Greek Terms

  • Active: Term used to refer to an undergraduate member of a fraternity or sorority. An active has pledged and been initiated and is not studying abroad.


    Alumnus or Alumni: An initiated member/s who graduated college.


    Bid: A formal invitation to a prospective member to join a fraternity/sorority


    Bid Day: The last day of recruitment when prospective members decide which chapter to join and sign their bids.


    Big Sister or Brother: After several weeks, a new member will be assigned 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: A local chartered group of a national fraternity/sorority


    CFA - Council for Fraternity Affairs: Governing body of the campus men's fraternities


    Formal Recruitment: The major period of time set aside by the ISC and CFA with a series of organized events for meeting potential new members, also known as rush.


    Fraternity: Formally, the name applied to all Greek letter organizations. Informally, the name applied to men's groups.


    Initiation: A ceremony in which a pledged member becomes an active member


    Inter-Sorority Council (ISC): The governing body of the campus sororities and women's fraternities.


    Legacy: A person whose direct relative (parent, sibling, grandparents) is an alumna or active member of a fraternity/sorority. Legacy stipulations differ for each sorority and fraternity


    North-American Interfraternity Conference (NIC): A national organization composed of 63 member men's fraternities, each of which is autonomous as a social Greek - letter society of college men and alumni.


    National Panhellenic Conference (NPC): A national organization composed of 26 member women's fraternities, each of whom 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.


    Pledge/New Member: A man/woman who has accepted a bid of a fraternity/sorority but is not yet initiated


    Quota: The specified number of potential new members each sorority chapter can pledge.


    Recruitment Counselors: Greek women carefully selected and trained to guide potential new members and answer any questions with regard to sorority recruitment


    Rushee: A college man or woman participating in Formal Rush


    Sorority: A Greek-letter sisterhood, also called a women's fraternity
    "Greek Glossary." William & Mary Greek Life. The College of William and Mary. Web. 18 May 2010. <>.