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MSU Home :: Student Activities, Inclusion and Leadership (SAIL) :: Greek Glossary

Greek Glossary

ADVISOR- an alumna or alumnus who serves as a resource and educator for the chapter and its members.

ALUMNA - an initiated sorority member who is no longer in college. (plural: Alumnae).

ALUMNUS - an initiated fraternity member who is no longer in college. (plural: Alumni).

BID - a formal invitation to join a fraternity or sorority.

BID DAY - when IFC or Panhellenic chapters extend bids to potential new members.

CONTINUOUS OPEN BIDDING (COB) – the membership intake process occurring after formal recruitment.

CHAPTER - the local branch of a national/international fraternity or sorority.

FORMAL RECRUITMENT- the time at the beginning of a semester where IFC and Panhellenic chapters host open events for students to visit and learn about them.

FRATER – A term used to refer to a brother of an NPHC fraternity.

GAMMA CHI - a recruitment counselor who helps guide prospective new members through the formal recruitment process; these individuals are initiated members of University chapters who have disaffiliated with their particular organization for the period of recruitment. The membership of these individuals shall remain unrevealed until after recruitment is completed.

GREEK - a member of a fraternity or sorority.

HAZING - activity which caused undue stress placed on any member that can be mental or physical and is strictly forbidden by law and University policy.

INDEPENDENT - a student who is not in a fraternity or sorority.

INITIATION - the traditional ritual that brings students into full membership in a chapter.

INTAKE – The process used to bring new members into an organization. Each NPHC group determines when they it conduct intake. Each group follows strict guidelines as set forth by its international headquarters. Each organization is assisted in this process by its Graduate Chapter (group of alumni) and chapter advisor. In 1990, all nine NPHC groups prohibited pledging and began this new process of intake.

IFC - The Interfraternity Council is the governing body for men’s North-American Interfraternity Conference (NIC) member fraternities.

LEGACY - a potential new member whose grandparent, parent and/or sibling was initiated into a fraternity or sorority. Being a legacy is NOT a guarantee of getting a bid to membership in all groups.

NEOPHITE – A new member of an NPHC fraternity or sorority.

NEW MEMBER - (also associate member or candidate) a person who has accepted an invitation to join a chapter but who has not yet been initiated as an active.

NPHC - National Pan-Hellenic Council, the national governing board for historically African-American Greeks. Also the local governing council for the chapters at MSU.

PANHELLENIC COUNCIL (PHC) - the governing body of campus National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) member sororities which coordinates sorority activities.

PHILANTHROPY - an ongoing charitable effort, usually for a single non-profit or other worthy cause

PIN - (also badge) a distinctive insignia worn on the chest designating a member of a particular fraternity or sorority.

PNM - Potential New Member; someone participating in sorority recruitment.

RITUAL - the traditional, private ceremony for members only, held on various occasions

SOROR - a term used by NPHC sorority members when referring to one another.

STEP SHOW – A festive event in which members of an organization or several organizations perform synchronized, rhythmic steps while chanting lyrics to show pride and spirit for their organization. Since step shows are a big tradition within NPHC groups nationwide, a considerable number of alumni return to campus to witness and/or participate in this event.

STROLL– A traditional dance in which members of an NPHC group form a line and perform synchronized, rhythmic steps. Line steps/strolls are done at social functions.

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