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Greek Terminology


Greek Alphabet


Greek Vocabulary

Active: an initiated member of a fraternity or sorority.

Alumnus: An initiated member of a Fraternity or Sorority who is no longer in college.

Bid: An invitation to become a member of a fraternity or sorority.

Brother: A term used by members of a fraternity when referring to one another.

Fraternity: A Greek-lettered fellowship of men fostering the common ideals of brotherhood.

Chapter: a term used to describe the collegiate group of a fraternity and sorority.

Dry Recruitment: The prohibition of alcohol at any chapter event where rushees are or may potentially be present

Formal Recruitment: The predetermined time span for recruitment in which the majority of rush occurs each year.

Fraternity: a fraternal organization of men

Greek: a member of a fraternity or sorority

IFC: The governing body of local chapters from the National Interfraternity Conference member fraternities.

Informal Recruitment: A method by which fraternities individually determine when they will extend bids to potential members. Unlike formal recruitment, fraternities can extend a bid at any time during the year with informal recruitment.

Initiation: a traditional, secret ritual which brings an individual into full membership.

Intake: the process by which prospective members join an NPHC or UGC organization

Legacy: a potential/new member whose grandparent, parent, brother or sister is a member of a Fraternity/Sorority.

Line Brother/Sister: a member that was inducted into the fraternity/sorority together.

Nationals/Headquarters: The governing body and staff of each national fraternity or sorority.

Neophyte: Newest members of a fraternity or sorority

New (or Associate) Member: a person who has accepted a bid from a fraternity or sorority

NPHC: The governing body of the local chapters of the National Pan-Hellenic Council member organizations.

Open House: A free time when a potential member can visit any fraternity house.

Pledge: a person who has accepted a bid from a fraternity or sorority or who is attempting membership into a fraternal organization.

Pledge Class: All potential members of a chapter who accept their bids to join the fraternity/sorority in the same semester.

PNM (Potential New Member): a person who has shown interest but not yet been offered or accepted a bid into a fraternity/sorority.

Prophyte: An older brother or sister in a fraternity or sorority who generally took part in the initiation of the organization's new members.

Recruitment Counselor/ Pi Chi: an upper-class member of a fraternity or sorority, chosen and trained to assist PNMs with recruitment

Ritual: secret and inspirational ceremonies that are used to inspire and educated members about the importance of the organization

Recruitment: the time when fraternities and sororities sponsor activities seeking PNMs and PNMs seek fraternal membership

Sister: a term used by members of a sorority when referring to one another

Sorority: a fraternal organization of woman

UGC: the local governing body of the local chapters in the Unified Greek Council.

Unaffilitiated: a student not in a fraternity or sorority