Glossary

Active: A member who has been initiated into lifelong fraternity or sorority membership and is active at the collegiate level.

Alumna/Alumnus: A member of a sorority/fraternity who is no longer in college and has graduated.

Bid: A formal invitation to join a fraternity or sorority.

Bid Day : The last day of recruitment when new members accept their bids and officially join their new organization.

Brother : A term used by fraternity members to refer to one another.

Call: the sound or saying by which members of some Greek Lettered Organizations greet their brothers or sisters or announce their location.

Chapter/Organization : A local group of the larger national organization.

Chapter Advisor/Consultant : An alumna or alumnus who works for the national organization and maintains a close advisory relationship with a local chapter.

Charter: the official document recognizing a chapter’s status by the national organization.

Colony : A student organization in the final stage before being installed as a charted chapter of a nationally affiliated organization.

Coming Out Show/Exhibition: Formerly called probates. The introduction or presentation of new members of a National Pan-Hellenic or National Latino Fraternal Organization to the community

Continuous Open Recruitment: A process that allows chapters to continuously recruit and bid new members outside of the formal recruitment period. Applies to the Panhellenic Council.

Formal Recruitment: The period of time set aside by the different councils for meeting potential new members. No longer referred to as Rush. 

Fraternity : The name applied to all male Greek-letter organizations. Informally, this name applies to men’s groups while women’s organizations may be sororities or female fraternities.

Greeks : Members of a Greek-letter sorority or fraternity.

Greek Week: An annual celebration in which chapters participate in athletic competitions. It is a time for all Greek organizations to unite.

Fraternity & Sorority Life (FSL):  Formerly known as Greek Life. The area within the Student Engagement & Leadership Center under which fraternities & sororities operate. FSL creates and administers policies, programs, and services to enhance fraternities and sororities.

Initiation: The formal ceremony that brings a new member into full Greek membership. Each chapter has a different set of requirements that must be met in order to be initiated.

Intake: The process by which National Pan-Hellenic Organizations and Multicultural Greek Organizations recruit, inform, and initiate new members.

Interfraternity Council (IFC): The governing body of nationally recognized fraternities at UTEP. IFC oversees Formal Recruitment for its member chapters.

Legacy: Someone whose mother, father, sister, brother, grandmother, or grandfather is an initiated member of a Greek organization.

Lifetime Membership: A fraternity/sorority can be a continuing source of friendship and guidance long after your University career is over.

Line : The new member class of a National Pan-Hellenic or Multicultural Greek organization.

Multicultural Greek Council (MGC): local governing body for multicultural Greek organizations who do not fall under one of the national governing bodies.

Networking: Lifetime memberships ensure that there is a large pool of alumni with whom many real world contacts can be made. These contacts can prove quite useful when the university days are over.

New Member/Associate : A potential member who has accepted the bid of a fraternity or sorority, but who has not been initiated. The term “pledge” is no longer acceptable within Greek Life across the nation.

New Member Program/Education: The period of learning about fraternity and sorority life prior to initiation. In addition to learning the history of the organization, new members may attend presentations on topics such as study skills, acquaintance rape, substance abuse, and other important issues.

National Latino Fraternal Organization (NALFO): National governing body of Latino/Latina/Multicultural Greek organizations.

National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC): National governing body of nine nationally recognized sororities and fraternities. These organizations were created as historically Black Greek organizations.

Open Recruitment : The period after Formal Recruitment in which fraternities/sororities may recruit and offer bids without scheduled events through a council.

Panhellenic Council (PHC): the governing body of the sorority system at a single university or college campus.

Philanthropy: A service project sponsored by a chapter from which donations of goods, money, and/or time are given to charitable organizations.

Pledge: see “New Member.”

Potential New Member : A college male or female who is participating in recruitment.

Preferential Bidding : The process of mutual selection between Panhellenic sororities and potential new members.

Quota : A specified number of women a Panhellenic sorority may offer bids to during formal recruitment.

Rho Gamma: A Recruitment Guide.  An initiated member of a Panhellenic sorority who guides potential new members through the formal recruitment process.

Registration: A process by which potential new members apply and submit grade information to be accepted to participate in Formal Recruitment. Applies to Panhellenic Council.

Ritual: Most Greek organizations have traditions or secrets that are not shared with the general public. This is often the most personaland loyal part of life in a fraternity/sorority.

Rush: This term is outdated and has been replaced by use of the term “Recruitment”.  see “Formal Recruitment.”

Silence: A period of time when conversation and contact between potential new members and Panhellenic sorority active members and alumnae are strictly limited by recruitment guidelines.

Sister: A term used by sorority members to refer to one another.

Social: The Greek social calendar is always full. Being part of a fraternity/sorority gives you the chance to take part in great events and even plan new ones.

Soror: A Greek term that means sister used mostly by National Pan-Hellenic Council members.

Sorority: A group of women joined together in friendship for leadership and academic purposes