An alumnus or alumna member who serves as a resource for the active chapter and liaison between the alums and collegians.
To join with an organization. Colonies petition national organizations to affiliate with them. A member who switches schools may also affiliate with the chapter at his/her new school.
Members of a fraternity who have graduated. (Singular is alumnus)
Members of a sorority who have graduated. (Singular is alumna)
Also known as a pin, it is an item of jewelry given to members upon initiation. The badge is to be worn at all official functions, and upon a members death it should be returned to the sorority or fraternity headquarters. The badge must be worn with business like attire, usually over the heart and above all other pins.
An invitation to join an IFC fraternity or Panhellenic sorority. They are given out during formal recruitment (on Bid Day for sororities, at anytime before the end of formal recruitment for fraternities). The NPHC process does not include bids.
The last day of recruitment in which potential new members receive formal invitations to join a sorority.
Nickname for big sister or brother, a mentor assigned to a new member. Many organizations have special names for these pairings.
Term that fraternity members call each other.
A branch of a national sorority, established at a campus. Each will have their own name, usually designated by Greek Letters. Eg, Zeta Tau Alpha, Beta Gamma chapter.
A weekly meeting held to discuss sorority or fraternity business.
Permission from the national organization to have a chapter.
A new organization that is awaiting official recognition from their national to have a chapter at a campus.
Continuous Open Bidding
Also known as COB. If a sorority does not reach the allowable membership total during formal recruitment or if they do not get quota, they may hold an informal recruitment, and offer bids to potential new members.
Insignia used by sorority and fraternity members. Most Greek organizations reserve the crest for initiated members only. Each crest has hidden, secret meanings behind it. Also known as a coat or arms or shield.
Charge of joining a fraternity or sorority. Covers costs of operation, formal events, activities and other events.
Not the nationality. Greek in this sense means a member of a fraternity or sorority.
Any act performed by a member of any organization that is likely to cause harm, danger, causes public embarrassment or shame, compromise’s a persons dignity, causes the person to be the object of ridicule, cause psychological harm, or is illegal. Hazing is against the law in all states, and is against the principles of all sororities and fraternities.
The entity that holds the title to property that a chapter lives or meets in. This is usually an alumni group like an advisory board.
House Director/House Mom/House Manager
A person hired to live in the chapter house and supervise the chapter members.
Stands for Interfraternity Council, and is the governing body of the usually NIC fraternities on a particular campus.
A person who has recently learned the ritual of a fraternity or sorority and is a full member.
A ceremony where a new member becomes a full member of the organization. Initiation ceremonies are private and different for all organizations.
Term for the process by which NPHC members are selected to become new members of an organization. Much more secretive than recruitment or rush, but generally includes an application and an interview process, followed by an educational program done at the regional level conducted by alumni, then an initiation (generally known as “crossing”).
The son, daughter or brother or sister of an initiated or alum member. Some organizations also include grandchildren or step children. Sorority rules sometimes dictate she cannot be cut from the first round of parties, but in no way are legacies guaranteed a bid from the organization they are a legacy to.
The first Greek letter of each Greek word that makes up the name of the fraternity or sorority are often displayed on clothing. For example, Chi Omega’s letters are CW. Some organizations don’t allow new members to wear letters (only the name spelled out), while others do.
Nickname for a Big’s new member that they mentor.
An NPHC term somewhat equal to a pledge class. They are the potential new members of the organization. Lines are often given names.
A party between a sorority and fraternity, or several fraternities and sororities, often involving themes or games.
A sorority or fraternity’s national headquarters. Usually erroneously called “national”, as most organizations are international, having chapters outside of the US.
New member of an NPHC organization. Also called a Neo.
After receiving and accepting a Bid, the person becomes a new member. Formerly called a pledge (and still called a pledge in NIC fraternities). Sometimes called Associate Member.
The National Panhellenic Conference is the organization that governs the 26 national women’s sororities.
The National Pan-Hellenic Council, the governing body of the 9 traditionally African American fraternities and sororities, also known as the Divine Nine. Also the local governing council for the NPHC organizations.
A charity or fundraiser that the fraternity or sorority supports. Can be national or local or both.
Potential New Member
A person who is interested in joining an Greek letter organization, and will participate in rush, intake, or recruitment. Formerly called rushees by sororities, term is still used by fraternities. Also abbreviated to PNM.
A secret ceremony of a Greek organization. Also, the formal document that contains the secret principles and ideals upon which the GLO was founded. Ritual elements are sacred to each sorority and fraternity and have been handed down through the generations. Only initiate members may be privy to rituals.
The process where sororities and fraternities get new members. Potential new members tour each house, are invited to parties and choose the new members of their organization. The old term is rush, which is still used by the fraternities. The formal name is Formal Recruitment.
A sorority member who leads a recruitment group. During recruitment they disaffiliate from their sorority so that they will not bias the potential new members. Formerly known as rho chi’s, the new official term is Sigma Rho Chi (Sorority Recruitment Counselor). Many campuses have their own term, such as Pi Chi (Panhellenic Counselor), Rho Gamma (Recruitment Guide), Rho Alpha (Recruitment Advisor), Gamma Chi (Greek Counselor), Greek Life Guide, Alpha Chi, Pi Rho Chi etc etc.
See Recruitment. Rush is an outdated word that was replaced in 1999 by recruitment. Rush referred to the practice of fraternities “rushing” to the train station to meet the newest members of the freshman class of a college or university and pinning their fraternity colors on the freshmen to identify them as a potential member of that fraternity. We don’t “rush” anymore.
Term that sorority members call each other.
A bid given to a PNM who was not placed during bid matching. The PNM would be on the sorority’s list, but that PNM did not list the sorority on her bid card. Many schools will not allow someone who suicides to receive a snap bid. Some schools will allow a person who had to drop out of recruitment to receive a snap bid.
Term used by NPHC sorority members towards one another. Rarely used among NPC sororities.