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 Guide

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 now 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 new members to join outside of the usual Formal Recruitment period. It is in the best interest of potential new members to attend Formal Recruitment, as not all chapters follow a COB process.
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 "woman'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 Greek organization.

2. An informal reference to an individual's Greek Organization.

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 fraternities at Illinois Wesleyan are managed by residence life.
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 rush period with no specific, scheduled, system-wide activities or rushing and pledging. 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 Headquarter The central organization of a particular fraternity/sorority. Commonly abbreviated as I/NHQ.
Legacy A potential new member whose grandparent, parent, and/or sibling is an alumnus or active member of a fraternity/sorority.
NPC National Panhellenic Conference; A national 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 Council; The trade organization for 76 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, its new members, activities, and responsibilities. 
Philanthropy The non-for-profit organization or charity a chapter supports through donations raised through events done by fraternities and sororities. Each organization has their own philanthropy to which they donate time, money and energy.
Potential New Member A student interested in joining a fraternity/sorority.
Recruitment Chair The person from each fraternity or sorority who is in charge of each chapter's recruitment process. 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 (Rushees). Rushees provide information about themselves and inquire about the missions, philosophies, financial obligations, Alumni opportunities, and membership commitment of the organization that he or she is interested in joining. It is an active process on both sides to ensure that new members are properly matched with a chapter. Every fraternity is not for every potential new member and vice versa. 
Recruitment Counselor Recruitment Counselor; A sorority member who has disaffiliated from her chapter during formal recruitment. She is especially trained to help potential new members and answer any questions they may have about sorority membership.
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.