Greek Glossary

Active – A member of a fraternity or sorority who plays an active role in the organization; also known as a member.

Alumna – A member of a sorority who has graduated from college.

Alumnus – A member of a fraternity who has graduated from college.

Associate Member – A student who has accepted a bid from a fraternity or sorority, and is in preparation for initiation. See also “Potential New Member."

Badge (pin) – The insignia that designates a given member’s Greek organization; usually worn with formal dress (Pin Attire).

Bid – A formal invitation to join the membership of a fraternity or sorority.

Big Brother/Sister – Members of a fraternity/sorority who have been active and help mentor new members.

Brother – An initiated member of a fraternity commonly used by fraternity members to refer to each other, or a “Brotherhood.”

Call – A vocal sound used by members of NPHC, MGC and other culturally-based Greek organizations to acknowledge other members.

Chapter – The local campus membership and organization of a larger national organization.

Chapter Advisor – A member who has graduated from a collegiate institution who serves in an advisory role to an undergraduate chapter.

Charter – A formal document acknowledging the establishment of an official chapter, usually issued from an organization’s national headquarters.

Colony – A group of students who are not yet established as a chapter, but who are working towards obtaining their charter to be recognized as an established chapter by the national organization.

Continuous Open Bidding (COB) – A process of informal recruitment that occurs after the Formal Panhellenic recruitment period has concluded.

Council – A governing/collective body of Greek fraternities and sororities usually comprised of chapter representatives. Councils often oversee programming, recruitment, and conduct of their respective chapters.

“Divine Nine” – A nickname for the nine historically African American Greek organizations on the National Pan-Hellenic Council.

Dues - The monetary obligation associated with membership in a fraternity or sorority. These fees are used for operation of the chapter and vary from chapter to chapter.

Founder (s) – The person/people who created the fraternity/sorority.

Founder(s) Day - A day recognized by fraternities and sororities meant to celebrate the founding of their organization.

Fraternity – A name traditionally used to describe a men’s Greek letter organization. Some Sororities have Fraternity in their formal name as the word Sorority was not used at the time of their founding.

Greeks – Members of fraternities or sororities who use Greek symbols or names.

Greek Week – A specific week set aside each year for Greek organizations to participate in community wide events, philanthropies, social activities, and competitions.

Hazing - There is an absolute zero tolerance policy at Texas Woman’s University. For more information about the hazing policies at TWU please visit the Center for Student Development website. If you feel that you have been a victim of hazing or witnessed a hazing feel free to contact us for more information.

House – A physical residence of a specific fraternity or sorority.

Inactive member – An initiated member of a fraternity or sorority that no longer participates in chapter activities.

Initiation – The final ceremony before a person becomes a full active member of a fraternity or sorority.

Interfraternity Council (IFC) – The Interfraternity Council oversees recruitment, conduct, and relations for its member chapters. TWU has one IFC fraternity: Kappa Sigma.

Legacy – The relative of a member in the same fraternity/sorority. Each fraternity/sorority has its own guidelines on who is considered a legacy.

Member – A student who has been initiated into a fraternity or sorority.

Membership Intake – A process of recruitment to choose potential new members traditionally used by culturally-based Greek organizations.

Mutual Selection Process - A system used by Panhellenic sororities to conduct recruitment where chapters and potential new members indicate their preferred choices for membership. This process narrows down choices over Panhellenic Recruitment Week until the individual is matched with one chapter.

National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) – The national collective group of nine historically African-American fraternities and sororities, commonly known as the “Divine Nine.” The NPHC was founded in 1930.

National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) – The governing body for 26 national and international sororities. The NPC was founded in 1902.

North American Interfraternity Conference (NIC) – A conference of men’s private fraternities founded in 1909 representing 73 International and National Men's Fraternities.

New Member Educator – The officer of a fraternity or sorority who prepares potential new members for initiation, and oversees their education in the chapter’s traditions, history, and ritual.

New Member Education Process – The educational period prior to initiation in which members learn about the given organization.

New Member Pin – a pin that designates a student as a potential new member of a specific Greek organization.

Order of Omega - A national honor society recognizing fraternity and sorority members who excel in academic achievement, Greek leadership and campus involvement.

Panhellenic Formal Recruitment - A specified period of time set aside by the Panhellenic Council in which Panhellenic Sororities may recruit potential new members. Formal Recruitment periods usually come with strict guidelines for handing out bids and interacting with potential new members.

Philanthropy – Chapter sponsored service project from which donations of money, goods, and other items are given to charitable organizations.

Potential New Member – A student who is interested in a fraternity or sorority but has not yet been initiated.

Quota – A specified number of potential new members a Panhellenic sorority may offer bids to during a formal recruitment period.

Recruitment - A period of time and process in which Greek organizations seek out potential new members to join their chapter.

Ritual - The traditions and secretive ceremonies of a specific fraternity or sorority.

Sister - An initiated member of a sorority.

Sorority - A Greek organization whose membership consists of women. Some sororities are identified as a fraternity in their official and traditional name, but are still known as sororities.

Step Show – A show performed by members of culturally-based Greek organizations, usually showing unity amongst members and pride in ones chapter.