The following are some commonly used terminology within the Greek community across the nation. Take the time to familiarize yourself with it if you are new to the Greek community or just curious...

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

Alumni/ae: Initiated fraternity or sorority members who have graduated from college.

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 their New Member Program.

Call: A vocal sound (sometimes high-pitched) used by members of NPHC and MGC organizations to acknowledge one another.

Chapter: The local group of a larger national organization, and designated by a special name, or Greek letters

Coming Out Show: The introduction of a line to campus. This is usually the first full step show/exhibition performed by members of the new member class of a MGC or NPHC organization.

Formal Panhellenic Recruitment: A series of events given by each sorority that are designed to introduce sorority life to potential new members. Formal Panhellenic Recruitment is scheduled by the Panhellenic Council.

House Director: A person hired by the housing corporation board to live in the chapter house and supervise the day-to-day activities of live-in members.

IFC Recruitment: A week-long period in which fraternities and potential new members become acquainted.

Initiation/Crossed: The formal ceremony that marks the beginning of active membership.

Each chapter has a diff erent set of requirements to be initiated.

Interfraternity Council (IFC): The governing body of 12 social fraternities at Western Illinois University.

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

Legacy: A prospective member whose grandparent, parent, or sibling is an alumnus of, or active in, a particular fraternity or sorority. Please note that most organizations are not obligated to pledge or extend bids to legacies.

Line: Term typically used to describe the members of a new member class in NPHC and MGC organizations

Membership Intake: The process that NPHC and MGC chapters utilize to recruit, interview, select, and initiate new members. The period of membership intake varies.

National Panhellenic Conference (NPC): The National Panhellenic Conference is the umbrella organization for 26 national and international women’s fraternities and sororities.

National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC): Umbrella organization for 9 Historically-Black sororities and fraternities (5 fraternities, 4 sororities).

Neophyte: A member of the last line to cross in the local chapter of a NPHC or MGC organization.

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

New Member Educator/Membership Intake Coordinator: The liaison between new members and the Chapter and is responsible for implementing and monitoring the new member program/process, and preparing the new members for initiation.

New Member Program/Process: A period of education when new members learn the history, ideals, and values of fraternity and sorority life. This period varies for NPHC/MGC chapters.

Philanthropy: A charitable fundraiser sponsored by a sorority or fraternity

Potential New Member (PNM): A college student participating in recruitment.

Prophyte: A neophyte becomes a prophyte after another line is initiated.

Recommendation Letter: A letter of reference provided by an alumnus of national sorority or fraternity to the local chapter at WIU.

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

Recruitment Counselor (Rho Lambda): A trained sorority member who has disassociated herself from her chapter during Formal Panhellenic Recruitment in order to counsel and assist women during recruitment.

Social: A get-together with another group or members of the fraternity/sorority for a party, dinner or fun occasion.

Stroll or party hop/walk: A line dance by members of NPHC or MGC organizations

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