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Greek Definitions

  • ACE – The first person of the line.
  • ACTIVE – an initiated member of a Greek organization who is currently still enrolled as an undergraduate.
  • ALUMNA - a sorority member who is no longer a student. The plural is Alumnae.
  • ALUMNUS ("Alum") - a fraternity member who is no longer a student. The plural is Alumni.
  • ANCHOR – The last person of the line.
  • BID - An invitation to join a fraternity or sorority.
  • BID MATCHING – a system for matching the choice of the potential member with the choice of the chapter.
  • BROTHER - an initiated member of a fraternity.
  • BULLHORN – The first person of the line.
  • CALL – A unique vocal recognition for a particular organization; used to recognize one another.
  • CHAPTER - The campus group of a national organization. Within each organization, chapters are usually referenced via a Greek-letter order. For example, the founding chapter would be the "Alpha Chapter," and the second chapter is usually the "Beta Chapter."
  • CHAPTER ADVISOR - an alumnus/alumna who establishes and maintains a close advisory relationship with a chapter and serves as a teacher, counselor and friend.
  • COB – (Continuous Open Bidding) a continuous, open recruitment period with no specific, scheduled, system-wide activities Bids may be extended and accepted at any time during the academic year.
  • COLONY - an approved student organization working toward recognition as a chartered chapter of a Greek-letter organization.
  • COMING OUT SHOW – A show used to introduce new members of the organization.
  • CROSSING/CROSSING OVER – The point of membership intake process when pledges officially become members.
  • DEAN OF PLEDGES (DP) – Person who oversees the membership intake process.
  • DEPLEDGE/DEACTIVATE - the termination of a new member's or initiated member’s relationship with a Greek-letter organization.
  • DRY RECRUITMENT - Alcohol is forbidden from all events associated with introducing the fraternity/sorority to new members.
  • FORMAL RECRUITMENT - the primary selection period of the year for first year students in the spring semester. Specific scheduled events for entertaining and selecting new members is known as "Recruitment Week".
  • FRATER – A term used to identify members of the same fraternity; sometime used to refer to any fraternity man of an NPHC organization.
  • FRATERNITY - The name informally applied to a Greek-letter men’s organization.
  • GREENBOOK – (Manual of Information) the informal name for the handbook containing procedural, instructional and practical information about National Panhellenic Conference (NPC), college and alumnae Panhellenics. The handbook has green covers.
  • GREEK / GREEKS – a term applied to students affiliated with Greek-letter social fraternities and sororities.
  • HAZING - defined as an act that, as an explicit or implicit condition for initiation to, admission into, affiliation with, or continued membership in a group or organization, could be seen by a reasonable person as endangering the physical health of an individual or as causing mental distress to an individual through, for example, humiliating, intimidating, or demeaning treatment; destroys or removes public or private property; involves the consumption of alcohol, other drugs, or other substances; or violates any of the policies of the university.
  • INACTIVE MEMBER - An individual is still a member of the organization, but is denoted as "inactive" to designate that they have no longer participate in the day-to-day activities of the fraternity or sorority. This status usually has a time limit of 1 academic year or less.
  • INFORMATIONAL – A meeting held by a chapter for prospective members who are seeking general information about the organization.
  • INITIATION - A formal ceremony by which new members become initiated members.
  • INTAKE – The educational process that one goes through in order to become a member.
  • INTEREST MEETING – A formal meeting held by the organization for potential new members that details the application process and rules of the organization; generally geared to potential new members who have a serious interest.
  • INTERFRATERNITY COUNCIL (IFC) - The governing council made up of all fraternities on a campus.
  • JEWEL – A founder of an NPHC organization.
  • LEGACY – the child, sibling or grandchild (or in some cases other relative) of an initiated fraternity or sorority member.
  • LINE – A group of members who are chosen to become initiated/inducted together in a particular organization.
  • LINE BROTHERS/SISTERS – Individuals who are members of the same intake class.
  • LOCAL FRATERNITY - "Local" - a Greek-letter group which exists on a campus but which has no affiliation with a national Greek organization.
  • MULTICULTURAL GREEK LETTER COUNCIL – The council made up of fraternities and sororities that are culturally based.
  • NATIONAL ASIAN PACIFIC ISLANDER AMERICAN PANHELLENIC ASSOCIATION (NAPA) – An association of nine (9) member Asian Interest fraternities and sororities.
  • NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF LATINO FRATERNAL ORGANIZATIONS (NALFO) – A governing body who oversees twenty-three (23) nationally recognized Latino-based fraternities and sororities.
  • NATIONAL PAN-HELLENIC COUNCIL (NPHC) – A governing body who oversees the nine (9) historically Black fraternities and sororities.
  • NEOPHYTE – A new member within a culturally-based organization; also referred to as “neos”; typically designated as such until another intake process occurs.
  • NORTH-AMERICAN INTERFRATERNITY CONFERENCE (NIC) - A group comprised from each of the 72 national men's fraternities whose purpose is to enrich the fraternity experience through advocacy, collaboration and education.
  • NATIONAL PANHELLENIC CONFERENCE (NPC) – A group composed of delegates from each of 26 national women’s fraternities who meet together periodically to discuss and rule on issues of common interest and concern.
  • PANHELLENIC ASSOCIATION (PA) - The governing council of all sororities on a campus, which are chapters of any of the 26 National Panhellenic organizations. The word Panhellenic means all-Greek.
  • PEARL – A founder of an NPHC organization.
  • PHILANTHROPY – an active effort, project or service to promote human welfare or the raising of funds to be donated for that purpose.
  • PINNING - designates the start of a new member process. The New Member wears a fraternity/sorority pin and at the moment of pinning, officially becomes a new member.
  • PLEDGE MOM/DAD (PM/PD) – Person who oversees the membership intake process.
  • PLEDGED NEW MEMBER – a member of a Greek organization who has not yet been initiated.
  • POTENTIAL MEMBER - a non-member, with a possible interest in affiliating with one organization who is eligible to participate in the fraternity or sorority recruitment events.
  • PROBATE – A show used to introduce new members of the organization.
  • PROPHYTE – A member who has experienced at least one intake process as a member of an organization.
  • QUOTA – the number of new members that Panhellenic sororities may accept during formal recruitment. This is determined by the College Panhellenic based on the number of potential members participating in a given recruitment period.
  • RECRUITMENT - A series of events offering members and potential members the opportunity to get to know each other.
  • RUSH/TEA – A formal meeting held by the organization for potential new members that details the application process and rules of the organization; generally geared to potential new members who have a serious interest.
  • SANDS – A word used to acknowledge other members that crossed over in other organizations or in the same organization, but a different chapter.
  • SHIP – Individuals who are members of the same intake class.
  • SISTER - an initiated member of a sorority.
  • SMOKER – A formal meeting held by the organization for potential new members that details the application process and rules of the organization; generally geared to potential new members who have a serious interest.
  • SNAP BIDDING – An option available to chapters not filling quota by bid matching during Formal Recruitment. This option extends only until matched bids are distributed.
  • SOROR – A term used to identify members of the same sorority; sometimes used to refer to any sorority woman of an NPHC organization.
  • SOVEREIGN RIGHTS – the basic rights of fraternities and sororities as private voluntary organizations, which cannot be precluded by other agents or entities. For example the right to be single gender organizations.
  • STEP – A series of complex, synchronous and precise rhythmic body movements performed to the tune of stomps, songs or chants created by organization members.
  • STROLLING – The traditional dance or “party walk” performed by culturally-based fraternities and/or sororities.
  • TAIL – The last person of the line.
  • TOTAL – the allowable chapter size as determined by the College Panhellenic (108 @ Cornell).
  • UNANIMOUS AGREEMENTS – statements binding on all members of NPC organizations that express the fair play essential to interfraternity activity and that set forth the expectations and the rights of women’s fraternities.