Fraternity and Sorority Life Terminology

A Alpha (AL-fuh)
B Beta  (BAY-tuh)
Γ Gamma (GAM-uh)
Δ Delta (DEL-tuh)
E Epsilon (ep-SUH-lon)
Z Zeta (ZEY-tuh)
H Eta (EY-tuh)
Θ Theta (THAY-tuh)
I Iota (ahy-OH-tuh)
K Kappa (Kap-uh)
Λ Lambda (LAM-duh)
M Mu (myoo)
N Nu (nyoo)
Ψ Psi (sahy)
O Omicron (OM-i-kron)
π Pi (pahy)
P Rho (roh)
Σ Sigma (SIG-muh)
T Tau (taw)
Υ Upsilon (YOOP-suh-lon)
Φ Phi (fahy)
X Chi (kahy)
Ψ Psi (sahy)
Ω Omega (O-mee-guh)
     

Active: A member who has been initiated into lifelong fraternity or sorority membership and is active at the collegiate level.

Alumna/Alumnus: A member of a sorority/fraternity who is no longer in college.

Badge: The pin of an initiated member.

Bid: A formal invitation to join a fraternity or sorority.

Bid Day: The last day of recruitment when new members accept their bids and officially join their new organization.

Big: Short for “big sister” or “big brother”; an active member who serves as a mentor for newer members.

Brother: A term used by fraternity members to refer to one another.

Celebration Events: The introduction of new members of a NPHC chapter to the Fraternity and Sorority and campus communities.

Chapter: A local group of the larger national organization.

Chapter Consultant: An alumna or alumnus who works for the national organization and maintains a close advisory relationship with a local chapter.

Closed Relations: A period of time when conversation and contact between potential new members and fraternity active members and alumni are strictly limited by the recruitment guidelines.

Colony: A student organization in the final stage before being installed as a charted chapter of a nationally affiliated organization.

Continuous Open Recruitment: A process that allows chapters to continuously recruit and bid new members outside of the formal recruitment period.

Deferred Recruitment: The policy at Frostburg that requires students to delay fraternity or sorority membership until they have achieved at least 12 credit hours and a minimum grade requirement prior to joining a fraternity or sorority.

Disafiliation: there is no such term.  If you no longer wish to be a member of a fraternity or  a sorority you sever your membership.

Formal Recruitment: The period of time set aside by the Interfraternity Council and Panhellenic Association for meeting potential members.

Fraternity: The name applied to all Greek-letter organizations. Informally, this name applies to men's groups while women’s organizations may be sororities or female fraternities.

Greeks: an old term to say membership in to a fraternity or sorority on a university campus.

Greek Week: An annual celebration in which chapters participate in educational, social, and service events. It is a time for all fraternity and sorority organizations to unify.

Initiation: The formal ceremony that brings a new  member into full membership. Each chapter has a different set of requirements that must be met in order to be initiated.

Inactive: there is no such term.  You are either a new member, initiate, special status, or alumna.

Intake: The process by which NPHC chapters recruit, inform, and initiate new members.

Interfraternity Council (IFC): The university governing body of the male nationally recognized fraternities at Frostburg State University.

Greek Council (GC): The governing body of all recognized selective intake based organizations. 

Legacy: Someone whose mother/father, sister/brother, grandmother/grandfather is an initiated member of a social fraternity or sorority.

Line: The new member class of a NPHC chapter.

Little: Short for “little sister” or “little brother”; a newer member who is mentored by an older member of the organization.

National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC): The governing body of nine nationally recognized fraternities and sororities.

National Panhellenic Conference (NPC): The governing body for 26 national and international sororities and female fraternities.

North American Interfraternity Conference (NIC): A  conference of men’s private fraternities founded in 1909, which includes 66 member national and international fraternal organizations comprising 5500 chapters in the United States and Canada.

New Member: A potential member who has accepted the bid of a fraternity or sorority, but who has not been initiated.

New Member Educator: The chapter officer who oversees the development of new members and prepares them for initiation.

New Member Program: The period of learning about fraternity and sorority life prior to initiation. In addition to learning the history of the organization, new members may attend presentations on topics such as study skills, acquaintance rape, substance abuse, and other important issues.

Open Recruitment: The period after Formal Recruitment in which fraternities and sororities may recruit and offer bids without scheduled events through the Fraternity and Sorority Life Office.

Panhellenic Association (Panhel): The governing body for  the recognized sororities and female fraternities at Frostburg State University.

Pledge: See “New Member.” this is a label that should no longer be used in the Fraternity and Sorority Life system.

Potential New Member: A college man or woman who is participating in Recruitment. (PNM)

Preferential Bidding: The process of mutual selection between Panhellenic sororities and potential new members.

Probate Show: No longer a current term, now called Celebration events.

Quota: A specified number of women a Panhellenic sorority may offer bids to during formal recruitment.

Recruitment Counselor: An initiated member of a Panhellenic sorority who guides potential new members through the formal recruitment process.

Recruitment Guidelines: Guidelines set forth by the Fraternity and Sorority Council to ensure a fair and stress-free Recruitment process.

Rush: see “Formal Recruitment.”

Silence: A period of time when conversation and contact between potential new members and Panhellenic sorority active members and alumnae are strictly limited by recruitment guidelines.

Sister: A term used by sorority members to refer to one another.

Soror: An initiated member of a NPHC sorority.

Sorority: A group of women joined together in friendship for leadership and academic purposes.