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Glossary of SFL Terms

Here are explanations for words that have special meaning in the SFL community:

Active: An initiated member who is affiliated with a sorority or fraternity chapter

Alumna/Alumnus/Alumni: Any initiated member of a sorority or fraternity who graduated or left college in good standing

Alumni Association: An organization of alumni from an individual sorority or fraternity; the association may be based on geographical location or chapter

Bid: A formal invitation to a prospective new member to join a chapter

BGLOBlack Greek Letter Organization

Call/Chant: A loud vocal expression used to identify and greet sisters and brothers; Please do enjoy listening to the unique calls of the groups, please don’t repeat the organizations particular call or response

Chapter: A group of officially chartered and recognized collegians at a university

College Panhellenic Association (CPA): The campus governing body for all social sororities

Community/Chapter Advisor: An alumna/alumnus who establishes and maintains a close advisory relationship with a chapter and serves as an educator, mentor, and support for members

Continuous Open Bidding (COB): Informal membership recruitment process, specific to the College Panhellenic Association, when bids may be extended and accepted during the fall primary recruitment process

Disaffiliation/Dissociation: Permanently leaving and renouncing membership to an organization after initiation

Divine 9: Refers to the nine organizations represented in the National Pan-Hellenic Council.

Exchange: A social event between SFL organizations

Expansion/Extension/Interest Group: A new organization waiting for official recognition from their national leadership to start a chapter on campus

Frat: NPHC term used to refer to one's fraternity or a fraternity brother

GLO: Greek Letter Organization

Inactive Member: Some groups distinguish between Active and Inactive members. Inactive members are usually members taking a semester off, or are in some other category that depends on the specific organization

Informational: A forum for individuals interested in seeking more information about a particular NPHC or cultural-based fraternity or sorority.

Initiation: The formal ceremony where new members receive lifelong membership privileges in their chosen chapters

Intake or Membership Intake: The period of training before initiation when some Multicultural Greek Council organizations and National Pan-Hellenic Council new members learn the history and traditions of the organization

Interest Meeting: For prospective members to receive information about and meet members of an organization

Interfraternity Council (IFC):  The campus governing body for all social fraternities

Legacy: A sibling, child, or grandchild of an initiated member of a sorority or fraternity

Line: Also referred to as Ship, a group of new members in a specific chapter, in a specific semester/quarter

Meet the Greeks: An information and meet and greet program put on by the Greek councils for the purpose of recruitment

Membership Selection: The right of each sorority and fraternity to select their own members

Multicultural Greek Council (MGC): The campus governing body for all culturally based fraternities and sororities

National Association of Latin Fraternal Organizations (NALFO): The representative body governing historically Latino/Latina Greek Letter organizations

National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC):  Campus governing body for the nine historically African-American (Black) sororities and fraternities

Neophyte/Neo: A new member of an NPHC sorority or fraternity

New Member: An uninitiated potential member of a fraternity or sorority (formerly referred to as "pledge")

North American Interfraternity Conference (NIC): Trade association representing 57 inter/national men’s fraternities. 

National Panhellenic Conference (NPC): Umbrella organization of 26 women’s only inter/national member organizations charged with advancing the sorority experience.

Philanthropy: A charitable project sponsored by a fraternity, sorority, or the SFL community

Potential New Member (PNM): An individual seeking membership in a sorority or fraternity

Primary Recruitment: A formal week of scheduled events for College Panhellenic sororities held during the fall quarter

Probate/New Member Presentation: A showcase by the new members of an NPHC or MGC organization to signify the completion of their new member process. 

Prophyte: A member of an NPHC group who has initiated new members. A member of an NPHC organization who has had members initiated in the same chapter after theirs.

Recruitment: The new member selection process

Rituals: Ceremonies celebrated and conducted by every chapter of sororities and fraternities

Rho Gamma (Recruitment Guide): A member of a Panhellenic sorority who temporarily disaffiliates from their chapter during primary recruitment to assist potential new members through the recruitment process

Saluting: A means by which members of an organization can praise a particular member within their organization to honor the group’s past and current accomplishments. This act is not set to music or rhythm unlike stepping or strolling.

Service: Actions performed to benefit others (e.g. mentoring, tutoring, assisting in retirement community, cleaning the beach, etc.)

Siblinghood: An inclusive, gender-neutral term to describe the relationship between active members of the same organization.

Signs: a unique display expressed by hand symbols. Please do: Enjoy the viewing of the various signs. Please don’t: imitate an organization’s sign.

Soror: NPHC term referring to one's sorority sister

Stepping/Step Show: A tradition of some MGC and all NPHC organizations where routines are performed. A tradition of some MGC and all NPHC organizations where routines are performed

Strutting/Strolling: Organizational members move together in a line expressing pride for their organization. In this line, members may express their pride through use of their organization’s call, sign or historical information, ritual/custom dances, etc. All of this is done through movements that are unique to a particular organization. Please do: Enjoy watching, as each organization has a unique way and style of strolling. Please don’t: imitate the stroll or cut in between members of the line.

Yard: A term used by NPHC groups to indicate the campus. Used in phrases such as “which groups are on the yard,” meaning which groups are presently active on campus.