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Greek Life Glossary

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With so many schools participating in and completing both men’s and women’s formal recruitment recently, we compiled a list of common Greek terms that are important to understand. Below are some of the vocab words you may hear as a member of a Panehellenic or IFC organization.

Active: A fully initiated member of a fraternity or sorority

Bid: An official invitation to join a Greek organization

Chapter: The formal name of the local organization of a national fraternity or sorority

Fraternity: A Greek organization typically understood as being restricted to men; however, women’s organizations can also be traditionally defined as a fraternity

Minority Greek Council (MGC): Governing body of minority Greek organizations

National Panhellenic Conference (NPC): Governing body of national sororities

National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC): Governing body of national black Greek organizations

Philanthropy: A Greek organization’s specific organization that members donate volunteer hours and the organization often donates money

Pin: Specific badge or symbol worn by a member of a fraternity or sorority

Potential New Member (PNM): Formal name for an individual participating in recruitment

Recruitment: The formal process of engaging PNMs to join a Greek organization

Recruitment Guide (also Rho Gamma, Rho Chi, Greek Councilor, etc): A disaffiliated member of a sorority or fraternity designated to aid PNMs through the recruitment process

Sorority:  A Greek organization restricted to women

Those are many of the formal terms you may hear when you’re thinking about going Greek. You may also hear a few of the following terms throughout recruitment: 

Dirty Rushing: Refers to the forbidden act of sorority actives promising PNMs a bid, contracting PNMs outside of the allotted time within the house, giving PNMs gifts, or any other prohibited and unethical form of recruiting

Dry Rush: Alcohol is forbidden at all fraternity/sorority recruitment events

Dropped (or cut): An individual is not invited to return to a Greek organization during recruitment

House: May refer to the actual structure of a sorority or fraternity. Also an informal name for a sorority or fraternity itself (eg “What house are you a member of?”).

Hotboxing: More than one sorority active speaks to a PNM at one time during recruitment

Pledge: New Member of a fraternity or sorority who has not been initiated into the organization

Pledge Class: Group of individuals that have participated in recruitment, accepted their bids, participated in New Member education and events, and been initiated during the same year

Pledgeship: Designated amount of time between bid acceptance and initiation into the Greek organization

Ranking: The process of a Greek organization selecting members to return to their house during recruitment, and the simultaneous process of a PNM of selecting which houses she would like to return

Rush: Informal name for the formal process of recruiting PNMs to join a Greek organization

Rushee: An individual participating in recruitment (PNM)

Suicide: The act of scoring or ranking only one Greek organization after the preference round of recruitment (if said individual does not receive a bid to the scored organization, the individual does not receive a bid to any Greek organization). This is the outdated way of defining “intentional single preference”.

Written by Real Life 101, Inc.

August 25, 2011 at 11:06 am