skip navigation
Office of the Dean of Students
Office of the
Dean of Students

Greek Terminology

  • Affiliate Membership - A chapter that is under the Sorority and Fraternity Life umbrella but is not currently associated with a council.
  • Alumnae or Alumni - An initiated member who is no longer in college.
  • Alumnae Area Panhellenic - The organization to which alumnae of the National Panhellenic Conference sororities in your city or area belong.
  • Badge/Pin (two types) - The active pin, worn on the chest, designates an initiated member of a certain fraternity. A new member or associate pin is simpler in design and identifies a new or associate member of a particular fraternity.
  • Bid - A formal invitation to join a sorority or fraternity.
  • Bid Day - The last day of recruitment. Includes activities at the chapter house.
  • Big Sister or Brother - A new member receives or selects an initiated member to be his/her big brother or sister. This older member serves as a resource, role model and problem-solver for the new member.
  • Chapter - The local group of the national sorority or fraternity.
  • Continuous Open Bidding - Some Panhellenic-affiliated chapters continue to recruit and pledge women throughout the school year.
  • Culturally Based Greek Letter Organization - A sorority or fraternity that incorporates aspects of a specific culture into its ritual, purpose, activities and ceremonies. Member organizations of Affiliate groups, as well as the Latino Pan-Hellenic, National Pan-Hellenic and Texas Asian Pan-Hellenic Councils are all culturally based.
  • Formal Recruitment - The major period of time set aside by the Panhellenic and Interfraternity Councils for meeting potential new members.
  • Fraternity - Initially referred to all Greek letter organizations. Currently refers primarily to all-male organizations.
  • Sorority and Fraternity Life - Part of the Office of The Dean of Students, SFL serves as a liaison between the university and the Interfraternity, Latino Pan-Hellenic, National Pan-Hellenic, Texas Asian Pan-Hellenic and University Panhellenic Councils.
  • Hold Over(Continuing New Member) - A new member who does not make the necessary grades to be initiated. Each chapter has it own scholastic standards.
  • Informal or Open Recruitment - Recruitment period conducted at various times during the year.
  • Infraction - Any violation of a rule set by the University Panhellenic Council, as governed by the National Panhellenic Conference.
  • Initiation - A ceremony that brings a new member into full membership.
  • Interfraternity Council (IFC) - The governing body of the North American Interfraternity Conference fraternities.
  • Latino Pan-Hellenic Council (LPHC) - The governing body for traditionally Latino/a fraternities and sororities.
  • Legacy - A woman whose mother, sister or, in some cases, grandmother is an initiated member of a sorority. A man whose father, brother or, in some cases, grandfather is an initiated member of a fraternity. Legacy stipulations differ for each sorority and fraternity.
  • Membership Intake - A term given to the process for new members required by National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) fraternities and sororities.
  • National Association of Latino Fraternal Organizations (NALFO) - A national group of predominantly Latino/a Greek-letter organizations that currently includes 23 of the 25 national Latino/a Greek member organizations.
  • National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) - A national organization composed of 26 member women's fraternities, each of which is autonomous as a social Greek-letter society of college women and alumnae.
  • National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) - The governing body of the nine historically African-American fraternities and sororities.
  • New Member - A potential new member who has accepted the bid (invitation to join) of a sorority or fraternity.
  • New Member Educator - The chapter officer who coordinates the education of the chapter's new members.
  • New Member Meetings - Special meetings that may be held each week for the new members. In addition to learning the history of the fraternity, new members may hear presentations on study skills, sexual assault, substance abuse and other important issues.
  • North American Interfraternity Conference (NIC) - A national organization composed of 74 men's fraternities, each of which is autonomous as a social Greek-letter society of college men and alumni.
  • Oral Bidding - Any statement by an individual member indicating that a sorority or fraternity intends or wishes to have a potential new member join their organization. Some examples of oral bidding are: "I want you for my little sister/brother," "You belong here," "We have a place for you," and "You can wear my badge." It falsely implies an invitation to a recruitment party or a bid. No individual member has the authority to issue invitations or guarantee membership.
  • Potential New Member - An individual participating in the recruitment process.
  • Preferential Bidding - The process of mutual selection between the Panhellenic sororities and the potential new members.
  • Quota - The specific number of potential new members each Panhellenic sorority chapter can accept.
  • Recruitment Counselors - Greek women who are carefully selected and trained to guide potential new members and answer any questions related to Panhellenic recruitment.
  • Reference - A written statement in support of a woman or man for membership.
  • Silence - Period of time when conversation and contact between potential new members and sorority actives, new members, alumnae and agents is strictly limited by the Panhellenic Recruitment Rules.
  • Sorority - A group of women joined together in friendship for leadership and academic purposes.
  • Texas Asian University Pan-Hellenic Council (TAPC) - The governing body for Asian interest sororities and fraternities.
  • University Panhellenic Council - The governing body of the fourteen NPC sororities.

The Greek Alphabet

The greek alphabet