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Greek Alphabet





Alpha/al-fah Beta/bay-tah Gamma/gam-ah Delta/del-tah





Epsilon/ep-si-lon Zeta/zay-tah Eta/ay-tah Theta/thay-tah





Iota/eye-o-tah Kappa/cap-ah Lambda/lamb-dah Mu/mew





Nu/new Xi/zzeye Omicron/om-ah-cron Pi/pie





Rho/row Sigma/sig-ma Tau/tawh Upsilon/oop-si-lon





Phi/figh Chi/kigh Psi/sigh Omega/o-may-gah

Fraternity & Sorority Life Terminology

Active A fully initiated member currently enrolled in college. Can also be called a member.
Alumni / Alumnae A graduated member of a fraternity or sorority. Alumni often support chapter activities through donations, assistance with advising, employment of undergraduates, etc.
Associate/New Member A person who has accepted a bid to become a member of a specific organization, has received the associate member pin and is preparing for initiation, but has not yet been initiated into full membership.
Badge The pin of an initiated member.
Bid A formal invitation to become a member of a fraternity or sorority. 
Big Brother/ Sister An older member who serves as an advisor and mentor to a new member, guiding them through their new member program and initiation.
Brother An initiated member of a fraternity. It is used as a term of address when an initiated member refers to another member.
Chapter The local group of an inter/national fraternity or sorority.
Chapter Advisor An alumna/alumnus who establishes and maintains a close advisory relationship with a chapter and serves as a teacher, counselor, and friend. 
Community Service  The giving of a member's time to volunteer for another organization in the community.
Continuous Open Bidding (COB) The process of inviting potential new members to join outside of the primary recruitment period. It is in the best interest of potential new members to participate in primary recruitment, as not all chapters will have a COB process.  This is a term specific to Panhellenic sororities.
Depledge The process of terminating one's fraternity or sorority membership (pledging) before initiation. 
Fraternity A men's values based organization. Some sororities are identified as a fraternity in their official name; others describe themselves as being a "women's fraternity."
Greeks Members of a fraternity or sorority. The term Greek is used because a majority of fraternities and sororities use Greek letters to distinguish themselves. 
Hazing Any conduct which subjects another person, whether physically, mentally, emotionally or psychologically, to anything which may endanger, abuse, degrade or intimidate the person as a condition of association with a group or organization, regardless of the person's consent or lack of consent. Illinois Wesleyan has a NO HAZING policy and takes strict action against any fraternity or sorority that participates in hazing activities. 

1. The residence of a fraternity or sorority's chapter members.

2. An informal reference to an individual's fraternity or sorority affiliation.

House Corporation A legal entity holding to, or leasing, any real property (land and buildings) for a chapter's living/meeting purposes. This alumni body has basic responsibilities relative to property ownership and maintenance. All fraternity chapter facilities at Illinois Wesleyan are managed by the Office of Residence Life and Office of Student Involvement.
Inactive Member  A member who has no material participation in undergraduate chapter activities, such as social activities, living in the chapter house, or voting at undergraduate meetings.
Informal Recruitment A continuous open recruiting period with no specific, scheduled, system-wide activities. A bid may be extended and accepted at any time. (See also Continuous Open Bidding.)
Initiation A formal ceremony in which an individual becomes a full member of a fraternity or sorority.
Inter/national Headquarters The central organization of a particular fraternity/sorority. Commonly abbreviated as IHQ.
Legacy A potential new member who has a family member who is also a member (active or alumni) of a fraternity/sorority.
NALFO National Association of Latino Fraternal Organizations, Inc.; an umbrella organization representing 16 Latino/a fraternities and sororities.
NPC National Panhellenic Conference; an umbrella organization composed of 26 member sororities, each of which is autonomous as a social, Greek-letter society of women, undergraduate and alumnae.
NIC North American Interfraternity Conference; a trade association representing 56 inter/national men’s fraternities.
College Panhellenic Council The local governing body of all NPC sororities on campus; commonly referred to as Panhellenic.
Interfraternity Council The local governing body of all NIC fraternities on campus; commonly referred to as IFC.
New Member Program A time before initiation during which new members learn about their fraternity/sorority, participate in team-building activities, and build relationships with fellow new members. 
Philanthropy The not-for-profit organization or charity a chapter supports through donations raised through events done by fraternities and sororities. Each organization has their own philanthropic partner to which they donate time, money, and energy.
Potential New Member A student interested in joining a fraternity or sorority; commonly refered to as a PNM.
Recruitment Chair The person from each fraternity or sorority who is responsible for their chapter's recruitment process. This term is specific for IFC and Panhellenic chapters.
Recruitment A program (and period of time) of membership recruitment by fraternities and sororities. Recruitment is primarily a process for exchanging information. Fraternity and sorority members give information about their respective organizations to potential new members. PNMs provide information about themselves and inquire about the missions, philosophies, financial obligations, alumni opportunities, and membership commitment of the organization they are interested in joining. It is an active process on both sides to ensure new members are properly matched with a chapter.
Recruitment Counselor A sorority member who has disaffiliated from her chapter during primary recruitment. She is trained to help potential new members and answer any questions they may have about sorority membership or the recruitment process.
Ritual The traditional beliefs and oaths of a sorority or fraternity usually used in reference to the Ceremonies of Initiation as well as weekly chapter meetings. These traditions do not include any forms of hazing because hazing weakens the bonds of brotherhood/sisterhood, and undermines the common experience of the fraternity or sorority. Ritual does, however, ensure that all members share a common experience across multiple campuses and generations.
Sister An initiated member of a sorority/women's fraternity. It is used as a form of address when one initiated member is referring to another member.
Sorority An individual woman's Greek organization. This is the term commonly used to distinguish between men's (fraternity) and women's (sorority) organizations. As noted previously, some sororities are identified as a fraternity in their official name.

Tyler Manning - Director of the Office of Student Involvement

Department - Office Of Student Involvement