In Fraternity and Sorority Life, we use vocabulary to define different elements of our organizations. Please view our standard vocabulary list:

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.

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

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.

MGC: The local governing body of the local chapters in the Multicultural Greek Council.

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

National American Interfraternity Council: The North American Interfraternity Conference (NIC) is a trade association representing 58 inter/national men’s fraternities. NIC member organizations also represent a diverse range of fraternity men and interfraternal interests, including fraternities founded for leadership and business interests as well as faith-based, multicultural, historically black, and new or emerging fraternities.

National Association of Latino Fraternal Organizations: The National Association of Latino Fraternal Organizations, Inc., (NALFO) is an “umbrella” coalition established in 1998 to promote and foster positive interfraternal relations, communication, and development of all Latino fraternal organizations through mutual respect, leadership, honesty, professionalism and education. Today, NALFO’s 16 fraternities and sororities are bound by a shared commitment to fraternal unity, family values and empowering Latino and under-served communities.

National APIDA Panhellenic Association: NAPA is a collective group of leaders within the Asian Pacific Islander Desi American community who work together to advocate, collaborate, and educate our members and constituency for the greater good. We represent our member organizations within the fraternal and university communities. By setting the highest standards of membership, university administrations know that they have a partner in the success of our member organizations’ chapters. When issues arise affecting our community, we are able to mobilize and advocate as one strong, unified voice.

National Pan-Hellenic Council: The purpose of the NPHC shall be to foster cooperative actions of its members in dealing with matters of mutual concern. To this end, the NPHC promotes the well-being of its affiliate fraternities and sororities, facilitates the establishment and development of local councils of the NPHC and provides leadership training for its constituents.

National Panhellenic Conference: Made up of 26 women’s-only inter/national member organizations, the National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) is the world’s largest umbrella organization specifically charged with advancing the sorority experience. Through its advocacy, NPC seeks to enlist nearly 5 million sorority women in its efforts to showcase the transformational power of the sorority experience. As values-based organizations, the 26 members of NPC live their missions, with their members providing millions of dollars in philanthropic support to dozens of worthy causes and pursuing millions of additional hours in community service. From supporting victims of sexual assault, to leading bystander intervention programs, to fighting for body-positive campus cultures, sorority women are at the forefront of solving some of the most pressing challenges facing collegiate women today.

National Multicultural Greek Council: The National Multicultural Greek Council (NMGC) is an umbrella council for a coalition of Multicultural Greek-letter organizations (MGLOs) established in 1998. The purpose of NMGC is to provide a forum that allows for the free exchange of ideas, programs, and services between its constituent fraternities and sororities; to promote the awareness of multicultural diversity within collegiate institutions, their surrounding communities, and the greater community-at-large, and to support and promote the works of its member organizations.

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.

PAN: The governing body of the local chapters of the Panhellenic Council member organizations.

Philanthropy: A cause devoted to raising money/awareness for national charities/organization that has a personal meaning to the organization itself.

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 Greek-lettered fellowship of woman fostering the common ideals of sisterhood.

Unaffiliated: A student not in a fraternity or sorority.