Greek Life Glossary Of Terms

Active Member: Term used to refer to an undergraduate member of a fraternity or sorority. An active has pledged and been initiated and is not studying abroad.

Alumnae/Alumni/Alumnus: An initiated member who is no longer in college.

Associate/New Member: a member of a fraternity/sorority who has not been initiated

Badge: The pin of an initiated member.

Bid: A formal invitation to a prospective member to join a fraternity/sorority

Bid Day: The last day of recruitment when prospective members decide which chapter to join and sign their bid. 

Big Sister or Brother: After several weeks, a new member will be assigned an initiated member to be his/her big brother or sister. This older member serves as a resource, role model, and problem solver for the new member.

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

Chapter: A local chartered group of a national fraternity/sorority. 
Formal Recruitment: The major period of time set aside by the ISC and CFA with a series of organized events for meeting potential new members, also known as rush.
Fraternity: Formally, the name applied to all Greek letter organizations. Informally, the name applied to men's groups. 
Initiated Member: Any member who has completed the new member process and  has gone through the initiation ceremony.Initiation to become an active member. 
Intake: The process several chapters perform to recruit, interview, choose, and educate new members.
Inter-Fraternity Council: The governing body of the campus fraternities (Currently Marist does not have an IFC)
Legacy: A person whose direct relative (parent, sibling, grandparents) is an alumna or active member of a fraternity/sorority. Each (inter)national organization has its own policy regarding legacies.

Membership Recruitment: The mutual selection process that prospective members and chapter members go through during the recruitment period to get to know  one another and gain new members.

New Member Program: A period of learning about fraternity and sorority life prior to initiation. This period varies for all groups.

New Member Release: To end one's fraternity or sorority membership before initiation.

NIC (North American Interfraternity Conference): Governing body for 72 national member men's fraternities and alumni associations.

NPC (National Panhellenic Conference): The umbrella organization   for 26 women's fraternities. NPC supports its chapters by
promoting values,   education, leadership, friendship, cooperation, and citizenship.

Pledge/New Member: A man/woman who has accepted a bid of a fraternity/sorority but is not yet initiated.

Philanthropy: a community service project and/or fundraising event sponsored by a chapter.

Potential New Member (PNM): A college student who is interested in joining a Greek Organization and is taking part   in the recruitment process.

Preferencing: During the last part of Panhellenic sorority recruitment, a potential new member determines which
particular sorority she is willing to join. The potential new member lists sororities in her order of preference.

Quota: The number of women a sorority may extend bid to, as determined by Sorority Council at the conclusion of the third round of recruitment. 

Recruitment: A selection process in which fraternities and sororities gain new members.

Recruitment Counselor: upper-class member of sorority who has disaffiliated from her chapter to assist and serve as an impartial counselor to potential new members during the formal recruitment process.

Ritual: traditional, secret ceremonies of a chapter.

Rho Chi (Recruitment Guide): A Panhellenic sorority member who has disaffiliated herself from her chapter during formal membership recruitment. She is specially trained to help potential new members and answer any questions they may have about sorority membership.

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

Sorority: Greek organization for women.

Total: Total is the allowable chapter size, including both new and initiated members, as determined by the Sorority Council.