Greek Terms

Active
A fully initiated member of a fraternity/sorority.
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Advisors
Alumni and University staff who bring experience and guidance to collegiate members.
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Alumna
A member of a women’s fraternal organization who is no longer an undergraduate. Plural: Alumnae.
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Alumnus
A member of a men’s fraternal organization who is no longer an undergraduate. Plural: Alumni.
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Associate Member
A person who has accepted a bid but is not yet initiated into a sorority or fraternity. See also “New Member”
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Badge
A “pin” worn by fully-initiated members of each fraternity or sorority that carries its official insignia.
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Bid
A formal invitation of membership in a fraternity or sorority.
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Bid
An active member of a fraternity.
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Brotherhood
The common term for the bond between members of the same fraternity.
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Call
A yell used mostly by NPHC organizations (although some NIC, NPC and local organizations have calls as well). Used to identify and greet brothers and sisters.
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Chapter
The individual campus units that are part of an inter/national organization.
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Charter
The official document drafted by an Inter/National fraternity or sorority that allows for the creation of a local chapter that is affiliated with a college or university campus.
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Class or “New Member Class”
A term used to name new members of an organization who all joined during the same semester.
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Colony
A new organization that is awaiting official recognition from their national to have a chapter at a campus.
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Crest
Insignia used by sorority and fraternity members. Most Greek organizations reserve the crest for initiated members only. Each crest has hidden, secret meanings behind it. Also known as a coat or arms or shield.
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De-pledge
A student who withdraws from a chapter after accepting a bid, but before the student is initiated by a chapter.
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Dues
The monetary costs of membership in a fraternity or sorority. These fees are used to cover the costs of operation, formal events, social activities, and other events, depending on the organization.
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Expansion
When an organization is looking to expand and open a chapter at a new institution.
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Founders Day
An event celebrated by fraternities and sororities to highlight the founding of their organization and celebrate its history. It's not necessarily held on the day the organization was founded.
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Fraternity
The name applied to Greek organizations including both men’s and women’s organizations; at UTD it is most commonly applied to men’s groups. There are several types of fraternities at MSU, including social fraternities, service fraternities, professional fraternities, and honorary fraternities.
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Formal Recruitment
A designated recruitment period during which a series of organized events are held by each NPC sorority. At UTD, this is organized and implemented by the Panhellenic Council.
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Greeks
Members of a fraternity or sorority. The term "Greek" is used because a majority of fraternities and sororities use Greek letters and mythology to distinguish themselves.
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Hazing
Any willful act or practice by a member, alumni, new member, directed against a member or new member, which, with or without intent, is likely to: cause bodily harm or danger, offensive punishment, or disturbing pain, compromise the person's dignity; cause embarrassment or shame in public; cause the person to be the object of malicious amusement or ridicule; cause psychological harm or substantial emotional strain; and impair academic efforts. In addition, hazing is any requirement by a member which compels a member or new member to participate in any activity which is illegal, is contrary to moral or religious beliefs, or is contrary to the rules and regulations of the sorority/fraternity, institution of learning, and civil authorities.
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Headquarters
These offices are responsible for making policies for the individual organizations at all of colleges and universities where their organization recruits members. They are fully staffed and run the Inter/National organization.
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Initiation
A ceremony during which new members receive lifelong membership privileges into the organization they have chosen to be a part of.
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Interest Group
A group of individuals on campus in the first stage of the process leading to installation as a chapter of a Greek-letter organization.
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Legacy
Each organization has its own definition of a "legacy." It is generally defined as an immediate family member of an initiated member, such as a sister/brother or daughter/son. Some sororities also recognize extended family members as legacies as well.
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Letters
The first Greek letter of each Greek word that makes up the motto of a particular fraternity or sorority; these are generally displayed on clothing and other Greek paraphernalia.
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Membership Intake
The process by which National Pan-Hellenic Council and United Greek Council members are selected to become new members of an organization. It generally includes an application and an interview process, followed by an educational program done at the regional level conducted by alumni, then an initiation.
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National Order of Omega
This is a National Honor Society for Fraternity or Sorority members who maintain a grade point average above the All-Greek average, have distinguished themselves as leaders in the UTD Greek community, have exemplary character, and are either juniors or seniors.
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National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC)
The governing body of the nine traditionally African American fraternities and sororities, also known as the "Divine Nine." Currently, four of the nine organizations can recruit members at UTD.
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National Panhellenic Council (NPC)
A national organization comprised of 26 women’s fraternities and sororities, each of which is autonomous as a social, Greek-letter-society of college women. Currently, 3 of these organizations recruit students to become members at UT Dallas.
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North-American Interfraternity Conference (NIC)
A national organization comprised of 73 fraternal organizations, each of which is autonomous as a social, Greek-letter-society of college men. Currently, 4 of these organizations recruit students to become members at UT Dallas.
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New Member
A person who has accepted a bid but is not yet initiated to a sorority or fraternity.
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New Member Educator
The liaison between the new members and the chapter, they are responsible for implementing and monitoring the new member education program and preparing the new members for initiation.
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New Member Education Program
The time period where the new member learns about their new sorority and fraternity before initiation. This time frame lasts from Bid day until Initiation
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“On the Yard”
An NPHC phrase meaning that a chapter is currently chartered and able to recruit new members on campus.
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Panhellenic Council (CPC)
The UT Dallas-based “chapter” of the National Panhellenic Conference; this is a student-led governing body that supports 3 of the women’s fraternities at UT Dallas.
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Philanthropy
This is a community service project held by a fraternity, sorority, or both. UT Dallas Greek students perform a number of these projects each year, and most Inter/National Fraternities and Sororities require their chapters to do one large project per year. Our chapters are extremely involved in university and community service participating in such events.
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Potential New Member
A person who is interested in joining a Greek-letter organization, and will participate in intake or recruitment; often abbreviated to PNM.
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Preference
The final parties held by Panhellenic Council organizations during Recruitment. These events are more formal than the previous parties and usually include a ritual that potential new members can participate in. Also known as Pref.
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Quota
A specific number of women to which each Panhellenic Council fraternity may extend membership during a formal (fall) recruitment period. This number is determined by the Panhellenic Council each year in conjunction with the National Panhellenic Conference.
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Recruitment
The process through which sororities and fraternities get new members. Potential New Members tour each organization, are invited to different events and choose the new members for their organization
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Pi Chi
A Panhellenic representative who has no contact with her own chapter during formal membership recruitment and is available to guide women through the recruitment process and answer questions.
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Ritual
The traditional rites and ceremonies of a fraternity or sorority; these are almost always private and known only to initiated members of a fraternal organization.
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Sister
An active member of a sorority.
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Sisterhood
The common term for the bond between members of the same sorority.
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Step Show
A show often performed by National Pan-Hellenic Council organizations and United Greek Council. Also called Stepping.
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Total
The maximum number of members a Panhellenic Council sorority can have on a given campus; at UTD “total” is 55. Groups can only exceed total during formal recruitment if in the process of extending bids to quota, the chapter size grows beyond this number. Conversely, if a sorority has obtained quota during recruitment and is still below total, that sorority may continue to ask new members to join, but only up to total.
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UGC
The United Greek Council - the governing body of the culturally based groups that have historically chosen to recruit members from Asian, Latina/o, or multicultural communities. (male and female).
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