Greek Glossary  


Greeks seem to have their own language...how can you fit in?!
Here are some terms to familiarize you with the vernacular!
 
Active:
A member who has been initiated into lifelong fraternity or sorority membership and is active at the collegiate level.
 
Alumni/ae:
Initiated fraternity or sorority members who have graduated from college.
 
Bid:
A formal invitation to join a particular sorority or fraternity
 
Big Brother or Big Sister:
An active member who serves as a mentor to a New Member during their New Member Program.
 
Call:
A vocal sound (sometimes high-pitched) used by members of NPHC and cultural-based Greek organizations to acknowledge one another.
 
Chapter:
The local group of a larger national organization, and designated by a special name, or Greek letters.
 
Probate Show:
The introduction of a line to campus. This is usually the first full step show/exhibition performed by members of the new member class of a NPHC or cultural-based Greek organization.
 
Continuous Open Bidding (COB):
An informal recruitment process that takes place after the conclusion of Formal Recruitment.
 
Crossed:
The actual date of initiation into a NPHC or cultural-based sorority or fraternity.
 
Divine Nine:
Term used to describe the nine NPHC affiliate organizations.
 
Formal Panhellenic Recruitment:
A series of events given by each sorority that are designed to introduce sorority life to potential new members. Formal Panhellenic Recruitment is scheduled by the Panhellenic Council.
 
Grip:
Secret handshake exchanged by members
 
Interfraternity Council (IFC):
The governing body for 7 of the fraternities at the University of North Alabama.
 
Initiation:
The formal ceremony that marks the beginning of active membership. Each chapter has a different set of requirements in order to be initiated.
 
International/National Headquarters:
The central organization of a particular fraternity or sorority.
 
Intramurals:
Athletic programs administered by Recreational Sports in which members from different chapters form teams and compete in sporting matches.
 
Legacy:
A prospective member whose grandparent, parent, or sibling is an alumnus of, or active in, a particular fraternity or sorority. The exact definition varies from one chapter to another. Each chapter or inter/national organization has its own policy regarding legacies. Please note that most organizations are not obligated to pledge or extend bids to legacies.
 
Line:
Term used to describe the members of a new member class in NPHC and cultural-based Greek organizations
 
Membership Intake:
The process that NPHC and cultural-based Greek chapters utilize to recruit, interview, select, and initiate new members. The period of membership intake varies from chapter to chapter.
 
National Panhellenic Conference (NPC):
The National Panhellenic Conference is the umbrella organization for 26 national and international women’s fraternities and sororities. Four NPC chapters are present on UNA’s campus.
 
National Pan-Hellenic Council, Inc. (NPHC):
Umbrella organization for 9 Historically-Black sororities and fraternities (5 fraternities, 4 sororities). Five of these organizations are present on UNA’s campus.
 
Neophyte:
A member of the last line to cross in the local chapter of a NPHC or cultural-based organization.
 
New Member:
A member of a fraternity or sorority who has not been initiated.
 
New Member Educator/Membership Intake Coordinator:
The individual who is the liaison between the new members and the Chapter. This individual is responsible for implementing and monitoring the new member program and preparing the new members for initiation.
 
New Member Program:
A period of education when new members learn the history, ideals, and values of fraternity and sorority life. The time frame of the New Member program varies for each chapter.
 
Philanthropy/Benefit:
A charitable fundraiser sponsored by a sorority or fraternity.
 
Pledge:
See New Member
 
Potential New Member (PNM):
A college woman who is participating in Formal Panhellenic recruitment in the Fall.
 
Prophyte:
A seasoned member of a NPHC or cultural-based Greek organization. A neophyte becomes a prophyte after another line is initiated.
 
Recommendation (Rec Letter):
A personal letter of reference provided by an alumnus of national sorority or fraternity to the local chapter at UNA. Letters of recommendation are not necessary for all chapters, and do NOT guarantee a bid from a sorority or fraternity.
 
Recruitment Chair:
An active member of a sorority or fraternity who is in charge of all recruitment efforts for the chapter.
 
Stroll or party hop:
A traditional dance done by members of NPHC or cultural-based Greek organizations on an informal basis. All organizations have specific strolls/hops that are part of their organizations’ heritage. These strolls/hops are reserved for members only.