Glossary

Here are some commonly used terms you will hear used by members of our community:
Greek Alphabet

Active: Term used to refer to an undergraduate member of a fraternity or sorority. An active has pledged and been initiated and is not studying abroad.

Alumnae or Alumni: An initiated member who is no longer in college.

Bid: A formal invitation to a prospective member to join a fraternity/sorority

Bid Day: The last day of recruitment when prospective members decide which chapter to join and sign their bids.

Big Sister or Brother: After several weeks, a new member will be assigned an initiated member to be his/her big brother or sister. This older member serves as a resource, role model, and problem solver for the new member.

Chapter: A local chartered group of a national fraternity/sorority

Hermana: Spanish for "sister". Sigma Iota Alpha members use this term to refer to one another. it is also present in their full name Hermandad de Sigma Iota Alpha Incorporada or Sisterhood of Sigma Iota Alpha Incoporated. 

Informational: A meeting to provide memebrship information to perspective members. Also referred to as an Interest meeting, or a Rush. Replaced "Smokers" that fraternities held or "Teas" that sororities held for potential members prior to pledging (up until 1990) though some still use those terms. 

Formal Recruitment: The major period of time set aside by the ISC and CFA with a series of organized events for meeting potential new members, also known as rush.

Fraternity: Formally, the name applied to all Greek letter organizations. Informally, the name applied to men's groups.

Initiation: A ceremony in which a pledged member becomes an active member

Interfraternity Council: The governing body of the campus fraternities.

Legacy: A person whose direct relative (parent, sibling, grandparents) is an alumna or active member of a fraternity/sorority. Legacy stipulations differ for each sorority and fraternity

Membership Intake: Process by which interested persons become members of most Culturally based fraternal organizations. Generally characterized by an Informational Meeting, an  application proccess, and interview or series of interviews, and an intensive educational process. Membership Intake formally replaced pledging  for NPHC groups in February 1990. The educational phase may be referred to as intake. 

Multicultural Greek Council (MGC): The governing body for culturally based organizations that are national members of NAFLO, NAPA and NMGC.

North-American Interfraternity Conference (NIC): A national organization composed of 63 member men's fraternities, each of which is autonomous as a social Greek - letter society of college men and alumni.

National Asian Pacific Islander American Panhellenic Association (NAPA): The umbrella organization for Asian Pacific Islander American fraternites and sororities. It was established in 2004 and has 18 organizations. Delta Phi Omega is a member of NAPA.

National Assosciation of Latino Fraternal Organizations (NALFO): The umbrella organization for Latino fraternities and sororities. It was established in 1998 and has 16 organizations. Sigma Iota Alpha is a member of this organization. 

National Multicultural Greek Council (NMGC): The unbrella orgnaization for multicultural and sororities. It was established in 1998 and has 11 organizations.

National Panhellenic Conference (NPC): A national organization composed of 26 member women's fraternities, each of whom is autonomous as a social Greek - letter society of college women and alumnae.

National Pan - Hellenic Council (NPHC): The governing body of the nine historically African-American fraternities and sororities.

Panhellenic Council: The governing body of the campus sororities and women's fraternities.

Pledge/New Member: A man/woman who has accepted a bid of a fraternity/sorority but is not yet initiated

Quota: The specified number of potential new members each sorority chapter can pledge.

Recruitment Counselors: Panhellenic Sorority women carefully selected and trained to guide potential new members and answer any questions with regard to sorority recruitment

Sorority: A Greek-letter sisterhood, also called a women's fraternity