Greek Terms

Active: An initiated member

Alumna (plural) or Alumnae (singular): A female member who is affiliated with a collegiate chapter of a national sorority

Alumni (plural) or Alumnus (singular): A male member who has graduated and is still affiliated with a chapter of a fraternity

Associate Member: A non-initiated member in a fraternity or sorority, which employs the associate-member program, working to become an active member. Sometimes referred to as a pledge.

Invitation/Bid: An invitation to membership

Badge: An active badge is worn on the chest designating the lifelong membership or particular fraternity/sorority. Many active badges are available with precious metals and stones.

Brother: A term used within a men’s fraternity when referring to other member’s.

Call/Chant: A vocal sound (sometimes high-pitched) used by members of cultural based Greek organizations to acknowledge one another

COB: Continuous open bidding; the opportunity for a chapter to invite women to membership if the chapter did not fill its quota in a structured recruitment or has not reached total. Chapters may continuously open recruit any time during the school year except during formal recruitment.

Chapter: A chartered undergraduate or alumnae unit of a national fraternity or sorority.

Colony: Status of a new chapter prior to installation.

Community Service: An active effort to promote human welfare.

Crossed: Being initiated. Generally means crossing over from being a pledge to being a full member. Most groups record the time to the second for each member.

Greek: A term applied to members affiliated with Greek-Letter organizations.

Fraternity: An individual men’s Greek organization, especially a general college fraternity and the term applied to all Greek organizations. Some sororities are identified as a fraternity in their official name; other describe themselves as being a “women’s fraternity”.

House: A chapter’s physical facility which serves as its home or the name referring to general fraternities and sororities.

Initiation: The ceremony in which a pledged new member becomes an active member.

Intake: Process by which culturally-based groups recruit and pledge new members.

Interfraternity: A Greek word meaning “All-Greek”. The central governing body found on campuses with men’s fraternities.

Legacy: The daughter/son or sister/brother (in some groups, step-daughter/son, step-sister/brother, granddaughter/son) of a member.

Line: The members of a cultural fraternity or sorority's new member class.

MGC: The Multicultural Greek Council (MGC) is the council that governs the University of Denver’s multicultural Greek organizations.

NALFO: National Association of Latino Fraternal Organizations: National organization uniting Latino sororities and fraternities.

NIC: North-American Interfraternity Conference. A conference composed of delegates from men’s social fraternities.

NPC: National Panhellenic Conference. A conference body composed of delegates from 26 women’s social fraternities.

NPHC: National Pan-Hellenic Council: National organization uniting African –American fraternities and sororities.

Panhellenic: A Greek word meaning “All-Greek”. The central governing body found on campuses that have nationally recognized NPC women’s social fraternities.

Philanthropy: Active effort to raise money for a cause.

Pin: A pledge/new member pin is worn on the chest designating an associate membership of a particular fraternity/sorority.

Potential New Member: A non-affiliated undergraduate student going through the recruitment process.

Recommendation: A written letter or statement recommending a potential new member for status.

Rho Gamma: Recruitment Guide

Recruitment: An organized activity to meet potential new members

Recruitment Guide: A neutral active member representative who temporarily leaves their affiliation to guide and support potential members through recruitment

Ritual: The activity by which a fraternity brings into membership their new members who have met initiation requirements; the traditionally secret ceremonies of a fraternity/sorority.

Sister: A term used within a women’s fraternity when referring to other member’s.

Sorority: An individual women’s Greek organization. This is the term commonly used to distinguish between men’s (fraternities) and women’s (sororities) organizations. As noted previously, some sororities are identified as fraternity in their official name.

Stroll: A line dance done by members of cultural Greek organizations (usually at a party or step show)

Total: The allowable chapter size, including both new and initiated members, as determined by college Panhellenic.

Quota: The number of new members determined by a local college Panhellenic, which any Greek chapter may pledge during a specified time.