Greek Terminology

When joining greek life you not only gain new friends and experiences, but also a whole new book of vocabulary. Here are some of the most common greek words or phrases you make come across while deciding to go greek and during recruitment.

Active
An initiated fraternity or sorority member who is affiliated with a campus chapter.
Alumna
A graduated member of a Women's sorority/fraternity (plural is alumnae).
Alumnus
A graduated member of a Men's fraternity (plural is alumni).
Badge
A small decorative pin designating membership in an organization which is worn in a designated manner/location. The badge of an initiated member is received during the initiation ceremony.
Bid
An invitation to join a fraternity or sorority. Bids are extended during designated recruitment periods.
Bid Day
The last day of recruitment in which potential new members receive formal invitations (ie. Bids) to join a fraternity or sorority.
Big Brother/Sister
An initiated member of a fraternity or sorority who serves as a mentor to a new member during the new member process and beyond.
Brother
A term used by fraternity members to refer to one another.
Chapter
A term used to describe the collegiate group of a fraternity or sorority.
Chapter House
A house, or designated area, on campus where members of the organization live. Not all organizations at YCP choose to have designated housing.
Chapter Meeting
A weekly meeting held to discuss sorority or fraternity business.
Colony
A term used to describe the collegiate group of a fraternity or sorority in a new organization on the campus.
Dues
Monthly or semesterly costs of membership. Dues support the function and missions of the organization both Nationally and locally.
Greeks
A term applied to members affiliated with social Greek-letter organizations.
Greek Week
An annual celebration held in the spring meant to promote fraternal unity. Events during this week can range from Unity BBQ’s to field games to quiz bowls. All Greek Week activities are meant to promote the spirit and the letter of the Greek community.
Hazing
Any act performed by a member of any organization that is likely to cause harm, danger, causes public embarrassment or shame, compromise's a person's dignity, causes the person to be the object of ridicule, cause psychological harm, or is illegal. Hazing is against the law in all states, and is against the principles of all sororities and fraternities.
Initiation
A traditional, private ceremony that brings a new member into full Greek membership.
Interfraternity Council (IFC)
IFC is the governing body of all eight fraternities chartered/colonized at York College of Pennsylvania. This organization provides leadership and programming for the chapters.
Legacy
A potential member whose grandparent, parent, brother or sister is a member of a fraternity or sorority. The specific definition of ‘legacy’ is specifically defined by each organization.
Master Recruitment Acceptance Binding Agreement (MRABA)
The MRABA is the document completed by a Potential Member during NPC formal recruitment identifying a woman’s intention to join an organization. The MRABA is a unanimous agreement between all 26 NPC sororities and is binding for one calendar year.
New Member
A member who has accepted a bid from a fraternity or sorority, and is in the process of completing the new member program before initiation.
Neophyte
A new member of a cultural Greek organization.
National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC)
NPHC is the governing body of all divine-nine historically African-American fraternities and sororities.This organization provides leadership and programming for the chapters.
Order of Omega
Members are juniors and seniors who are initiated members of a fraternity or sorority and have attained a high standard of leadership and scholarship in the Greek Community.
National Panhellenic Council (NPC)
NPC is the governing body of all twenty six (Inter)National Sororities. This organization provides leadership and programming for the chapters.
Philanthropy
A community service and/or fundraising project sponsored by a chapter.
Potential New Member (PNM)
An individual interested in becoming a member of a fraternity or sorority.
Preference Ceremony
The final round of formal recruitment events, more intimate and formal than previous rounds. Sometimes a preference event will discuss the sorority’s focus on their values and a ritual.
Recruitment

Refers to the process by which chapters select new members.
Ritual
The traditional, private ceremonies of a fraternity or sorority.
Recruitment Counselor
An unbiased, trained representative from a sorority that aids female potential members in their formal recruitment process.
Sister
A term used by sorority members to refer to one another.
Silence/Hush Period/Strict Silence
A practice which is no longer followed by NPC chapters. Previously, it prevented initiated members from communicating with potential members during designated recruitment periods. Today, the only ‘silence period’ that is observed follows the signing of an MRABA until the distribution of bids (a term which is not to exceed 24 hours).