Active: a fully initiated member of a fraternity/sorority.

Affiliation: the fraternity or sorority to which the individual belongs.

Alumnus/Alumna: an initiated fraternity/sorority member who has graduated from the university.

Associate Member: a person who has accepted the bid of a Greek organization but has not yet been initiated into full membership. See also "New Member"

Badge: a "pin" worn by fully-initiated members of each fraternity or sorority.

Bid: an invitation to join a fraternity or sorority.

Big Brother/Sister: an initiated member of a fraternity/sorority that is assigned to an associate member/new member as a mentor.

Brother: An active or alumni member of a fraternity

Brotherhood: intangible, yet the most cherished foundations of fraternity life.

Chapter: an established membership unit of a national/international fraternity or sorority.

Chapter Advisor: an alumnus who establishes and maintains a close advisory relationship with a chapter and serves as a teacher, counselor, and friend.

Class or "New Member Class": a term used to name new members of a Panhellenic Council or Interfraternity Council organization who all joined during the same semester.

Colony: a newly formed affiliate of a national organization that has not yet received its charter.  The members of a colony are referred to as "founders."

Crest: Insignia used by fraternity and sorority members.  Most Greek organizations reserve the crest for initiated members only.  Also know as a coat of arms, shield or armorial bearings.

Dues: membership and other fees paid to local organizations for programming and for expenses incurred as part of a nation organization.  Dues may be different for new members and actives due to one-time fees payable during the first semester of membership.

Exchange or "Social": an activity where the members of one Greek organization visit the chapter of another Greek organization for a social event.

Formal Recruitment: a designated recruitment period during which a series of organized events are held by each participating NPC sorority or IFC fraternity.  During the week, a mutual selection process takes places, during which chapters and potential new members find the best for for each other.

Fraternity: a Greek-letter organization comprised of individuals brought together over mutual interests.  The term is generally associated with groups of men, but it also refers to co-ed and women's organizations.  In fact, many sororities are officially fraternities.

Greek: a member of a fraternity or sorority.  The term "Greek" is used because a majority of fraternities and sororities use Greek letters to distinguish themselves.\

Greek Advisor: a staff member that helps guide and structure the Greek community and its members.

Hazing: any willful act or practice by a member or associate member, directed against a member or associate 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 or associate member that compels a member or associate member to participate in any activity that is illegal, contrary to a member's or associate member's moral or religious beliefs or contrary to the rules and regulations of the fraternity, institution of learning and civil authorities.  Hazing is prohibited by university policy, State law, and the policies of national fraternities and sororities. 

Informal Recruitment: a period of time where Greek organizations who are not at quota can hold events to recruit new members.  The term is labeled informal because potential new members need not follow a designated schedule.

Initiation: a ceremony during which new members receive lifelong membership privileges into the organization they have chosen to be a part of.

Interest Group: a group of individuals on campus in the first stage of the process leading to installation as a Greek-letter organization.

Legacy: a potential new member of a fraternity or sorority who is a relative of a member of the same fraternity or sorority.

Little Brother/Sister: a new member of a fraternity/sorority who is paired with an active member for a mentee/mentor relationship.

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.

Nationals: the national or international organization to which a chapter is affiliated.  Most have a national board of directors, comprised primarily of alumni, and national headquarters with support staff.

North-American Interfraternity Council: a national organization comprised of 74 fraternal organizations (mostly for men), each of which is autonomous as a social, Greek-letter society of college men.

New Member: a person who has accepted a the bid of a Greek organization but has not yet been initiated into full membership.

Officers: initiated members who currently hold positions within their Greek organization or governing body.

Philanthropy: the chapter's specific charitable organization(s) that they donate money and volunteer hours to.

Potential New Member: an individual that is interested in joining a fraternity or sorority.

Quota: the number of women each sorority may pledge in a formal recruitment period.

Ritual: traditional ceremony of a fraternity or sorority.

Rush: The process of attending recruitment events held by Greek-letter organizations with the intent of meeting people and participating in a particular fraternity's or sorority's functions (students seeking membership into Greek life "rush," while Greek organizations "recruit" new members.

Sister: an active or alumni member of a women's fraternity or sorority.

Sisterhood: intangible, yet the most cherished foundations of fraternity and sorority life.

Sorority: a Greek organization for women.  Many of the 26 NPC sororities are actually fraternities, as many were created before the word sorority was coined.  Despite this, many will call themselves sororities. 

Total: the maximum number of members a Panhellenic Council sorority can have on a given campus.