Greeks often use specific terminology related to their activities and membership. Here are some terms frequently used in Greek life.
Active: A fully initiated member of a sorority or fraternity.
Alumnae: A graduated member of a sorority (singular is alumna).
Alumni: A graduated member of a fraternity (singular is alumnus).
Badge: Also known as a pin, a piece of jewelry given to initiation members worn to identify their membership in the organization. Typically worn to official events, it is only worn while in business like attire, and usually worn over the heart and above all other pins.
Bid: A formal invitation to join a Greek organization.
Brother: An active member of a fraternity.
Chapter: A local group of a national organization.
Continuous Open Bidding (COB): A time after formal NPC sorority recruitment when bids may still be extended and accepted. Not all NPC Chapters participate in COB.
Fraternity: A Greek organization for men. Many of the older women's organizations are officially known as fraternities rather than sororities. Also refers to co-ed Greek organizations.
Greek: A sorority or fraternity member.
Inter-fraternity Council (IFC): The governing body of fraternities. Initiation: Ceremony during which new members of NPC and IFC organizations become active, life-long members of their organization.
Legacy: A person whose parent, grandparent, or sibling was/is an active member of a sorority or fraternity.
North-American Interfraternity Conference (NIC): International organization that governs 66 inter/national fraternities, 4 of which have chapters on Shepherd’s campus. These groups are members of the Inter-fraternity Council.
National Panhellenic Conference (NPC): An umbrella organization for 26 inter/national women's fraternities and sororities, 3 of which have chapters on Shepherd’s campus. These groups are members of the Panhellenic Council.
New Member: A person who has accepted a bid to an NPC or IFC organization but has not been initiated yet.
Panhellenic Council: A group of sorority women who govern, as a unit, the Panhellenic chapters on a campus.
Potential New Member: A student who is not yet part of a Greek organization but is interested in Greek life.
Quota: A specific number of women that each NPC sorority may extend membership to. Determined by the Panhellenic Council.
Recruitment: Formal process where interested women can learn more about NPC organizations and be asked to join.
Ritual: Private ceremony of a Greek organization. These are the formal documents that contain the secret principles and ideals upon which the organization was founded. Only initiated members are privy to the ritual; learning the ritual is usually a part of the initiation ceremony. Ritual is sacred and unique to each inter/national organization and is the common bond between all members of a sorority or fraternity, regardless of when or where they were initiated.
Recruitment Counselor: An NPC sorority woman who has disaffiliated herself from her chapter in order to guide potential members through Formal Sorority Recruitment and provide unbiased assistance.
Sister: An active member of a sorority.
Sorority: A Greek letter organization for women. Many sororities are officially fraternities; however, most refer to themselves as sororities.