Terminology

Active

An initiated, participating undergraduate member of a Greek letter social organization.

Alumna (female)/Alumnus (male)

A member who is no longer attending college.

Bid

An invitation of membership extended at the end of a Recruitment period.

Bid Card

A card signed by the potential new sorority member after her last preference party upon which she states the sororities she would like to join in order of her preference. If a woman receives a bid from a sorority on her bid card and does not accept it, she may not join another sorority for one full year.

Brother

A term used by a member of a fraternity to refer to another member of the same fraternity.

Chapter

The members who compose the local collegiate membership of a national Greek letter fraternity or sorority.

Formal Recruitment

A series of parties hosted by every sorority during a scheduled time period and governed by the University and Inter-Sorority Council.

Fraternity

A term derived from the Greek word frater, meaning brother. Before 1890, the term fraternity applied to both male and female Greek letter organizations. Today, the word typically applies to a male Greek letter organization.

Hazing

Pressuring a potential new member or a new member to do anything against her/his will. Hazing is STRICTLY PROHIBITED and IS NOT tolerated at the University.

Initiation

A ceremony where new members receive full membership into a fraternity or sorority. This ceremony occurs during the same semester in which the new member accepts his/her bid. Once a new member is initiated he/she becomes a member for life and cannot become a member of any other Greek letter social fraternity or sorority.

Legacy

A man whose father, brother or grandfather is a member of a particular fraternity or a woman whose mother, sister or grandmother is part of a particular sorority.

Membership Intake Process (MIP)

The membership recruitment and induction process for the National Pan-Hellenic Council (historically African-American fraternities and sororities). MIP officially replaced pledging for NPHC groups in 1990.

Neophyte (NEO)

New member of an NPHC organization.

New Member

A man or woman who has accepted a bid from a fraternity or sorority and has taken the first step toward full membership, but has not yet been initiated.

Philanthropy

A fund-raiser or service project sponsored by a fraternity or sorority. The proceeds are then donated to the charity of its choice.

Prophyte

Older member of an NPHC organization, who has initiated new members into their chapter.

Rush

The name used by fraternities for the recruitment process.

Silent Bidding

A time of silence between potential new sorority members after the last preferential party until all bid cards are signed.

Sister

A term used by a member of a sorority to refer to another member of the same sorority.

Soror

A term used by NPHC sorority members when referring to one another within their organization.

Sorority

A term given to female letter organizations. It is derived from the Latin word soror, meaning sister.

Stroll

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