Fraternity and Sorority Life Terms

Alumna

Member of a sorority who has graduated. The plural version is "Alumnae."


 
Alumnus

Member of a fraternity who has graduated. The plural version is "Alumni."


 
Bid

An invitation to join a fraternity or a sorority.


 
Chapter
A term used to refer to undergraduate fraternity or sorority students in a particular organization. This term is also used nationally to distinguish one group of students on a particular campus from those on another campus. Many national groups give their chapters names such as a Greek letter, or a combination of letters, or a Greek letter and a state.


 
Crossing

A term used by NPHC groups to indicate that a new member has been fully initiated into the group.


 
Fraternity
A group of men bonded together by their ritual that contains the founding principles, ideals and aspirations of the group.
 
Interfraternity Council (IFC)
The governing body of the fraternities (the North-American Interfraternity Conference groups) at UT.
 
Intake

The term National Pan-Hellenic Council, Inc. (NPHC) and Multicultural Greek Council (MGC) groups use when they bring new members into their organization. Each chapter determines when they will conduct intake and each group is assisted in this process by its graduate chapter and/or national organization.
 
Line
Being "on line" is a term for when a student is joining an NPHC group. In 1990 all nine NPHC groups prohibited "pledging" and began a process called intake (see definition above).


 
Legacy
Someone whose mother, father, sister or brother are members of a particular group. Some consider an aunt or an uncle a legacy also.

 
Multicultural Greek Council (MGC)
The governing council for Latina/Latino and multicultural organizations, for both men and women.


 
National Panhellenic Conference (NPC)
The national group of 26 women's sororities in North America.

North-American Interfraternity Conference (NIC)
The national group of 73 men's fraternities in North America that works to promote fraternities and fraternity and sorority life.


 
National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC)
The national umbrella organization for historically African-American fraternities and sororities.

National Association for Latino Fraternal Organizations, Inc. (NALFO)
The national umbrella organization for Latino/Latina fraternities and sororities

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New Member

A term used to refer to a new member prior to initiation into a fraternity or a sorority. After the recruitment period, new members learn the history of their national and local chapters, learn the ideals and principles of the group and meet fellow new and initiated members.
 
Panhellenic Council
The governing body of Panhellenic sororities at UT.

Potential New Member (PNM)
A person who is interested in joining a fraternity or sorority, and might participate in intake or recruitment. This definition was formally termed rushees by sororities, although that term is still used by fraternities.
Probate Show/Come-out Show
A term used by NPHC and MGC groups to designate the time when its new members “come out” to the campus. Those joining a group are generally not known and thus it is a time when the new members are revealed. Typically stepping is demonstrated as well as testimonials from the new members. Parents and other students are generally in attendance.


 
Recruitment (no, it is not called “Rush”)
This is the time when fraternities and sororities recruit new members. IFC fraternities usually recruit the first three weeks of each semester. Panhellenic sororities usually recruit the first week of the fall semester. NPHC and MGC groups decide annually when they recruit, called "intake" (see definition above).
 
Recruitment Counselor/Pi Chi

An initiated member of a NPC sorority who guides potential new members through formal recruitment.

Ritual

The sacred and generally secret ceremonies practiced by every chapter of a Greek letter organization.

Sorority
A group of women bonded together by their ritual that contains the founding principles, ideals and aspirations of the group.


 
Yard

A term used by NPHC groups to indicate the campus. Use in phrases such as which groups are on the yard, meaning which groups are on the campus.