Alpha Phi Alpha
Initiation Ritual


Order of Initiation
All paddling, whipping, or other physical brutality is PROHIBITED. The only exeption of physical contact will be the three impressions at the end of the initiation ceremony. This shall not be done in a brutal fashion.
The numbered steps (1, 2, etc) in the order of initiation are obligatory and must be taken by each and every chapter in initiating a candidate or candidates.
The lettered steps (A, B, etc.) are elective, and may be omitted. Whenever and wherever a step is omitted, this step shall be carefully explained by the “Lecturer”, so that all ALPHA brothers will come through finally with the same lessons.
It shall be illegal to take or use in initiation any step not hereinafter defined.
Section 1.
The candidate shall be directed to report at a very definitely specified place. He shall be instructed to enter whether lighted or not. When he arrives, the place may apparently be deserted and darkened. As the candidate advances, he shall suddenly be accosted and mystically addressed. The Oath of Secrecy shall then be administered by a Brother designated by the President.
Section 2.
The candidate shall be blindfolded. (Teaching that out of ALPHA PHI ALPHA, men walk or stumble through business or trhough life, blindly missing much which should be seen., used and enjoyed.)
Section 3.
The candidate’s, features shall be bandaged beyond recognition, both because it will not in any way help to have him personally recognized, but more particularly to symbolize the complete loss of self in the actual work, the uplift of all men of all races, but in particular, the loss of self in the uplift of our people and our Brothers in ALPHA PHI ALPHA.
Section 4.
The candidate shall be conveyed to a place unknown to him. He shall be left in absolute solitude for a reasonable length of time.
Section 5.
The candidate shall the be led to the door of the initiation room where the Brother conducting him gives the significant knocks. A voice within asks, after the knocks have been given: Who disturbs the peace and quietude of those assembled within?
The Brother conducting the candidate shall say: A Brother of those within and a most humble servant of the laws they make.
The Brother is then admitted with the candidate. Every member present remains in absolute silence. The candidate is brought to a stop and all remain silent for one minute. Then the Presiding Officer says: Silence, the background of all thought. Our first step in ALPHA PHI ALPHA is taken in thoughtful silence.
To you, who are about to be initiated into ALPHA PHI ALPHA, we would say, we had enough respect and admiration for you to invite you to become a candidate for membership here. Know that that same respect, both for ourselves and for you, will make it impossible for
us to do anything by way of initiating you that will, in anyway, humiliate you or place our dignity in question.
Section 6.
The Presiding Officer then gives the sign, and from the anteroom the candidate is taken immediately out into the world. The hand of ALPHA PHI ALPHA shall defend and guide him from all sides as he goes. (Teaching that ALPHA PHI ALPHA Brothers must face things unitedly.) All vicissitudes (whippings) during the “Pledge Week”, and during the initiation, except the three impressions are prohibited.
Section 7.
As the candidate goes, he shall be made to carry some suitable object, not burdensome, which shall be called “THE NAME.” He shall be urged and ordered to “hold up the NAME” (lesson obvious).
Section 8.
The candidate on this trip shall be made to speak to someone “out in the world.” (Teaching again that ALPHA’s greatest interest lies outside of itself.)
Section 9.
On returning to the hall and after being admitted,  Conductor to use Pass Word for his admission, the candidate shall advance seven (7) steps across the room as the Presiding Officer shall count audibly from one to seven. At each step the Brothers in the room shall stomp in unison. At the count of SEVEN, the candidate shall be halted, and immediately all Brothers shall shout 'ALPHA PHI ALPHA'. (Each candidate shall be initiated individually, and then taken from the room immediately upon completion of his initiation.)
Section 10.
The Presiding Officer then says: Compass him about. Several members shall gather about the
candidate. The Presiding Officer shall call the candidate first, to move two steps across – to the right. He does it, but realizes he comes into immediate contact with ALPHA PHI ALPHA men who are on all sides. He is ordered to move two steps to the left, with the same results. He is then ordered to move two steps backward. ALPHA PHI ALPHA men positively refuse to allow him to move backwards at all. Finally, he is ordered to move two steps forward and in this he is assisted in every conceivable way by ALPHA PHI ALPHA men.
At this point the Presiding Officer says: ALPHA PHI ALPHA delights in any forward step, but will not stand for any backward steps on the part of any Brother. (This step in the initiation is to teach that hereafter whatever the candidate does will be watched and felt by  ALPHA PHI ALPHA, He does not any longer affect himself only.)
Section 11.
The candidate shall kneel and eat the food prepared by the gods for ALPHA PHI ALPHA men. (Oysters or cold raw macaroni.)
Section 12.
The candidate shall drink to the health of ALPHA PHI ALPHA. (Any drink not injurious, first agreeable and then disgusting to the taste. Two drinks.)
Section 13.
The candidate kneels. The Presiding Officer says: “EGKAIETE.” Then all shall say: Brand him!
A Brother designated by the Presiding Officer shall proceed to brand him with a piece of ice applied to the skin, during which time a piece of raw meat is burned with a hot iron near the candidate's nose,
Section 14
(Bending over a table or some other object)
The candidate receives the THREE IMPRESSIONS.
The Presiding Officer orders him to repeat: “ALPHA PHI ALPHA. As he repeats, he is impressed after each word.
For purposes of administering the impression, each chapter shall use a flexible fabric from four (4) to 6 (six) inches and from three ( 3 ) to four (4) feet long and fashioned on a wooden handle sufficient to allow free use of the flexible portion. The wooden handle should never come in contact with the candidate.
ALL CHAPTERS are reminded that brutality and carelessness were never intended, and are not condoned and do not comply either with the SPIRIT or INTELLIGENCE of ALPHA PHI ALPHA.
Section 15.
BROUGHT TO LIGHT. All members shall say: “BEHOLD! BEHOLD!” as the candidate's  blindfold is withdrawn, and he sees “ALPHA PHI ALPHA. THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD” in large letters just over the altar.
The Presiding Officer then reads the following from the fourth chapter of the Ephesians:
I therefore beseech you, Brother, that ye will worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with long suffering, forbearing one another in love; and endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
There is one body and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. But unto every one is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.
This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, through the ignorance that is in them, because the blindness of their heart. Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying that it may minister grace unto the hearers. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger and clamour, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.
The candidate shall then be made comfortable.
Section 16.
A lecturer, (either the President or someone designated by him) shall say: We have no desire in any way to attempt to mystify. We have reached that stage in both age and development where we readily realize the bigness of simplicity. Nothing that you have been carried through
has been done for our amusement. Everything has been meant to teach some lesson.
(Here cite incidents and give lessons. Explain omitted steps, if any.)
ALPHA PHI ALPHA must ever be prepared to meet conditions as they confront us in a changing world. Scholastic excellence must be upheld as an outstanding objective. To this end every child must be encouraged to remain in school, and the more promising and prepared boys and girls must be urged and assisted to attend college. While there may be special interests for many of us, we dedicate ourselves to the betterment of all youth of all races and nationalities.
Finally, a word about clannishness. The trend of fraternities has been toward clannishness. As one of the oldest fraternities, ALPHA PHI ALPHA feels it its duty to face this menace. In facing this actual menace to the good fellowship which should prevail, particularly among all educated men, ALPHA PHI ALPHA has only to emphasize the unselfishness for which it already stands. Not only is it not the idea of ALPHA PHI ALPHA to have Brothers think less of other fraternities, but we urge all to honor and take more pride in them. If association here does not make us think more of fraternities in general, then there is something fundamentally wrong here. Cooperation must be our keynote. Anything that tends to separate the already too thin and too widely separated ranks of college men must be killed. Let us work together with
whatever power we have, plus what ever cooperation we can enlist, for the uplift and advancement of men everywhere and our people in particular.
Section 17.
a Reading of the Constitution and By Laws
b Reading of the Chapter Constitution
c. Oath of Allegiance
d. The new Brother shall be given the RAP OF ADMISSION and the PASS WORD
Section 18.
At the next regular meeting, the new Brother shall be given the GRIP and the HAILING SIGNAL. And the entire ritual shall be read to him.
Oath of Secrecy
I do solemnly swear (or aver) to keep absolutely secret the name and working of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated.
Oath of Allegiance
I do solemnly swear (or aver), of my own will and accord, to obey and support the constitution and by laws of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc.; to aid in promoting a more perfect union among college men; to aid in and insist upon the personal progress of its members.; to further brotherly love and a fraternal spirit within the organization; to discountenance evil; to destroy all prejudices; and to preserve the sanctity of the home, the personification of virtue and the chastity of woman, to the best of my ability.