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).

What has Greek life taught you about friendship and being a friend/brother/sister?

"Greek life has shown me the difference between a friend and a brother. A friend can make you mad and you can end the friendship, but no matter what any of my brothers do, they will always be my brother and we will always have a relationship. I love them all!"

Greg Vann, Senior
National Pan-Hellenic Council
Organizational Leadership Major

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Last Updated: 4/11/14