Greek Terminology

Active
A member who has been initiated into lifelong fraternity or sorority member­ship and is active at the collegiate level.
Alumni/Alumnae
Initiated fraternity or sorority members who have graduated from college.
Badge
The pin of an initiated member.
Bid
A formal invitation to join a particular fraternity or sorority.
Big Brother or Sister
An active mem­ber of a fraternity or sorority who serves as a sponsor, advisor and special friend to a new member, guiding him/her through the new member program and initiation.
Brother
A term used by fraternity mem­bers to refer to one another.
Chapter
A local group of the larger inter/na­tional organization, designated by a special Greek name.
Depledge
To terminate one’s fraternity or sorority membership before initiation; those who depledge a fraternity or sorority may not pledge another fraternity or sorority until the next formal recruitment period.
Function
A social activity with another Greek organization.
Fraternity
The name that applies to all Greek letter organizations characterized by a ritual, pin, and strong ties to friendship and moral principles. Informally, women’s fraternities are called sororities.
Greek
Any member of a Greek-letter social or community service organization (sorority or fraternity).
House Director (house mom or house parents)
A person hired by the housing corporation board to live in the chapter house and supervise the day-to-day activities of the live-in members.
Initiation
The formal ceremony that marks the beginning of active member­ship. Each chapter has a different set of requirements in order to be initiated.
Interfraternity Council (IFC)
The governing body of fraternities at the University of Arizona. IFC operates under the affiliation requirements of the North American Interfraternity Conference (NIC).
Initiated Member
Any member who has completed the new member process and has gone through the initiation ceremony.
Intake
The process National Pan-Hellenic Council chapters perform to recruit, interview, choose and educate new members.
Intramural
Athletic programs initiated by the University, IFC, Panhellenic, USFC or NPHC in which members from different chapters form teams and participate in sporting matches.
Lavaliere
A pendant with a fraternity or sorority’s Greek letters on it. Sorority mem­bers usually receive their chapter’s lavaliere at the time of initiation.
Legacy
The brother or sister, son or daughter, or grandson or granddaughter of a fraternity or sorority member. Each local chapter has its own policy regarding legacies. Being a legacy does NOT mean automatic membership into that chapter. Nonetheless, preference is sometimes given to legacies.
Local fraternity or sorority
An organization which is not part of a inter/national organization, although its alumni/alumnae may live across the country and remain involved with the collegiate chapter.
Membership Recruitment/Rush
The process of mutual selection between a prospective member & active chapter.
NIC (North American Interfrater­nity Conference)
Governing body for 66 national member men’s fraternities and alumni associations.
NPC (National Panhellenic Con­ference)
A national organization comprised of 26 member sororities, each of which is autonomous as a social, Greek-let­ter society of women, undergraduates and alumnae.
NPHC (National Pan-Hellenic Council)
A national organization comprised of four sororities and five fraternities whose membership is historically African-American, and locally the governing council for seven of these groups.
Inter/National Headquarters
The central organization of a particular fraternity or sorority.
New Member
A member of a fraternity or sorority who has not been initiated.
New Member Program
A period of learning about fraternity and sorority life prior to initiation. This period varies for all groups.
Panhellenic
Means “All Greek.” It is an association for all Greek affiliated women. The Panhellenic Council operates under the direction of the National Panhellenic Confer­ence (NPC).
Philanthropy
A charitable fundraiser or service project sponsored by a fraternity or sorority.
Pledge
see “New Member.”
Pledgeship
See “New Member Program.”
Potential New Member
A college woman or man who is participating in Formal Membership Recruitment.
Preferencing
During the last part of Recruitment, a Potential New Member determines which particular organization he or she is willing to join. For formal member­ship recruitment, the Potential New Member lists three sororities in order of preference.
Quota
The specified number of Potential New Members to which each sorority may extend a bid.
Recommendation (Rec)
A personal letter of reference provided by an alumna of a sorority to the chapter of her sorority on cam­pus. Letters of recommendation do NOT guarantee a bid from any sorority. Some fraternities accept these as well. 
Recruitment Counselor
A sorority or fraternity member who has disaffiliated from their chapter during formal recruitment. The recruitment counselor or "RC" is specially trained to help Potential New Members and answer any questions they may have about membership.
Sister
A term used by sorority members to refer to one another.
Social
A get-together with another group for a party, dinner, or another fun occasion.
USFC (United Sorority & Fraternity Council)
The governing council for the multi-cultural and special interest groups at the University of Arizona.

Contact

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Student Union Memorial Center, Room 404
PO Box 210017
Tucson, AZ 85721-0017

520-621-8046