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Fraternity & Sorority Glossary

ADVISOR - An alumna or alumnus who serves as a resource and educator for the chapter and its members.

ALUMNA - An initiated sorority member who is no longer in college. (plural: Alumnae).

ALUMNUS - An initiated fraternity member who is no longer in college. (plural: Alumni).

BID - A formal invitation to join a fraternity or sorority.

BID DAY - When IFC or Panhellenic chapters extend bids to potential new members.

CONTINUOUS OPEN BIDDING (COB) - The membership intake process occurs after formal recruitment.

CHAPTER - The local branch of a national/international fraternity or sorority. Each fraternity or sorority chapter has a Greek letter chapter name designation. The chapter's name is based on the order in which the organization was founded nationally, in Greek alphabetical order. Chapter names can also have a state name in which the chapter resides. (e.g. Delta Zeta at MSU's chapter is the Kappa Tau chapter. Sigma Alpha Epsilon at MSU's chapter is the KY Gamma chapter.)

FORMAL RECRUITMENT- The time at the beginning of a semester when IFC and Panhellenic chapters host open events for students to visit and learn about them.

FRATER - A term used to refer to a brother of an NPHC fraternity.

GAMMA CHI - A recruitment counselor who helps guide prospective new members through the formal recruitment process; these individuals have initiated members of University chapters who have disaffiliated with their particular organization for the period of recruitment. The membership of these individuals shall remain unrevealed until after recruitment is completed.

GREEK - A member of a fraternity or sorority.

HAZING - An activity that causes undue stress placed on any member that can be mental or physical and is strictly forbidden by law and University policy.

INDEPENDENT - A student who is not in a fraternity or sorority. 

INITIATION - The traditional ritual that brings students into full membership in a chapter.

INTAKE – The process used to bring new members into an organization. Each NPHC group determines when to conduct intake. Each group follows strict guidelines as set forth by its international headquarters. Each organization is assisted in this process by its Graduate Chapter (group of alumni) and chapter advisor. In 1990, all nine NPHC groups prohibited pledging and began this new intake process.

IFC - The Interfraternity Council governs men's North-American Interfraternity Conference (NIC) member fraternities.

LEGACY - A potential new member whose grandparent, parent and/or sibling was initiated into a fraternity or sorority. Being a legacy is NOT a guarantee of getting a bid to membership in all groups. 

NEOPHITE - A new member of an NPHC fraternity or sorority.

NEW MEMBER (also ASSOCIATE MEMBER or CANDIDATE) - A person who has accepted an invitation to join a chapter but who has not yet been initiated as an active.

NPHC - National Pan-Hellenic Council, the national governing board for historically African-American Greeks. Also the local governing council for the chapters at MSU.

PANHELLENIC COUNCIL (PHC) - The governing body of campus National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) member sororities that coordinate sorority activities.

PHILANTHROPY - An ongoing charitable effort, usually for a single non-profit or other worthy cause

PIN (also BADGE) - A distinctive insignia worn on the chest designating a member of a particular fraternity or sorority.

PNM - Potential New Member; someone participating in sorority recruitment.

PREFERENCE - A preference party is usually called "pref day." The sorority recruitment process typically spans a few days to a week-long, and preference events are held on the final day of the process, before Bid Day/Night. Potential New Members can attend up to two preference parties.

RITUAL - The traditional, private ceremony for members only, held on various occasions

SOROR - A term NPHC sorority members use when referring to one another.

STEP SHOW - A festive event in which members of an organization or several organizations perform synchronized, rhythmic steps while chanting lyrics to show pride and spirit for their organization. Since step shows are a big tradition within NPHC groups nationwide, many alumni return to campus to witness and/or participate in this event.

STROLL- A traditional dance in which members of an NPHC group form a line and perform synchronized rhythmic steps. Line steps/strolls are done at social functions.

Contact Fraternity & Sorority Life

Amanda Maynard, Director of Student Activities

213 ADUC
Morehead, KY 40351

PHONE: 606-783-2668
FAX: 606-783-5023