Greek-Affiliated Terminology


Member of a fraternity/sorority who has graduated; plural is alumni/alumnae.

Big Brother/Sister

An older member assigned to assist or mentor a new member or associate member.

BidA formal invitation to join a fraternity or sorority. A student may accept only one.
Bid Matching

A system for matching the choice of the potential member with the choice of the chapter during College Panhellenic Formal Recruitment.


Audible sounds used by members to acknowledge or gain the attention of other members. Calls may vary regionally within organizations, and some organizations may use more than one call. 

ChapterThe collegiate group of a local, national, or international fraternity or sorority. Inter/national organizations often give chapters a name, usually a Greek letter or combinations of Greek letters and/or the state.
Chapter AdvisorAn alumna/alumnus who establishes and maintains a close advisory relationship with a chapter and serves as a teacher, counselor and friend.
College Panhellenic (Panhellenic)This is the unifying, governing, and coordinating body for the sorority system at Temple.  The council is composed of one delegate from each sorority and is led by an Executive Council.  The Executive Council is made up of women elected from the member sororities for 9 positions.
ColonyA term used to describe the collegiate group of a fraternity or sorority in a new organization on the campus.
CrossedEquivalent to being initiated. The term means different things to different groups, but generally means crossing over from being a pledge to being a full member.
Continuous Open Bidding (COB)The term for the time when College Panhellenic sororities may take New Members outside of the formal recruitment process.
Depledge/DeactivateThe termination of a new member's or initiated member’s relationship with a Greek-letter organization.

Temple University defines hazing as:

"A person commits the offense of hazing if the person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly, for the purpose of initiating, admitting, or affiliating a minor or student into or with an organization, or for the purpose of continuing or enhancing a minor or student’s membership or status in an organization, causes, coerces, or forces a minor or student to engage in activities, including, but not limited to consuming any food, liquid, alcoholic liquid, drug, or other substance; brutality of a physical nature, including whipping, beating, branding, calisthenics, forced exercise or exposure to the elements; brutality of a mental nature, including activity adversely affecting the mental health or dignity of the individual, sleep deprivation, exclusion from social contact or conduct that could result in extreme embarrassment; or brutality of a sexual nature."

House CorporationA legal entity holding title 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.
InformationalA meeting held by a chapter for prospective members who are seeking more information about the organization and how to join. An informational is typically the first step in the Membership Intake process for NPHC Organizations.

A formal ceremony in which an individual becomes a full member of a fraternity or sorority.

Interfraternity Council (IFC)The Temple student governing body for the inter/national organizations belonging to the NIC. The council is made up of the president of each fraternity chapter and led by an Executive Council.  The Executive Council is composed of men elected from the member fraternities for 8 positions.
Inter/National OrganizationA common way to refer to the larger fraternity or sorority with a chapter on a college campus.  For the business center of these organizations Headquarters, Central Office, or Executive Office is appropriate.
LegacyA student whose mother, father, brother, sister, or grandparent was a member of a particular Greek organization.  Some organizations consider additional relatives such as aunts and uncles in the definition.
Line Brother/SisterTerm for members of an MGC or NPHC organization who were initiated at the same time and into the same organization. Lines are ordered and there is terminology for a person’s position in the line.
Membership IntakeIntake is the process by which MGC and NPHC organizations take in new members. This process begins with an information meeting or formal rush and concludes with initiation. Each organization does membership intake on their own schedule and not necessarily every semester. Most groups require that you have at least 12 hours of college credit.
Multicultural Greek Council (MGC)This is the governing body for special interest and culturally-based fraternities and sororities at the Temple. The council has 13 chapters.
National Panhellenic Conference (NPC)The national group of 26 women’s sororities in North America and the Umbrella Organization for the Panhellenic Council. Representatives from each national sorority meet regularly to advocate for sororities, make common agreements about how Panhellenic sororities should function, and provide resources to collegiate and alumnae members.
National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC)Refers both to the local and national coordinating body for historically Black fraternities and sororities. Temple has 8 of the national organizations. The council at Temple is made up of the president of each organization and an Executive Board which includes four positions.
NeophyteA term used to refer to new members of an MGC or NPHC organization. Sometimes abbreviated as Neo.
New/Associate MemberA term used to refer to a member of a fraternity or sorority who has accepted a bid but has not participated in the initiation ceremony.  This time is when they get to know the members of the chapter, learn history and symbolism, and develop an understanding for the ideas and principles of the organization.
North-American Interfraternity Council (NIC)The national trade organization of 75 men’s fraternities in North America and the umbrella organization for the Interfraternity Council. Unlike the other umbrella groups this group does not have any governing authority over its members. National representatives meet regularly to advocate for the fraternal experience, and make common agreements about minimum standards for member organizations.
Pin/BadgeWorn by an initiated member of a fraternity or sorority, unique to each organization.
Pledge ClassGroup of members of an IFC or College Panhellenic organization who were initiated at the same time in the same organization.
Potential New Member/Aspirant/Interest

A term used for a student who has shown interest in being recruited by a fraternity or sorority, or who has registered for the formal recruitment process. Aspirant/interest is common among NPHC organizations.

Note: Formerly the term Rushee was used.

Probate/New Member PresentationA show where newly initiated members of MGC or NPHC organization introduce themselves to the community and highlight what they have learned about the organization during their intake process.

A member of an MGC or NPHC organization who has been in the organization long enough to initiate a new line of members.


The number of new members that College Panhellenic sororities may accept during formal recruitment. This is determined by the College Panhellenic based on the number of potential members participating in a given recruitment period, and is not determined until after the Preference round of formal recruitment.


The time when Interfraternity Council fraternities and College Panhellenic sororities select New Members.  This process is conducted informally throughout the year and formally in the beginning of the second semester.  Formal recruitment is organized and executed by the IFC and Panhellenic Executive Boards.

Note:  The formal recruitment process was previously known as “rush”.

Recruitment Counselor/Rho Gamma

An upper-class member of a fraternity or sorority, chosen and trained to assist PNMs with recruitment.

RitualA ceremonial event unique to each organization that plays out the ideals and principles of that organization.  They are the same for every chapter of the same fraternity or sorority, and are usually the time when students take an oath to uphold the values of that organization.
SandsA word used to acknowledge other members that crossed over in other organizations or in the same organization, but a different chapter.
Snap BiddingAn option available to chapters not receiving quota by bid matching during Formal Recruitment.
SteppingA historically black tradition characterized by synchronized hand foot movements, along with singing, dancing, chanting, and acting. Many Latino/Latina and Multicultural groups participate in stepping as well.
Stroll(also known as Party Walk, Party Hop). A line dance done by members of cultural Greek organizations; usually done at a party or step show.
TotalThe allowable chapter size as determined by the College Panhellenic. Chapters under this number are allowed to participate in Continuous Open Bidding (COB).
Umbrella OrganizationsThe national or international groups to which fraternities and sororities belong to. On-campus these are called governing councils.
UnaffiliatedA student not in a fraternity or sorority.