Terminology

Active

A formal initiated member of a fraternity or sorority

Alumnae

A sorority member who has graduated from college

Alumnus

A fraternity member who has graduated from college

Badge (Pin)

The insignia that designates your fraternity or sorority

 

Bid

A formal invitation to join a fraternity or sorority

 
 

Big Brother/Big Sister

An active member assigned to be the personal mentor for a new member.

 
 
 

Brother

A term used when referring to other members of a fraternity

 
 
 
 

Call/Chant

A vocal sound (sometimes high-pitched) used by members of cultural based fraternities and sororities to acknowledge one another

 
 
 
 
 

Chapter

Name for the local organization of a national fraternity/sorority

Chapter Adviser

An alumnus/alumnae or faculty/staff member who serves in an advisory role to provide guidance to the organization

Colony

A newly formed affiliate of a national organization that has not yet received its charter. The members of a colony are referred to as "founders."

Crossed

The actual date of initiation into a cultural fraternity or sorority. The term is used to represent the symbolic “crossing of the burning sands”

 

Fraternity

A group of men sharing a common interests

 
 

Greek

A member of a fraternity or sorority

 
 

Hazing

Mental or physical abuse or harassment of a member. Hazing is prohibited by university policy, state law, and the policies of inter/national fraternities and sororities

 
 
 

Intake

The membership recruitment and induction process for culturally based fraternities and sororities

 
 
 
 

Initiation

The traditional ritual, which brings the new member into full membership

 
 
 
 
 

Legacy

A prospective member who has a family member in the same fraternity or sorority

Line

The members of a cultural fraternity or sorority new member class

Neophyte

A new member of a cultural fraternity or sorority

New Member/Associate

A member who has not been initiated (Some organizations use other terms such as PLEDGE, ASSOCIATE, CANDIDATE, OR LINE BROTHER/SISTER) - One who has been accepted as a probationary member of a sorority or fraternity but has not yet been initiated. Collectively, the New Members who join the same semester are called the NEW MEMBER CLASS OR PLEDGE CLASS.

 

New Member Education Process

The time period in which candidates for active membership (or new members) learn about the organization and participate in brotherhood/sisterhood activities

 

New Member Pin

A pin that designates a new member of a fraternity or sorority

 
 

Philanthropy

The chapter's specific charitable organization(s) that they donate money and volunteer hours

Recruitment (sometimes called RUSH)

The action of finding new people to join an organization

Recruitment Counselor (Gamma Chi)

A disaffiliated member of an organization who assists potential members through the recruitment process (only in CPC sororities)

Ritual

The traditional ceremonies of a chapter, which are usually secret

Potential New Member (PNM)

A term for men or women being recruited by a fraternity or sorority; anyone not affiliated with a fraternity or sorority is a PNM

Sister

A term used when referring to other members of a sorority

Sorority

A society for female students in a university or college, typically for social purposes

 

Strict Silence

Not discussing recruitment with non-sorority members outside of the recruitment events

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Stroll/Step Show

A line dance done by members of cultural fraternities or sororities (usually at a party or step show)