Terminology

Active: a formal initiated member of a fraternity or sorority
 
Alumnae: a sorority member who has graduated from college
 
Alumnus: a fraternity member who has graduated from college
 
Badge (pin): the insignia that designates your Greek organization
 
Bid: a formal invitation to join a Greek organization
 
Big Brother/Big Sister: An active member assigned to be the personal mentor for a new member.
 
Brother: a term used when referring to other members of a Fraternity
 
Call/Chant: A vocal sound (sometimes high-pitched) used by members of cultural based Greek organizations to acknowledge one another
 
Chapter: name for the local organization of a national fraternity/sorority
 
Chapter Advisor: An alumnus/alumnae or faculty/staff member who serves in an advisory role to provide guidance to the organization.
 
Colony: A newly formed affiliate of a national organization that has not yet received its charter. The members of a colony are referred to as "founders."
 
Crossed: The actual date of initiation into a cultural Greek organization. The term is used to represent the symbolic “crossing of the burning sands”
 
Fraternity: a Greek organization for men
 
Greek: a member of a fraternity or sorority
 
Hazing: Mental or physical abuse or harassment of a member. Hazing is prohibited by university policy, State law, and the policies of national fraternities and sororities.
 
Intake: The membership recruitment and induction process for the National Pan-Hellenic Council (historically African-American fraternities and sororities)
 
Initiation: the traditional ritual, which brings the new member into full membership
 
Legacy: a prospective member who has a family member in the same fraternity or sorority
 
Line: The members of a cultural Greek organization new member class.
 
Neophyte: A new member of a cultural Greek organization.
 
New Member/Associate: a member who has not been initiated (Some organizations use other terms such as PLEDGE, ASSOCIATE, CANDIDATE, OR LINE BROTHER/SISTER) - One who has been accepted as a probationary member of a sorority or fraternity but has not yet been initiated. Collectively, the New Members who join the same semester are called the NEW MEMBER CLASS OR PLEDGE CLASS.
 
New Member Education Process: The time period in which candidates for active membership (or new members) learn about the organization and participate in brotherhood/sisterhood activities.
 
New Member Pin: a pin that designates a new member of a Greek organization
 
New Member Recruitment: the continual process of recruiting members for a Greek organization (usually IFC and CPC)
 
Philanthropy: the chapter's specific charitable organization(s) that they donate money and volunteer hours
 
Recruitment (sometimes called RUSH): The membership recruitment process. Potential New Members are sometimes referred to as RUSHEES.
 
Recruitment Counselor/Gamma Chi: a disaffiliated member of an organization who assists potential members through the recruitment process (only in sororities).
 
Ritual: the traditional ceremonies of a chapter, which are usually secret
 
Potential New Member (PNM): a term for men or women being recruited by a Greek organization; anyone not affiliated with a Greek organization is a PNM
 
Sister: a term used when referring to other members of a sorority
 
Sorority: a Greek organization for women
 
Strict Silence: not discussing recruitment with non-sorority members outside of the recruitment events
 
Stroll/Step Show: A line dance done by members of cultural Greek organizations (usually at a party or step show)

Fraternity & Sorority Life