Recruitment: Greek Glossary

Active – Commonly used term to denote a fraternity or sorority member in college. Also called a “collegiate member” or “collegiate sister”.

Advisors – alumnae who bring experience and guidance to collegiate chapters. They are officially appointed to oversee certain elements of chapter business and guide the corresponding collegiate officer or chairman.

Alumna – A sorority member who is no longer a member of a collegiate chapter; the plural is alumnae.

Alumnae Panhellenic Association – The cooperative community organization of alumnae (members no longer in school) of National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) sororities.

Bid– Invitation to join a sorority or fraternity

Chapter – a campus-based group of members that is affiliated with a national or international organization.

College Panhellenic Association – The cooperative organization composed of the chapters of NPC sororities on campus.

Deferred Membership Recruiting – Membership recruitment week scheduled sometime after school opening or in the second semester or at the beginning of sophomore year.

Dropping Out of Recruitment – To discontinue attendance at Recruitment events, the potential member should check with her College Panhellenic as to appropriate procedures.

Fraternity – Name that applies to all Greek-letter organizations, characterized by a ritual, pin/badge and strong ties of friendship. Informally, women’s fraternities are called sororities.

Greeks – sorority and fraternity members.

House Director – The resident post-college adult employed by the fraternity or sorority to manage the house on a daily basis. House directors are usually women and in the past were called “House Mothers”. They sometimes live at the chapter house.

Interfraternity Council (IFC) – The male counterpart of the College Panhellenic Association and the National Panhellenic Conference.

Initiation – Inspirational ceremony by which new members become full members. During the ceremony the most private aspects and symbols of the sorority are revealed.

Intentional Single Preference – (Formerly called “suicide bidding”) Intentional indication of only one choice at preferential signing. National Panhellenic Conference strongly recommends every potential member list second and even third preferential choice if possible, to increase the chances of receiving a bid from a chapter the potential member will feel at home in.

Legacy – Generally defined as a daughter, sister or granddaughter of an initiated member, although each sorority has its own definition of legacy.

Local – A campus organization, often with a Greek-letter name, which has only one chapter at one college or university. All NPC sororities are nationally based and at least 80 years old; the NPC does not count any local sororities among its members.

Membership Recruitment – Period of time formally designated by the College Panhellenic for meeting potential members.

New Member –(Formerly called “pledge”) A young woman who has accepted a fraternity bid but has not yet been initiated.

Open Recruitment – (Also called “Continuous Open Bidding” or “Continuous Open Recruitment”) A period following Formal Membership Recruitment with informal recruiting without scheduled events. This is designated by the College Panhellenic or Greek Life Office. Contact the Greek Life Office at your school for those chapters recruiting new members in this way.

Panhellenic – Meaning “all Greek”, it is the organization nationally and locally to further the aims of all member groups.

Potential Member – High school graduate or an unaffiliated transfer student who plans to attend (or is attending) a college which has sororities and who is interested in sorority membership.

Preferential Bidding – A system used at the conclusion of Formal Membership Recruitment when potential members and sororities indicate choices.

Quota – System used to equalize, in general, the number of members in each campus group. It means the number of women who may be offered bids in the recruitment process by each group. The quota is set by the College Panhellenic and depends on the number of potential members and sororities on a particular campus.

Recommendation, Reference or Letter of Information – Specific information form regarding a potential member. Each sorority has its own form.

Rho Chi (also known as Pi Chi, or Rho Gamma) — stands for Recruitment Counselor (or, respectively, Panhellenic Counselor or Recruitment Guide). Sorority members who temporarily separate from their sororities so they may assist potential members through the formal recruitment process.

Silence – The period of time designated by each College Panhellenic when there is no communication between potential members and college sorority members.

Sorority – A Greek-letter sisterhood.

Sorority Housing – Housing varies from campus to campus. It may be a chapter room or suite that is the social center and meeting place for members. A lodge is another option. These are small houses that are used as meeting place and may or may not have limited living accommodations. A sorority house is the option most familiar to everyone. This is a residence with living accommodations for members and house director.

Greek Alphabet

Α αAlpha Β βBeta Γ γGamma Δ δDelta Ε εEpsilon Ζ ζZeta
Η ηEta Θ θTheta Ι ιIota Κ κKappa Λ λLambda Μ μMu
Ν νNu Ξ ξXi Ο οOmicron Π πPi Ρ ρRho Σ σSigma
Τ τTau Υ υUpsilon Φ φPhi Χ χChi Ψ ψPsi Ω ωOmega