Fraternity & Sorority Affairs
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Greek Terms terms


The Greek Alphabet

Alpha

A

Beta

B

Gamma

Г

Delta

Δ

Epsilon

E

Zeta

Z

Eta

H

Theta

Θ

Iota

I

Kappa

K

Lambda

Λ

Mu

M

Nu

N

Xi

Ξ

Omicron

O

Pi

Π

Rho

P

Sigma

Σ

Tau

T

Upsilon

Υ

Phi

Φ

Chi

X

Psi

Ψ

Omega

Ω

Greek Terms

Active: A fully initiated member of a fraternity/sorority.

Alumnus/Alumna: A fully initiated fraternity/sorority member who is a graduate of an undergraduate institution.

Bid: A formal invitation given by a chapter asking a prospective member to join their chapter.

Brother: The term used by members of men's fraternities when referring to each other.

Chapter: The local collegiate membership of an inter/national fraternal organization.

Fraternity/Sorority: A group of individuals bound together by a ritual, common ideals, and a strong bond of friendship and brotherhood/sisterhood. Women's fraternities are called sororities.

Greek: A member of a fraternity/sorority.

Hazing: Any action taken to produce mental or physical discomfort, embarrassment, or ridicule. Hazing is strictly forbidden by fraternity/sorority chapters, inter/national organizations, governing councils, The University of Memphis, and the State of Tennessee.

Initiation: The traditional ritual or formal ceremony of induction, which marks the transition to full membership of a fraternity/sorority.

Interfraternity Council (IFC): A representative governing body of 10 of the 68 member fraternities of the National Interfraternity Conference (NIC).

Legacy: A prospective member whose relative is an alumnus/alumna or current member of a fraternity/sorority.

National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC): A representative governing body of 8 out of 9 member fraternities/sororities of the National Pan-Hellenic Council, Inc.

New Member: The title given to the newest member of a chapter, who is being educated about membership in the fraternity/sorority, until time of initiation.

Prospective Member: A term used for undergraduate men and women interested in becoming a member of a fraternity/sorority.

Sister/Soror: The term used by members of sororities or women's fraternities when referring to each other.

Recommendation: A statement or letter from an alumnus/alumna or an active member of a fraternity/sorority, which recommends the prospective member for membership.

Recruitment: The continual process of recruiting men and women to become members of the Greek community. There are three forms or Recruitment.

Formal Recruitment: A designated period of time when a prospective member can join a fraternity/sorority by attending a series of events. (IFC and WPC fraternities/sororities only)

Continuous Open Bidding (COB): A process that allows prospective members to join a fraternity/sorority outside of Formal Recruitment. (IFC and WPC fraternities/sororities only)

Membership Intake Process (MIP): A membership selection and initiation process. (NPHC fraternities/sororities only)

Recruitment Counselor: A sorority woman who disaffiliates from her sorority to assist prospective members during Recruitment.

Panhellenic Council (PC): A representative governing body of 7 of the 26 member women's fraternities/sororities of the National Pan-Hellenic Conference (NPC).

How has Greek life encouraged you academically?

"Being Greek makes me hold myself accountable for my grades. I know that I have to do my best because I am not just representing myself, but also my sisters. And when I do succeed my sisters are my biggest cheerleaders!"

Emily Gianella, Sophomore
Panhellenic Council
Management Information Systems Major

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Last Updated: 4/11/14