Greek Life Glossary

Active: an undergraduate man or woman who is a full-time student and participating in his/her fraternity or sorority.

Alumnus (man) / Alumna (woman): an initiated member that has graduated from college or who belongs to a graduate chapter.

Alumni (men) and Alumnae (women): more than one.

New Member: a member of a fraternity or sorority not yet initiated.

Bid: an invitation to membership in IFC / NPC / NPHC organizations.

Brother/Sister: a term used by an active or new member when referring to another active or new member.

Chapter: the local collegiate or graduate group of a national fraternity or sorority.

Charter: the official document recognizing a chapter’s status by the national organization.

Colony: status of a new chapter before installation.

Frat: NPHC term used to refer to one’s fraternity or a fraternity brother.

Greek: a term applied to members affiliated with Greek-letter social organizations.

Interfraternity Council (IFC): the governing body of Kappa Alpha, Kappa Sigma, Phi Mu Alpha, Pi Kappa Alpha, and Sigma Alpha Epsilon.

Initiation: a formal ceremony in which a new member becomes an initiated member.

Intake: the period of training before initiation when NPHC new members learn the history and traditions of the organization and bonds with his/her chapter.

Interest Meeting: meeting for prospective members to receive information about and meet members of a Greek organization.

Legacy: a prospective member whose parent, grandparent or sibling is an alumna/alumnus or an initiated member of a Greek organization.

Line: a group of new members in a specific NPHC chapter in a specific semester.

National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC): the governing body of Alpha Kappa Alpha, Delta Sigma Theta, Zeta Phi Beta, Alpha Phi Alpha, Kappa Alpha Psi, Omega Psi Phi and Phi Beta Sigma.

National Panhellenic Council (NPC): the governing body of Delta Delta Delta, Kappa Delta, and Phi Mu.

New Member: a new member in a specific chapter who has not been initiated.

Order of Omega: a national honor society that recognizes and promotes Greek leadership and scholarship.

Potential Member: a non-Greek man or woman participating in the IFC / NPC recruitment process.

Probate Show: an event where newly initiated members of an NPHC group perform step routines and reveal themselves to the public after their intake period.

Recruitment: designed for the membership selection and is a mutual selection process for potential members and chapters.

Recruitment Counselor: a member of an NPC sorority that has disaffiliated from her chapter during Recruitment Week to assist students interested in joining an NPC organization.

Soror: NPHC term referring to one’s sorority sister.

Stepping/Step Show: a tradition of NPHC organizations where entertaining synchronized movements and routines are performed.