of the organization. Beta Beta Beta, the honor society in the biological sciences, was founded in 1922 by Dr. Frank G Brooks. This, the ________________ Chapter, is one of many chapters located in colleges and universities throughout the United States and Puerto Rico. By banding together in organizations such as this, scholars often can be of help to each other by pooling their information and by discussing their individual research problems with others whose interests are similar. Thus, the purposes of the Society are to promote scholarship in the biological sciences, to further the dissemination of biological knowledge, and to encourage research."

"Having learned our aims and purposes, do you agree to adopt them as your own? Will you try to be a true colleague to each of the members of TriBeta and to strive to attain the three-fold purpose of our society by seeking greater knowledge in the field of biological science, by trying to increase proficiency in research, and by cheerfully and freely imparting to others the knowledge you have attained? If you so agree, please answer, "I do."

"It is now my privilege to declare you to be Associate Members of the ____________ Chapter of Beta Beta Beta, and I welcome you to our group. Behind you are your fellow members in Beta Beta Beta who now join me in congratulating you. "

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Ritual for Installation of a New Chapter

Introduction

Circumstances and setting vary to such an extent that the installing officer will have to use his/her own judgment about the inclusion or exclusion of various items in the following ritual. These suggestions may be of aid in preparation. The charter members should be seated together, preferably in front of the audience. They should be prepared to rise and take positions in a semicircle before the installing officer, in alphabetical order.

Materials

Essential items

  1. Charter, preferably framed
  2. Framed print of TriBeta key
  3. Framed print of coat of arms
  4. Certificates, etc.
  5. Membership book and pen
  6. Three red or green candles in holders

Optional items

  1. Tablecloth or red and green paper to cover table
  2. Red roses in vase

The Ritual

Installing Officer: "The officers and chapters of Beta Beta Beta have approved the establishment of a chapter of our Society at ____________ College (University). If this chapter of Beta Beta Beta functions in accordance with the purposes established by the national organization, it will aid and supplement the work of the department(s) of biological science. At the same time, it is expected that the faculty and the students of the college (university) will encourage the program of TriBeta and that this chapter will be a creditable member of the Beta Beta Beta Biological Society. The charter members of the ___________ Chapter will now rise."

"The society of which you are to become members was organized in 1922 by Dr. Frank G. Brooks at Oklahoma City University. Since then many chapters throughout the United States and Puerto Rico have received national charters. Beta Beta Beta was organized as an honor society in the biological sciences to recognize the interests and achievements of students in biology. The three major objectives of the Society are: FIRST, to promote scholarship in the biological sciences; SECOND, to promote the dissemination of biological knowledge; and THIRD, to encourage research. "

"Beta Beta Beta has chosen you to receive the distinction of membership, and your presence here signifies your determination to further the objectives and ideals of the Society. I ask you to commit yourselves to these goals by repeating our pledge. First, I shall read it through completely and then in sections for ease of repetition."

"I hereby affirm--that I will strive--to promoted and perpetuate--the spirit and idealism of Beta Beta.--I will be true to its interests,--mindful of its honor--and will help to accomplish its objectives.--I will discharge faithfully--my obligations to __________ Chapter--and to the Society."

"Here are the key and the coat of arms of Beta Beta Beta. On the key, which is a common symbol of academic excellence, you see three Greek letters, Beta Beta Beta, and a coiled serpent. The first Beta stands for the Greek word BALANOS which means acorn; it represents life in and on the ground. The second Beta stands for the Greek word BOUDETASE which means little bird; it represents life in the air. The third Beta stands for the Greek word BOAX, which means fish; it represents life in the water. "

All three words may be summed up in the one word BIOS, meaning life. In addition to the meaning I have just given, Beta Beta Beta also represents our three purposes:

  • To promote scholarship in the biological sciences;
  • To promote the dissemination of biological knowledge;
  • To encourage research.

"The coiled serpent in the center of the key is an ancient symbol of wisdom."

(Motions toward the coat of arms) "This is the coat of arms. It shows the acorn, the bird, and the fish, representing life on the ground, in the air, and in the water. The knight's helmet signifies that the scientist is always ready to apply his/her abilities for the benefit of mankind. The skull reminds us that science, although greater than the life of any individual, depends upon the contributions of individual scholars. The two light quarters of the shield represent truth know to us; the dark quarters represent truth still unknown. The diagonal golden band symbolizes the light and truths of science. As on the key, the serpent stands for wisdom. The colors of the Society are red and green: blood red for zoology and leaf green for botany. The flower is the red rose, symbol of beauty and strength. The motto is BLEPEIN BASIN BIOU which means 'to see the foundation of life.'"

"Will the charter members please step forward? As each of you in turn signs the membership book, I will present you with your certificate." (When this is completed continue)

"I now proclaim that you are duly initiated members of Beta Beta Beta. Professor __________, through the authority vested in me by the officers and chapters of Beta Beta Beta, I present this charter to you as a representative of the department(s) of biological science of _________________ College (University) and by the same authority do declare the ______________ Chapter is now established. "

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Ritual for the Installation of Officers

Introduction

This ritual for the installation of officers is optional and can be modified to suit the needs of your particular chapter and circumstances. Not all chapters elect all of the officers included in the ritual thus parts of the ritual can be used as needed. It is intended to give the chapter officers a sense of the responsibility and duties for the office to which they have been elected.

The Ritual

Installing Officer: "Beta Beta Beta was organized as an honor society in the biological sciences to recognize the interest and achievement of students in Biology. The three major objectives of the Society are to promote scholarship in the biological sciences, to promote the dissemination of biological knowledge, and to encourage research. In order to achieve these goals, the __________ chapter of Beta Beta Beta has elected the following officers to help guide our organization. When I read your name, please come forward and stand in front of the chair indicated. (Chairs should be arranged in a semi-circle facing the chapter members.)

Installing Officer:
  • President elect _________________
  • Vice President elect _____________
  • Secretary elect _________________
  • Treasurer elect _________________
  • Historian elect __________________

(When all the officers have reached their positions in the semi-circle the installing officer presents the following introduction and the new officer pledge.)

Installing Officer: "Your presence here signifies your determination to further the objectives and ideals of the Society. If you are willing to continue to work toward these goals, please signify your intention by repeating the following pledge:

I hereby affirm--that I will at all times strive--to perpetuate the spirit and idealism of Beta Beta Beta.--I will be true to its interests--be mindful of its honor--and strive to promote its objective.--I will faithfully fulfill my obligations to the Society--and will maintain an attitude of helpfulness toward our membership.

Please be seated."

Installing Officer: (Asks the secretary to stand.) "Your office is extremely important, for it is your records which will chronicle the meetings of our chapter. Not only will you keep records of all meetings, including chapter and executive committee meetings, but you will also be responsible for all the correspondence and secretarial work of our chapter. At the end of your term you are to turn over all records to the faculty advisor. Will you accept this responsibility and perform all the duties to the best of your ability? If so, answer--"I will." (The installing officer then asks the secretary to be seated.)

Installing Officer: (Asks the historian to stand.) "Your duties shall be to keep a record of all the activities of this chapter throughout the year. This record is a written one and also includes pictures and other memorabilia that would be appropriate for our chapter's scrapbook. You are also responsible for sending reports of new officers and chapter activities to the National Office so that our chapter might be represented in the Beta Beta Beta journal, BIOS. Also included in your responsibilities is the counting of ballots for officer elections. Will you accept the various responsibilities and discharge your duties to the best of your ability? If so, answer--"I will." (The installing officer then asks the historian to be seated.)

Installing Officer: (Asks the treasurer to stand.) "Your office is extremely important because it involves the financial health of our chapter. You are charged with maintaining an accurate record of all the finances of our organization. You are not to disburse funds to anyone unless approved by our chapter advisor. At the end of your term, you are to turn over all records to the faculty advisor. Are you willing to accept this financial responsibility and perform all the duties to the best of your ability? If so, answer--"I will." (The installing officer asks the treasurer to be seated.)

Installing Officer: (Asks the Vice President to stand) (Officer's name) "You have been elected Vice President of (Chapter's Name). It is important that a person of great organizationally ability be elected to this office because it is the Vice President who established the program for all meetings and activities throughout the year. A calendar should be prepared and presented at the first chapter meeting of the new academic year. You are further charged with the responsibility of assuming the duties and the office of the President in case of the absence or disability of the President. You are to assist the President whenever necessary. Will you accept these responsibilities and perform all the duties to the best of your ability? If so, answer--"I will." (the installing officer asks the Vice President to be seated.)

Installing Officer: (Asks the President to stand) (President's name) "You have been elected President of (Chapter's name) for the academic year. Election to this office is an honor but also an enormous responsibility. Your leadership will determine the future of our organization. You are charged with the responsibility of leading the chapter in all its activities, to preside at all regular and executive meetings, and to call special meetings if the need arises. Will you faithfully discharge the duties with which you have been charged. If so, answer--"I will." (At the point the installing officer asks all the officers to stand.)

Installing Officer: "Dear members of (Chapter name). Before you are the new officers of our chapter. They have each accepted the responsibility to lead our organization for the ensuing year, but their offices are useless without the support of our entire membership. Will you, as active members of Beta Beta Beta, agree to support your new officers and pledge your cooperation in all the activities of (Chapter name)? If you agree, answer--"I will."

Installing Officer: (To the newly installed officers) "You have just heard the declaration made by our membership that they will support you in all your efforts on behalf of Beta Beta Bet and our chapter. I urge you to lead wisely so that all who come in contact with our chapter may profit. With the ideas of service and cooperation foremost in your mind as you fulfill the duties of your office, I hereby proclaim that you are duly installed. Congratulations. Please now assume the duties of your respective offices."

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