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.
 
Charter:
The official document recognizing a chapter's status by the national organization.
 
Colony:
The status of a new chapter before installation.
 
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 Alpha Tau Omega, Delta Chi, Kappa Sigma,Phi Gamma Delta (FIJI), Pi Kappa Alpha, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, and Sigma Chi 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.
 
Interest Meeting:
Meeting for prospective members to recieve information about and meeting members of a Greek organization. ( this also happens during formal recruitment and welcome week events)
 
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. At UNA, these chapters are Alpha Delta Pi, Alpha Gamma Delta, Phi Mu, and Zeta Tau Alpha.
 
National Pan-Hellenic Council, Inc. (NPHC):
Umbrella organization for 9 Historically-Black sororities and fraternities (5 fraternities, 4 sororities). At UNA, these organizations are Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Phi Sigma Beta Fraternity, and Zeta Phi Beta Sorority. 
 
Order of Omega:
A national honor society that recognizes and promotes Greek leadership and scholarship.
 
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.
 
Probate Show:
An event where newly initiated members of an NPHC organization perform step routines and reveal themselves to the public after their intake period. 
 
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: Events designed for the membership selection and is a mutual selection process for potiential members and chapters. 
 
Recruitment Chair:
An active member of a sorority or fraternity who is in charge of all recruitment efforts for the chapter.
 
Recruitment Counselor:
A member of NPC sorority that has disaffiliated from her chapter, to remain unbiased, during Recruitment Week for the purpose of assisting potential new member females in joining an NPC organization.
 
Stroll/Stepping/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.