Fraternity and Sorority Life

Fraternities and Sororities 101

You'll encounter a lot of new terminology in college, and the fraternity and sorority community is no different. Below is a list of common terms:


Active

a man or woman who has been formally initiated by his/her fraternity or sorority

 

Alumnus/Alumnae

an initiated member who has graduated from college or who belongs to the graduate chapter

 

Associate/New Member/Pledge

a member of a fraternity or sorority not yet initiated

 

Bid

an invitation for membership for a Greek Letter organization

 

Brother/Sister

a term used by active members when referring to each other

 

Call

the sound or saying by which members of some Greek lettered organizations greet their brothers or sisters or announce their location

 

Chapter

the local collegiate or graduate group of a national fraternity or sorority

 

Charter

the official document recognizing a chapter's status by the national organization

 

Colony

status of a new chapter before installation

 

Fraternity

derived from the Latin word "frater" meaning brother, a fraternity is an organization founded on the ideal of brotherhood

 

Greek

a term applied to members affiliated with Greek-letter organizations

 

Initiation

a formal ceremony in which an associate/new member/pledge becomes an active/initiated member

 

Inter-Fraternity Council (IFC)

the governing body of the fraternity system at a single University or College campus

 

Legacy

a potential member who is the sibling, child, or grandchild of an active member or an alumni member of a Greek organization

 

Line

a group of new members in a specific NPHC/NALFO chapter in a specific semester

 

Multicultural Greek Council (MGC)

local governing body for multicultural Greek organizations who do not fall under one of the national governing bodies

 

National Panhellenic Conference (NPC)

a national organization advocating supporting the rights for 26 (inter) national sororities and women's fraternities

 

National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC)

the national governing body for the nine historically black sororities and fraternities

 

Panhellenic Council (PHC)

the governing body of the sorority system at a single University or College Campus

 

New Member/Pledge Class

a group of new members in a specific NPC chapter in a specific semester

 

North American Inter-Fraternity Conference (NIC)

a national organization advocating supporting the rights for 64 (inter) national fraternities

 

Potential Member (PNM)

a non-Greek man or woman seeking to join a social fraternity/sorority

 

Recruitment Guide / Rho Gamma

a member of an NPC sorority that has disaffiliated from his/her organization during Recruitment Week to assist students interested in joining an NPC organization

 

Recruitment

designed for NPC membership selection and is a mutual selection process for potential members and chapters

 

Sorority

derived from the Latin word "soror" meaning sister, a sorority is another term for a women's fraternity which is founded on the ideal of sisterhood