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Greek Glossary

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

Alumnae: Initiated sorority members who have graduated from college.  A single such individual is called an alumna.

Alumni: Initiated fraternity members who have graduated from college.  A single such individual is called an alumnus.

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

Big Brother or Big Sister: An active member who serves as a mentor to a New Member during the New Member Program.

Call: Audible sounds used by members to acknowledge or gain the attention of other members. Calls may vary regionally within organizaitons, and some organizations may use more than one call.

Chapter: The local group of a larger national organization.  The chapter is referenced by a special name or Greek letters.

Continuous Open Bidding (COB or Fall Recruitment): An informal recruitment process that takes place after the conclusion of formal Panhellenic recruitment.

Crossed:Term used to reference the date of initiation into a NPHC or cultural-based sorority or fraternity.

Divine Nine: Term used to describe the nine NPHC affiliate organizations. Also the title of the book that chronicles the history of NPHC groups.

Formal Panhellenic Recruitment: A series of sorority-hosted events hosted that introduce potential new members to sorority life.  Formal Panhellenic Recruitment is scheduled by APSU’s Panhellenic Council.

Grip: Secret handshake exchanged by 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 for several APSU fraternities.

International/National Headquarters: The central organization of a particular fraternity or sorority.

Intramurals: Athletic programs administered by University Recreation in which members from different chapters form teams and compete in sporting matches.

Legacy: A prospective member whose grandparent, parent or sibling is an alumnus or alumna of, or active in, a particular fraternity or sorority. The exact definition varies from one chapter to another. Each chapter or inter/national organization has its own policy regarding legacies. Please note that most organizations are not obligated to pledge or extend bids to legacies.

Line: Term used to describe the members of a new member class in NPHC and cultural-based Greek organizations

Membership Intake: The process by which interested persons become members of NPHC or cultural-based Greek organizations. Generally characterized by an Informational Meeting, an application process, an interview or series of interviews, an intensive education process. Membership intake formally replaced pledging for NPHC groups in February of 1990. The educational phase may be referred to as intake. 

National Panhellenic Conference (NPC): The National Panhellenic Conference is the umbrella organization for 26 national and international womens fraternities.

National Pan-Hellenic Council, Inc. (NPHC): Umbrella organization for nine historically African American sororities and fraternities, including five fraternities and four sororities.

Neophyte: A member of the most recent line to cross in the local chapter of a NPHC or cultural-based organization.

New Member: A member of a fraternity or sorority who has not been initiated.

New Member Educator/Membership Intake Coordinator: The individual who acts as liaison between new members and the chapter. This individual is responsible for implementing and monitoring the new member program and preparing the new members for initiation.

New Member Education Program: A period of education when new members learn the history, ideals and values of fraternity and sorority life. The length of each New Member program varies by chapter but cannot exceed 10 weeks.

North American Interfraternity Conference (NIC): The North American Interfraternity Conference is the umbrella organization for 26 national and international women’s fraternities and sororities.

Philanthropy/Benefit: A charitable fundraiser sponsored by a sorority or fraternity

Potential New Member (PNM): A college woman who will participate in formal
Panhellenic recruitment in the fall.

New Member Presentation: The introduction of a line to campus. This is usually the first full step show/exhibition performed by the newest members of a NPHC or cultural-based Greek organization.

Panhellenic Council (PC)— The governing council for APSU sororities.

Prophyte: A seasoned member of a NPHC or cultural-based Greek organization. A neophyte becomes a prophyte once another line is initiated.

Recommendation (Rec Letter): A personal letter of reference from an alumnus or alumna of a national sorority or fraternity to the local chapter at Austin Peay. Letters of recommendation are not necessary for all chapters and do NOT guarantee a bid from a sorority or fraternity.

Recruitment Chair: An active member of a sorority or fraternity who is in charge of all recruitment efforts for the chapter

Sigma Rho Chi (sorority recruitment counselor): A trained sorority member who counsels and assists new students during Panhellenic recruitment.  Each Sigma Rho Chi disaffiliates with her chapter during formal Panhellenic recruitment.

Social: A get-together with another group for a party, dinner or fun occasion.

Stroll or party hop: A traditional dance done by members of NPHC or cultural-based Greek organizations on an informal basis. Each organization has specific strolls/hops that are part of its heritage. These strolls/hops are reserved for members only.