Greek Life

Glossary of Terms

Alumnae/Alumni
Initiated members who have graduated or who are no longer in college. Some organizations confer this status after an initiate has been a member for four or more years. Alumna/alumnae refers to women and alumnus/alumni refers to men.
Bid
A formal invitation to pledge or associate with a fraternity or a sorority.
Bid Matching
Procedure utilized during women's formal recruitment. At the conclusion, each participant ("potential new member") has the opportunity to submit a prioritized choice of sororities she would like to join. Each sorority also submits a prioritized list of women to whom they are interested in extending a bid. A computerized process is used to match the priorities of both. Every potential new member may not receive her first choice as there is a maximum on the number of bids allowed (see 'Quota').
Brother
Term used when referring to another member of the fraternity.
Chapter
The local group of an (inter)national fraternal organization.
Chapter Total
The allowable chapter size for Panhellenic sororities, as determined by the Panhellenic Council.
Corporation Board
Local alumnae/alumni who oversee the management, operations, upkeep, and contractual obligations of a chapter house.
Formal Recruitment
The period set aside for structured recruiting. At Butler, this occurs in January, prior to the start of the second semester.
Fraternity
A Greek letter organization. This can refer to either a men's or women's organization, and can refer to general/social organizations, professional organizations, or honoraries. Informally, the term refers to men's organizations.
Initiation
The formal ceremony during which a man or a woman begins a full membership in a fraternity or sorority.
Intake
The membership recruitment and induction process for the National Pan-Hellenic Council member organizations (historically African-American fraternities and sororities).
(Inter)National
A term referring to the central organization of a given sorority or fraternity.
Interfraternity Council (IFC)
The central governing body of fraternities.
Legacy
A rushee whose grandmother/grandfather, mother/father, sister/brother, stepmother/stepfather or stepsister/stepbrother was or is a member of a particular sorority or fraternity. A legacy can be given special consideration, but is never guaranteed membership.
National Panhellenic Conference
The central governing body of sororities, from the Greek meaning all (Pan) Greeks (Hellenic); Panhellenic is organized on every campus that has (inter)national sororities.
Panhellenic Council (Panhel)
The central governing body of sororities.
Open house
The first part of formal recruitment, during which the potential member visits all chapters participating in the process.
Philanthropy
A charitable project sponsored by many organizations.
Pledge/associate/new member
A member of a fraternity or a sorority who has not participated in the initiation ceremony.
Pledgeship/new member period
A time during which new members learn about the fraternity or sorority, its members and their activities.
Potential new member
A woman who participates in either formal or open recruitment.
Quota
The total number of potential members each sorority chapter can invite to join during formal recruitment.
Recommendation
A letter signed by an alumna/alumnus recommending a student for membership in a Greek chapter.
Recruitment
A social experience in which mutual choice and selection occurs to determine fraternity and sorority memberships.
Serenade
Traditionally, a singing performance by one Greek chapter to another.
Sister
Term used when referring to another member of the sorority.

The Greek Alphabet

Α - Alpha
Β - Beta
Γ - Gamma
Δ - Delta
Ε - Epsilon
Ζ - Zeta
Η - Eta
Θ - Theta
Ι - Iota
Κ - Kappa
Λ - Lambda
Μ - Mu
Ν - Nu
Ξ - Xi (zee)
Ο - Omicron
Π - Pi
Ρ - Rho
Σ - Sigma
Τ - Tau
Υ - Upsilon
Φ - Phi
Χ - Chi
Ψ - Psi
Ω - Omega