Alumna: A graduated member of a Women's Sorority/fraternity: Plural Alumnae. Alumnae often support chapter activities through donations, assistance with advising, employment of undergraduates, etc.
Alumni Association: An organization of alumni from an individual fraternity or sorority. The association may be based on geographical location or chapter.
Alumnus: A graduated member of a Men's fraternity: Plural Alumni. Alumni often support chapter activities through donations, assistance with advising, employment of undergraduates, etc.
Badge/Pin (two types): The active pin is worn on the chest designating an initiated member of a certain fraternity. A new member or associate pin is simpler and is used to designate a new member or associate member of a particular fraternity.
Bid: An invitation to become a member of a fraternity or sorority.
Big Brother/Sister: An older member assigned to assist a new member or associate member.
Brother: An initiated member of a fraternity. It is used as a term of address when an initiated member refers to another member.
Call: The verbal greeting NPHC members within a certain fraternity/sorority give each other.
Chapter: The local campus group of an International fraternity or sorority.
Chapter Advisor: An alumna/alumnus who establishes and maintains a close advisory relationship with a chapter and serves as a teacher, counselor and friend.
Colony: A newly-organized group working toward becoming a chartered chapter of an international fraternity or sorority.
Continuous Open Bidding: Some NPC affiliated chapters continue to recruit and pledge women throughout the school year.
Crossing: A term used by NPHC groups to indicate that a new member has been fully initiated into the group.
Culturally Based Greek Letter Organization: A fraternity or sorority that has aspects of a specific culture incorporated into its ritual, purpose and ceremonies.
Depledge: The process of terminating one's fraternity membership (pledging) before initiation.
Faculty/Staff Advisor: A faculty/staff member who is the organization's representative to the university and who advises the organization on university matters.
Formal Recruitment: The major period of time set aside by the NPC and NIC Chapters for meeting potential new members.
Fraternity: A men's Greek organization. Some sororities are identified as a fraternity in their official name; others describe themselves as being a "woman's fraternity".
Greek Organization: A fraternity or sorority (social, honor, or professional). See Also Greeks.
Greeks: Members of a fraternity or sorority. The term Greek is used because a majority of fraternities and sororities use Greek letters to distinguish themselves.
Hand Sign: A hand gesture made to identify a particular organization.
Hazing: Any conduct which subjects another person, whether physically, mentally, emotionally, or psychologically, to anything that may endanger, abuse, degrade, or intimidate the person as a condition of association with a group or organization, regardless of the person's consent or lack of consent.
Inactive Member: A member who has no material participation in undergraduate chapter activities, such as social activities or voting at undergraduate chapter meetings.
Informal Recruitment: A continuous, open recruitment period with no specific, scheduled, system-wide activities of recruitment and pledging. Bids may be extended and accepted at any time - see also Continuous Open Bidding.
Informational: A forum for individuals interested in seeking more information about a particular NPHC fraternity or sorority.
Initiation: A formal ceremony in which an individual becomes a full member of a Greek organization.
(Inter)National Headquarters: The central organization of a particular fraternity or sorority.
Legacy: A son/daughter, brother/sister, grandson/granddaughter or nephew/niece of a fraternity/sorority member.
Line: Individuals going through the membership intake process for each NPHC organization.
Member: See Active.
Membership Intake: A term given to National Pan - Hellenic Council (NPHC) fraternities' and sororities' membership process.
National Pan-Hellenic Conference (NPC): The governing body for 26 national and international women's fraternities/sororities. (See also www.npcwomen.org)
National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC): The governing body for nine fraternities and sororities, the “Divine Nine.” (See also www.nphchq.org)
New Member: A person who has accepted a bid to join a fraternity or sorority chapter but has not yet been initiated. Also see Associate Member.
North-American Interfraternity Conference (NIC): The governing body for 66 national and international men's fraternities. (See also www.nicindy.org)
Philanthropy: Community service events done by fraternities and sororities to raise money for local and national charities. Each organization has their own philanthropy to which they donate time, money, and energy.
Potential New Member (PNM): A person who is going through recruitment to join a Greek organization.
Probate Show: A term used by NPHC groups to designate the time when new members of such groups present themselves to the campus. Those joining an NPHC group are generally not known and thus it is a time when the new members are revealed. Typically, stepping is demonstrated as well as testimonials from the new members.
Neophyte: A new member of an NPHC fraternity or sorority.
New Member Program: A time before initiation during which new members learn about their fraternity, its new members, activities, and responsibilities.
Recruitment Chair: The person from each fraternity or sorority who is in charge of each chapter's rush functions.
Recruitment: A process (and period of time) of membership recruitment by Greek organizations. Recruitment is primarily a process for exchanging information: Fraternity and sorority members give information about their respective organizations to potential new members (PNMs). The PNMs give information about themselves and inquire about the missions, philosophies, financial obligations, Alumni opportunities and membership commitment of the organization. It is an active process on both sides to ensure that new members are properly matched with a Greek Letter Organization (GLO). Every fraternity is not for every potential new member and vice versa.
Ritual: The traditional beliefs and oaths of a sorority or fraternity usually used in reference to the Ceremonies of Initiation as well as weekly chapter meetings. These traditions do not include any forms of hazing, because hazing weakens the bonds of brotherhood / sisterhood, and undermines the common experience of the fraternity or sorority. Ritual does however, ensure that all members share a common experience across multiple campuses and generations.
Sister: An initiated member of a sorority/women's fraternity. It is used as a form of address when one initiated member is refers to another member.
Sorority: A group of women joined together in friendship for leadership and academic purposes.
Stepping: A traditional performance involving dance, marching, calls, and symbolism of the traditional culture of an organization.
Strolling: Traditional dances or "party walks" at NPHC fraternity or sorority social events.
Yard: A term used by NPHC groups to indicate the campus. Used in phrases such as "which groups are on the yard," meaning which groups are presently active at SHC.