The following represents a list of commonly used terms within the Greek Community:

Active – a formally initiated undergraduate member of a fraternity or sorority

Advisor – a faculty, staff or alumni representative with whom a fraternity or sorority has developed a formalized relationship and can offer academic, philanthropic or organizational management advice

Alumna – a singular woman that has completed her course of study at the institution

Alumnae – a group of only women that have completed their course of study at the institution

Alumni – a group of only men or a group of both men and women that have completed their course of study at the institution

Alumnus – a singular man that has completed his course of study at the institution

Associate Members – a term used by some fraternal organizations to describe new members that have not yet been initiated

Bid – an invitation of membership to join an IFC fraternity or Panhellenic sorority

Chapter – a chartered undergraduate or alumni group of an inter/national fraternity or sorority, typically designated by state or two Greek letters (i.e. Pennsylvania Beta or Theta Mu)

COB/COR (Continuous Open Bidding/Continuous Open Recruitment) – the period outside of formal recruitment when Panhellenic sororities with available membership spaces may extend bids

Colony – status of a new fraternity or sorority that has not yet received their charter

Colors – a pair or triad of colors that represent a particular fraternity or sorority

Community Service – a service act performed on behalf of another individual or group

Crossed – term used by NPHC and culturally-based organizations that is synonymous with “initiated”

Divine 9 – term used to describe the nine, national NPHC organizations

Dues – costs associated with joining and maintaining membership in a fraternity or sorority that cover operational costs, insurance, activities and fees

Formal recruitment – the three-day process through which potential new members and sororities meet one another and engage in a mutual selection process with the goal of an invitation of membership
Graduate Chapter
– a regionally-based group of alumni fraternity or alumnae sorority members affiliated with the same organization

Greek – a term applied to members of social fraternities or sororities that have Greek letter designations

Grip – secret handshake exchanged by initiated members of a fraternity or sorority

Housing Corporation -

IFC (Interfraternity Council) – the local, student-run governing body of NIC fraternities 

Initiation – a formal ceremony in which new members learn the secrets and ritual of the organization they have joined, after which they become an active and lifetime member

Intake – process by which new members are selected for membership by NPHC organizations

Lavaliere – a necklace with a sorority’s letters, usually worn by a member; also a process by which a fraternity member would give his letters to his significant other to indicate a serious relationship (also can be the equivalent of a pinning ceremony)

Letters of Recommendation – fraternities and sororities

Line or Ship – term used to describe members of NPHC fraternities or sororities that are initiated at the same time

Neophyte/Neo – term used to describe members of the most recent line of an NPHC or culturally-based fraternity or sorority

New Member Education – the four-week process through which students that were invited to join a fraternity or sorority learn the values and history of the organization; hazing should in no way be a part of the new member process

NIC (North-American Interfraternity Conference) – the coordinating association representing 75 inter/national fraternities which have representation on over 800 campuses, 5,500 chapters and over 350,000 undergraduate members

Non-Resident Fee/Parlor Fee – the fee charged by housing corporations and collected by the college to cover expenses related to the use and maintenance of the residential facility that is charged to undergraduate members not living in the facility

NPC (National Panhellenic Conference) – the coordinating association representing 26 inter/national sororities and women’s fraternities which have representation on over 620 campuses and over 4,600 local alumnae associations

NPHC (National Pan-Hellenic Council) – the coordinating association representing the 9 inter/national historically-African American fraternities and sororities; also refers to the local, student-run governing body of these same organizations

Panhellenic – the local, student-run governing body of NPC sororities

Philanthropy – a charity or cause undertaken by a fraternity or sorority, typically referring to financial support of that organization

Pinning Ceremony – ceremony through which a fraternity member gives his fraternity pin, or a sweetheart pin, to his significant other to indicate a serious relationship

Pledge – a term used by some fraternal organizations to describe new members that have not yet been initiated

Pledging see New Member Education

Potential New Member – a student interested in joining a fraternity or sorority

Probate/New Member Presentation – event where newly initiated members of an NPHC or culturally-based fraternity or sorority perform step routines, salute and recite historical information and greetings as their first introduction as members to the campus community

Quota – the maximum number that each Panhellenic sorority can invite to become new members in a particular semester

Recruitment Counselor – a neutral representative of Panhellenic who temporarily disaffiliates from her organization to guide and support potential new members through the recruitment process

Recruitment - the process through which potential new members and fraternities and sororities get to know one another

Rounds – term used to describe each day of sorority recruitment, of which Gettysburg has three

Rush Week – the historical term for the last week of the recruitment process for IFC fraternities leading up to Bid Day; see Recruitment

Snap Bids – an invitation for membership to a Panhellenic sorority extended on Bid Day to a potential new member that was not placed during the bid matching process from a sorority that did not fill their new member class to meet quota

Total – the maximum number of women that can be in a Panhellenic sorority, which is set after formal recruitment in the fall and again 10 days into the spring semester; sororities not meeting total in the spring semester are eligible to take new members through the COB/COR process