Greek Life Terminology and Their Definitions

Active Member:  fully initiated member of a fraternity or sorority.

Alumni Member:  a fraternity or sorority member who has graduated or is no long in college.

Bid:  formal invitation to join a fraternity or sorority

Chapter:  local group of a national fraternal organization.

Initiation:  formal ceremony during which a man or woman begin full membership in a fraternity or sorority.

Intake:  the process by which NPHC fraternities and sororities recruit new members.

Interfraternity Council (IFC):  a representative governing body of Greek social fraternities.

Legacy:  a potential member who's grandparents, parents, brother/sister was a member of a particular fraternity/sorority.

Local:  a greek organization that is not affiliated with a national organization.

Panhellenic Association (PHA):  the central governing body of the Greek social sororities.

Philanthropy:  a charitable project sponsored by an organization.  Most chapters have a local and national philanthropy.

New member:  a new member of a fraternity or sorority who has not been initiated.

National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC):  the campus coordination of a body of historically Africa-American fraternities and sororities.

Order of Omega:  the national Greek leadership honorary organization.

Ritual:  a traditional beliefs of a fraternity or sorority.

Recruitment:  the process in which mutual choice and selection occurs to determine fraternity or sorority membership.

Recruitment counselor:  a person who is available and willing to answer questions a potential member may have about recruitment.  This person has completely disaffiliated him/herself from his/her chapter in order to provide subjective support.

Potential member:   a person interested in becoming a member of a fraternity or sorority.