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Active – A member of a fraternity or sorority who plays an active role in the organization; also known as a member.

Alumna – A member of a sorority who has graduated from college, and is no longer an active member. Plural: Alumnae.

Alumnus – A member of a fraternity who has graduated from college, and is no longer an active member. Plural: Alumni.

Associate Member – A student who has accepted a bid from a fraternity or sorority, and is in preparation for initiation. See also “Potential New Member."


Badge (pin) – the insignia that designates a given member’s Greek organization; usually worn with formal dress (Pin Attire).

Bid – A formal invitation to join the membership of a fraternity or sorority.

Big Brother/Sister – An active member of a fraternity or sorority who serves as a mentor to an associate member (potential new member) throughout their associate membership process (new member education) leading up to initiation.

Brother – An initiated member of a fraternity commonly used by fraternity members to refer to each other, or a “Brotherhood.”


Call – A vocal sound used by members of NPHC and other culturally-based Greek organizations to acknowledge other members.

Chapter – The local campus membership and organization of a larger national organization.

Chapter Advisor – An alumnus who serves as a mentor to the chapter membership and advises officers on all chapter operations.

Charter – A formal document acknowledging the establishment of an official chapter, usually issued from an organization’s national headquarters.

Colony – A group of students who are not yet established as a chapter, but who are working towards obtaining their charter to be recognized as an established chapter by the national organization.

Continuous Open Bidding – A process of informal recruitment that occurs after the Formal Panhellenic recruitment period has concluded.

Council – A governing body of Greek fraternities and sororities usually comprised of chapter representatives. Councils often oversee programming, recruitment, and conduct of their respective chapters.

Crossed – The date on which an associate member crossed into a fraternity or sorority to become an active member. Usually a term used in culturally- based Greek organizations.


De-pledge – Ending one’s affiliation with a fraternity or sorority before initiation, also known as dropping.

“Divine Nine” – A nickname for the nine historically African American Greek organizations on the National Pan-Hellenic Council.

Dues - The monetary obligation associated with membership in a fraternity or sorority. These fees are used for operation of the chapter and vary from chapter to chapter.



Founder (s) – A person or persons created a specific a fraternity or sorority.

Founder(s) Day - A day recognized by fraternities and sororities meant to celebrate the founding of their organization.

Formal Recruitment - A specified period of time set aside by a governing Greek council in which fraternities and sororities may recruit potential new members. Formal Recruitment periods usually come with strict guidelines for handing out bids and interacting with potential new members.

Fraternity – A name traditionally used to describe a men’s Greek letter organization.


Greeks – Members of fraternities or sororities who use Greek symbols or names.

Greek Week – A specific week set aside each year for Greek organizations to participate in community wide events, philanthropies, social activities, and competitions.


Hazing - There is an absolute zero tolerance policy at Texas Woman’s University. For more information about the hazing policies at TWU please visit the Center for Student Development website. If you feel that you have been a victim of hazing or witnessed a hazing feel free to contact us for more information.

House – A physical residence of a specific fraternity or sorority. It is sometimes used as a synonym for “chapter”.


Inactive member – An initiated member of a fraternity or sorority that no longer participates in chapter activities.

Initiation – The final ceremony before and associate member becomes an active member of a fraternity or sorority.

Interfraternity Council (IFC) – The local chapter of the North-American Interfraternity Conference, which acts as a governing body of eighteen nationally-recognized fraternities at TWU.  IFC oversees recruitment, conduct, and relations for its member chapters.




Lavaliere - A necklace with Greek letters on it. Sorority women can wear these necklaces with their sorority's letters, and many become lavaliere upon receiving a lavaliere from their boyfriend with his fraternity's letters.

Legacy – The son/grandson/brother of a previous member of a fraternity. The daughter/granddaughter/sister of a previous member of a sorority.

Line – Term used to describe a group of fraternity or sorority members who were initiated together, commonly used as line brothers or line sisters.


Member – A student who has been initiated into a fraternity or sorority.

Membership Intake – A process of recruitment to choose potential new members traditionally used by culturally-based Greek organizations.


National Pan-Hellenic Council (TWU Council) – The local council of the National Pan-Hellenic Council, which oversees four of the “divine nine” national chapters here at TWU.

National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) – The national governing body of nine historically African-American fraternities and sororities, commonly known as the “Divine Nine.”

National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) – The governing body for 26 national and international sororities.

North American Interfraternity Conference (NIC) – A conference of men’s private fraternities founded in 1909 representing 73 International and National Men's Fraternities.

New Member Educator – The officer of a fraternity or sorority who prepares potential new members (associate members) for initiation, and oversees their education in the chapter’s traditions, history, and ritual.

New Member Education Process – The educational period prior to initiation in which members learn about the given organization.

New Member Pin – a pin that designates a student as a potential new member of a specific Greek organization.


Open Recruitment – The unstructured recruitment process, outside of Formal Recruitment, in which fraternities and sororities recruit new members throughout the academic year.

Open Rush – see “Open Recruitment”.

Order of Omega - A national honor society recognizing fraternity and sorority members who excel in academic achievement, Greek leadership and campus involvement.


Philanthropy – Chapter sponsored service project from which donations of money, goods, and other items are given to charitable organizations.

Pledge – see “Potential New Member.”

Pledging – see “New Member Education Process”

Pledge Pin - see “New Member Pin”

Potential New Member – A potential member who has accepted the bid of a fraternity or sorority, but who has not yet been initiated.

Preferential Bidding - a system used by sororities to conduct recruitment where chapters and potential new members indicate their preferred choices for membership. This process narrows down choices over a given recruitment week until the individual is matched with one chapter.


Quota – A specified number of potential new members a sorority may offer bids to during a formal recruitment period.


Recruitment - a period of time and process in which Greek organizations seek out potential new members to join their chapter.

Ritual - the traditions and secretive ceremonies of a specific fraternity or sorority.

Rush – see “Recruitment.”

Rushee - a student participating in recruitment who visits Greek organizations with an interest in possibly affiliating with one organization as a potential new member (pledge).


Sister - an initiated member of a sorority.

Sorority - A Greek organization whose membership consists of women. Some sororities are identified as a fraternity in their official and traditional name, but are still know as sororities.

Step Show – A show performed by members of culturally-based Greek organizations, usually showing unity amongst members and pride in ones chapter.








page last updated 1/3/2017 2:53 PM