Greek Terminology

Active: A member of a Greek letter organization who has been formally initiated by their chapter.  

Alumna: Refers to a female graduate; this is commonly used to identify an initiated sorority member who is no longer in college but can provide recommendations for potential new members to join her sorority.  

Alumnus: Refers to a male graduate.

Bid: A formal invitation issued by a chapter to join a sorority or fraternity.  

Chapter: A local group of a national organization, designated by its own Greek letter name. Chapter meetings are when the members join together to conduct official fraternity/sorority business.  

Collegiate Panhellenic Council (CPC): The governing body of the 10 women’s fraternities on Georgia Tech's Campus; eight of these chapters are part of the National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) and two are Associate Member Organizations. 

Continuous Open Bidding (COB): An opportunity outside of Primary Recruitment for CPC chapters who are not at total to recruit and extend bids to PNMs. This process is less formal and not all chapters will participate in COB. This term is not interchangeable with ‘snap bid’ as that has a different meaning. 

House Director/Mother: Someone who lives in the fraternity/sorority house and cares for all of the members living in the chapter house. They can help plans meals and manage the day to day functions for the the houses. Not every house has one and any that do are not employed by Georgia Tech. 

Interfraternity Council (IFC): an umbrella organization that presides over 32 men’s fraternities, each of which is autonomous as a social, Greek letter society of college men, undergraduate and alumni.  

Initiation: The formal ceremony which brings new members into full membership of a sorority or fraternity.  

Intake: The process NPHC/MGC chapters perform to recruit, interview, choose, and educate new members. 

Intentional Single Preference: When a PNM attends more than one Pref Round event but only lists one choice on her Membership Recruitment Acceptance Binding Agreement. This is strongly discouraged as your chances of joining are severely limited. 

Lavalier: A necklace with Greek letters attached to it. Sorority members usually receive their sorority’s lavalier at the time of joining or after initiation.  

Legacy: A PNM whose parent, brother/ sister, or grandparent was a member of a fraternity or sorority. Legacy stipulations differ for each sorority and fraternity and do not guarantee or obligate an invitation to membership. 

Membership Recruitment Acceptance Binding Agreement (MRABA): This term is formally known as a "Preference/Pref Card" and is a binding agreement that lasts one calendar year. Every PNM that attends the final round of recruitment, Preference Round, will complete an MRABA to state her membership preferences. The PNM ranks the sororities she visited during preference round and signs it to state she will accept a bid from any sorority she lists. If the PNM does not accept a bid given to her from a chapter she listed on this agreement, she is not eligible for the COB process for the calendar year. Note that once this agreement is turned in and entered into the system, it cannot be altered. If the PNM chooses not to sign this agreement, she is formally withdrawing from recruitment and is then eligible for COB. If the PNM does not receive an invitation to membership (bid) from a sorority she lists in this agreement, also referred to as a "mismatch", she is eligible for COB.

Multicultural Greek Council (MGC): An umbrella organization for Georgia Tech’s multicultural Greek-letter organizations. There are 3 sororities and 4 fraternities within this council. 

Mismatch: When a PNM’s name fails to match any of her sorority preferences. The PNM is eligible for COB.  

New Member: One who has been accepted as a member of a sorority or fraternity. After a period of education about the sorority/fraternity, she/he may be initiated.  

New Member Educator: The individual who is the liaison between the new members and the chapter. This individual is responsible for implementing and monitoring the new member program and preparing the new members for initiation. 

National Panhellenic Conference (NPC): Founded in 1902, NPC provides support and guidance for its 26 member inter/national sororities/women’s fraternities and serves as the national voice on contemporary issues of sorority life. NPC serves as the umbrella organization for CPC. Georgia Tech has eight NPC affiliated sororities.  

National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC): a national council body composed of the nine historically, predominantly African American Greek letter organizations at both the college and alumni level. Georgia Tech has seven of the nine NPHC chapters represented on campus. 

Neo/Neophyte: A term used by NPHC/MGC organizations; similar to “New Member.” 

Panhellenic Exec: The members of Panhellenic Exec lead the Georgia Tech Collegiate Panhellenic Council. They are sorority members who will also disaffiliate during primary recruitment to help oversee the process. Look for members of Panhellenic Exec throughout recruitment! 

Potential New Member (PNM): An enrolled Georgia Tech student who is not a member of a Greek letter organization. Regardless of their intention to participate in any recruitment process, they may at any time wish to explore the possibilities of membership. Particularly during primary recruitment for CPC, it is important for active members to understand the depth of this term in relation to recruitment rules. 

Probate: A new member presentation where the newest members of an NPHC/MGC chapter presents the history of their organization and pays tribute to their founders and prophytes, ultimately to reveal who they are and often step or stroll.  

Prophyte: term used by NPHC/MGC chapters to refer to an older brother/sister who has had a line cross below them.  

Quota: The number of women that a sorority may pledge/extend a bid to during Recruitment. 

Recommendation: A letter written by a sorority alumna introducing and recommending a Potential New Member for membership into her sorority. Also referred to as a rec or reference. These are supplemental documents for the CPC recruitment process and not required! 

Recruitment: A process where undergraduates interested in a sorority or fraternity meet with the members, learn more about the organization and join a organization. Primary Recruitment is a term often used by sorority members to designate the formal recruitment process that takes place in the fall semester here at Georgia Tech. The other councils host more formal recruitment processes in both the fall and spring semesters.  

Recruitment Counselor (RC): A sorority member who has disaffiliated during Recruitment to assist Potential New Members. She will be assigned a group of PNMs to help guide them through the process of primary recruitment. Any RC can be used by a PNM for assistance throughout recruitment.  

Rush: An outdated term frequently used by IFC during the fall/spring semesters to designate the recruitment period of new members. 

Ritual: the traditions of fraternities and sororities which are usually known only to initiated members. 

Stepping/Strolling: Historically black traditions characterized by synchronized hand and foot movements, along with singing, dancing, clapping, and chants. Some MGC chapters have adopted this tradition as well.