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Greek Vocabulary

ACTIVE – an initiated member who has completed all the new member or intake requirements and pre-initiation activities.

ALUMNI– initiated members who are college graduates

BID – a formal invitation to join a Fraternity/Sorority

BIG SISTER/BIG BROTHER – an active member who sponsors, advises, and guides a new member through their new member period and into active membership

CHAPTER – the name applied to the local organization of a national fraternity or sorority

DEPLEDGE – the process of dropping out of a fraternity or sorority after accepting a bid, but before initiation

FRATERNITY – a Greek-letter organization. The term “fraternity” comes from the Latin “frater” meaning “brother; although many women’s organizations are also fraternities

GREEK – someone who is a member of a Fraternity or Sorority

IFC – Interfraternity Council; the national (and local) governing body for fraternities

INITIATE – a man or woman who has recently become an active member of an organization

INITATION – a formal ceremony in which a pledged member becomes a full active member of the fraternity or sorority

INTAKE – the process through which NPHC organizations select members

LEGACY – a person who has an immediate relative who is either an alumni or active member of a fraternity or sorority

LINE BROTHER/SISTER – during the intake period of a NPHC organization, a Line Brother/Sister is someone who is going through the same intake process for the same organization

NEW MEMBER– one who has been extended and accepted a bid from a fraternity or sorority. After a period of education on the organization’s history, ideals, and traditions, and maintains a certain GPA, he/she may be initiated.

NPC – National Panhellenic Conference; the national governing body for sororities

NPHC – National Pan-Hellenic Council; the national governing body for the historically African-American sororities and fraternities.

PANHELLENIC – a Greek word meaning “All Greek”

PHILANTHROPY – a general term used to encompass all community service and fundraising efforts that promote human welfare

RECOMMENDATION – a letter written by an alumna or alumnus to recommend a potential new member for membership

RECRUITMENT COUNSELOR – a Sorority member who has disaffiliated herself from her chapter during Recruitment to answer any questions a potential new member might have about sorority membership

POTENTIAL NEW MEMBER – a college man or woman who is participating in recruitment

SORORITY – a Greek-lettered organization indicating female membership