Greek Terms

ACTIVE - an initiated member of a Greek organization who is currently still enrolled as an undergraduate

ALUMNA - a sorority member who is no longer a student- The plural is Alumnae.

ALUMNUS ("Alum") - a fraternity member who is no longer a student- The plural is Alumni.

BID - an invitation to join a fraternity or sorority

BID MATCHING - a system for matching the choice of the potential member with the choice of the chapter

BROTHER - an initiated member of a fraternity

CALLS – a unique vocal expression attributed by an NPHC organization.

CHAPTER - the campus group of a national organization- Within each organization, chapters are usually referenced via a Greek-letter order. For example, the founding chapter would be the "Alpha Chapter," and the second chapter is usually the "Beta Chapter."

CHAPTER ADVISOR - an alumnus/alumna who establishes and maintains a close advisory relationship with a chapter and serves as a teacher, counselor and friend

COB - (Continuous Open Bidding) a continuous, open recruitment period with no specific, scheduled, system-wide activities Bids may be extended and accepted at any time

COLONY - an approved student organization working toward recognition as a chartered chapter of a Greek-letter organization

DEPLEDGE/DEACTIVATE - the termination of a new member's or initiated member's relationship with a Greek-letter organization

DIVINE NINE: Term used to describe the nine NPHC affiliate organizations. 

DRY RECRUITMENT - Alcohol is forbidden from all events associated with introducing the fraternity/sorority to new members.

FORMAL RECRUITMENT - the primary selection period of the year for first year students- Specific scheduled events for entertaining and selecting new members is known as "Recruitment Week".

FRATERNITY - the name informally applied to a Greek-letter men's organization

GREENBOOK - (Manual of Information) the informal name for the handbook containing procedural, instructional and practical information about NPC, college and alumnae Panhellenics- The handbook has green covers.

GREEK / GREEKS - a term applied to students affiliated with Greek-letter social fraternities and sororities

HAZING -Hazing is defined as any mental or physical requirement, request, or obligation placed upon any person which could cause discomfort, pain, fright, disgrace, injury, or which is personally degrading, or which violates any federal, state, local statute or Collegiate policy, the willingness of an individual to participate in such activity notwithstanding. Examples include, but are not limited to, test of endurance, any brutality of a physical nature, such as whipping, beating, branding, forced or encouraged calisthenics, exposure to the elements, forced or encouraged consumption of any food, alcohol, drugs, or other substances, exposure of members or prospective members to potentially dangerous or hazardous circumstances, activities that have a foreseeable potential for resulting in personal injury, such as drop-offs, or any activity which by nature is so profound that it would have a potential to cause severe mental anxiety or distress, such as sleep deprivation, forced or encouraged exclusion from social contact, forced or encouraged conduct which could result in extreme embarrassment, panic, degradation, or any other forced or encouraged activity which could adversely affect the mental health or dignity of the any person.

INACTIVE MEMBER - An individual is still a member of the organization, but is denoted as "inactive" to designate that they no longer participate in the day-to-day activities of the fraternity or sorority. This status usually has a time limit of 1 academic year or less.

INFORMAL MEETING- An informational is a program usually hosted by NPHC organizations that strictly gives information to interested students.

INITIATION - a formal ceremony by which new members become initiated members

INTAKE - Term for the process by which NPHC members are selected to become new members of an organization.

NTEREST MEETING- A meeting usually hosted by NPHC chapters for prospective members to receive information about the intake process.

INTERFRATERNITY COUNCIL (IFC) - the governing council made up of all fraternities on a campus

LEGACY - the child, sibling or grandchild (or in some cases other relative) of an initiated fraternity or sorority member

LOCAL FRATERNITY - "Local" - a Greek-letter group which exists on a campus but has no affiliation with a national Greek organization

MULTI-CULTURAL GREEK COUNCIL - the council made up of sororities that focuses on multi-cultural issues

NATIONAL PAN-HELLENIC COUNCIL (NPHC) - the governing council made up of historically African-American Chapters.

NEOPHYTE (Neo) - Term used by NPHC when referring to new members.

NEW MEMBER - a member of a greek organization who has not yet been initiated

NEW MEMBER PRESENTATION  - An event referred to by the NPHC where new members are presented to the community. Also referred as: Coming Out Show/Probate/Roll Out.

NPC - National Panhellenic Conference is a group composed of delegates from each of 26 national women's fraternities who meet together periodically to discuss and rule on issues of common interest and concern.

ON THE YARD – An NPHC phrase meaning that a chapter is currently chartered on campus.

PANHELLENIC - the governing council of all sororities on a campus which are chapters of any of the 26 National Panhellenic organizations- The word Panhellenic means all-greek.

PHILANTHROPY - an active effort, project or service to promote human welfare or the raising of funds to be donated for that purpose

PINNING - designates the start of a new member process- The New Member wears a fraternity/sorority pin and at the moment of pinning, officially becomes a new member.

POTENTIAL MEMBER - a non-member, with a possible interest in affiliating with one organization, who is eligible to participate in the fraternity or sorority recruitment events

PROPHYTE - An older member of an NPHC organization.

QUOTA - the number of new members that Panhellenic sororities may accept during formal recruitment- This is determined by the College Panhellenic based on the number of potential members participating in a given recruitment period.

RECRUITMENT - a series of events offering members and potential members the opportunity to get to know each other

ROTATION - a recommended method for College Panhellenic officer selection which is based on the date of installation of collegiate chapters on that campus

SIGNS – a display of organization pride expressed by hand symbols

SISTER - an initiated member of a sorority

SNAP BIDDING - an option available to chapters not filling quota by bid matching during Formal Recruitment- This option extends only until matched bids are distributed.

SOROR - NPHC term referring to one’s sorority sister.

SOVEREIGN RIGHTS - the basic rights of fraternities and sororities as private voluntary organizations which cannot be precluded by other agents or entities, for example, the right to be single gender organizations

STEPPING/STEP SHOW - a tradition of NPHC organizations where entertaining synchronized movements and routines are performed.

STROLLING – NPHC organizational members move together in a line expressing pride for their organization. In this line, members may express their pride through use of their organization’s call, sign or historical information, ritual/custom dances, etc. All of this is done through movements that are unique to a particular organization.

TOTAL - the allowable chapter size as determined by the College Panhellenic

UNANIMOUS AGREEMENTS - statements binding on all members of NPC organizations that express the fair play essential to interfraternity activity and that set forth the expectations and the rights of women's