Glossary of Terms


An undergraduate fraternity or sorority member who has been initiated by their chapter.


A fraternity or sorority member who has graduated from college.


A non-initiated member in a fraternity or sorority that employs the associate member program.


A formal invitation to join a fraternity or sorority.

Big Brother/Big Sister

An active member of a fraternity or sorority who mentors a new member, guiding them through their new member program and initiation.


A term used by fraternity members when referring to each other.


The name applied to the local organization of a national fraternity or sorority.

Chapter Advisor

An alumnus/alumna of a fraternity or sorority who establishes and maintains a close advisory relationship with a chapter and assists members and officers in all areas of chapter operations.


The document issued from a national organization to a chapter that indicates that the group is a full-fledged member of the national or international organization.


A group of students seeking a charter from a national or international fraternity or sorority.


When a member temporarily removes his or her association from his or her chapter, usually during formal recruitment time.


A Greek organization for men.


A member of a fraternity or sorority.


Any action taken or any situation intentionally created, whether on- or off-campus, to produce mental or physical discomfort, embarrassment, harassment or ridicule.


The central office of an international or national fraternity or sorority.


The formal ceremony that brings a new member into full membership.

Interfraternity Council (IFC)

The governing body of fraternities.


The process of NPHC (National Pan-Hellenic Council) chapters engage in to recruit, interview and choose new members.


A person who is the son or daughter, brother or sister, or grandson or granddaughter of a member of a Greek organization.

North American Interfraternity Conference (NIC)

A governing body for 66 men's fraternities.

National Panhellenic Conference (NPC)

The umbrella organization of 26 inter/national women's fraternities and sororities.

National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC)

Also known as "The Divine Nine," the NPHC is a national association of African American Greek-letter organizations, composed of four sororities and five fraternities. NPHC councils are organized at the campus, city and regional levels.

New Member

A person who has accepted a bid, but is not yet an initiated, or full, member.

New Member Education

The period of time during which a candidate or new member is educated about the chapter and learns about becoming a full member.

Pan-Hellenic Council (PHC)

The governing body of sororities.

Potential New Member

Any person interested in becoming a member of the Greek community who is eligible to join according to IFC's or PHC's rules.


The fraternity or sorority member's pin/badge of membership.


A written recommendation for a potential new member from an alumna of a sorority.


The traditional ceremonies of each chapter.


The activity by which chapters seek new members.


A term used by sorority members when referring to each other.


A Greek organization for women.