Sorority Recruitment Glossary

Here are some of the terms that you may hear before, during, and after going through Panhellenic Association Formal Recruitment!

Active: An initiated fraternity or sorority member who is affiliated with a campus chapter.

Alumna: A graduated member of a Women's sorority/fraternity (plural is alumnae).

Badge: The badge of an initiated member is received during the initiation ceremony and worn in a designated location.

Bid: A formal invitation for membership from a Greek-letter organization.

Big Sister: An initiated member of a sorority who serves as a sponsor, advisor or special friend to a new member, guiding them through their new member program or initiation.

Chapter: A term used to describe the collegiate group of a fraternity or sorority.

Chapter House: A house on campus where members of the organization live. Not all campuses have chapter houses. Some have designated rooms given to each sorority called Chapter Rooms, or a special dormitory where each group gets a floor. Some groups have no house or room and use whatever room is available at the university.

Colony: A term used to describe the collegiate group of a fraternity or sorority in a new organization on the campus.

Deferred Recruitment: Refers to a time when the formal recruitment process happens in the second semester.

Dues: Monthly or semesterly costs of being in a fraternity or sorority.

Greeks: A casual term used to describe members affiliated with Greek-lettered organizations.

Initiation: A traditional, secret ceremony that brings a new member into full Greek membership.

Legacy: A potential member whose grandparent, parent, brother or sister is a member of a fraternity or sorority.

New Member: A potential member who has accepted a bid from a fraternity or sorority. May also be referred to as an "associate".

New Member Program:  The time period where the new member learns about their new sorority and fraternity before initiation. Lasts from Bid day until Initiation

No Frills: Formal recruitment where costumes, elaborate food, skits, etc are forbidden at all or most rounds. Designed to let sororities recruit on a level playing field, so a sorority with more funding can not out decorate a sorority with a smaller budget. Also used to prevent over-spending on recruitment, which is usually a large portion of a sorority budget.

Non-affiliated: Persons not involved with an inter/national Greek-letter organization. Often referred to as "independents".

Order of Omega: Members are juniors and seniors who are initiated members of a fraternity or sorority and have attained a high standard of leadership and scholarship in the Fraternity and Sorority Life Community.

Panhellenic Association(PA): PA is the governing body of the sororities affiliated with the National Panhellenic Conference chartered at NC State University. This organization provides leadership and programming for the chapters.

Philanthropy: A community service and/or fund-raising project sponsored by a chapter.

Potential New Member (PNM): An individual interested in becoming a member of a fraternity or sorority.

Preference: The final parties held by sororities during Recruitment. They are fancier than the previous parties and usually include a ritual that potential new members can participate in. Also known as Pref, or Final Dinners

Preference Cards: Potential new members sign this after the pref parties, indicating in order, which sororities of the ones whose parties they attended they liked the most. These cards, along with the sororities lists of members they would like, are used to match the PNM's and sororities with one another in a mutually selective process.

Quota: The number of women to whom each PA sorority may extend bids.

Recruitment: Refers to the process by which PA chapters select new members.

Ritual: The inter/nationally endorsed traditional, secret initiation ceremonies of a fraternity or sorority.

Recruitment Counselor : A representative from a sorority that aids female potential members in the PA formal recruitment process.

Silence/ Strict Silence: The point from which recruitment starts until it ends, where no sisters in houses and PMN are allowed to speak about the details of recruitment.

Sister: A term used by sorority members to refer to one another.