General Greek Life Vocabulary:
An initiated, dues-paying member who is enrolled in the university.
A formal invitation to join a fraternity or sorority.
A group of individuals bound together by ritual, common ideals, and a strong bond of friendship and brotherhood or sisterhood. (The term “frat” should not be used when referring to a fraternity).
Infractions can be given to any Panhellenic or IFC organization that violates the rules of the recruitment or rush process.
The traditional ritual or formal ceremony of induction, which marks the transition to full membership of a fraternity or sorority.
The governing body for all men’s social fraternities on campus.
To be a legacy means that you have an older family member (brother, sister, mother, father, grandmother, or grandfather) who was a member of a Greek organization.
The governing body for all historically-black fraternities and sororities (known as the “Divine Nine”) on campus. Three of the Divine Nine organizations are currently active on Truman’s campus.
The governing body for all women’s sororities on campus.
Philanthropy is a term used to describe charitable events performed by Greek organizations.
A term used for undergraduate men and women interested in becoming a member of a fraternity/sorority.
A statement or letter from an alumnus/alumna or an active member of a fraternity/sorority, which recommends a prospective member for membership.
Interfraternity Council (IFC) Terms:
An initiated member of a fraternity who has graduated from college and is no longer an active member (plural: Alumni).
The term used by members of men’s fraternities when referring to each other.
A new member of an organization who has completed the new member process, but not yet been initiated.
National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) Terms:
Initiated, at the end of the recruitment period after being evaluated by the organization the aspirant is seeking. The new member then “crosses” over from a pledge to a new member.
To quit the process of becoming a member.
The term NPHC fraternity men use to refer to each other within their organization.
The process adopted by the NPHC and all of its members in the early 1990’s to put an end to dangerous rites of passage practices and hazing. (Hazing is illegal in ALL our organizations AND in the United States courts of law).
Two abbreviated terms for paraphernalia like shirts, paddles, license plates, jewelry, etc. Abbreviations differ regionally.
An abbreviated term for the Greek word Neophyte, meaning beginner. A neophyte is someone who is new to the organization.
An organization that has active status on campus.
Official public display of initiation often in the form of a step. This is the first time when newly initiated members of each fraternity/sorority are revealed to the rest of campus.
A creative form of artistic dance and musical entertainment unique to some culturally-based fraternities and sororities, especially those of historically African-American heritage.
The term NPHC sorority women use to refer to one another within their organization.
An informal form of stepping.
Panhellenic Council Terms:
An initiated member of a sorority who has graduated from college and is no longer an active member (plural: Alumnae).
Gamma Chis are members of a Panhellenic sorority that have disaffiliated from their sorority to help with formal recruitment in the fall. Once disaffiliation occurs (one month before recruitment), that sorority woman is no longer allowed to state which of the six Panhellenic sororities she belongs to and instead she is known as a “Gamma Chi.” During fall recruitment, Gamma Chis assist PNMs going through the recruitment process. It is their job to answer questions and help guide PNMs into the sorority that is right for them. The disaffiliation process helps to provide a more unbiased front for the girls.
PNM stands for Potential New Member and is used by the Panhellenic Council to describe all those women that have the potential to go through formal recruitment. This includes incoming freshmen and upperclassmen that have not joined a Panhellenic sorority.
The Panhellenic Council’s intake process. There is a formal recruitment week for women every fall, but some sororities may schedule an informal recruitment in the spring as necessary.
The term used by members of sororities when referring to each other.
The time from the end of the last party in the Panhellenic Council’s formal recruitment on Sunday afternoon until the time of Yell-In on Monday evening is known as Strict Silence. The girls going through recruitment have made their choice of which sorority to join, and likewise the sorority women have made their decisions on which girls they would like to invite into their sorority. Thus, to ensure that each organization’s new members are kept a secret until Yell-In, sorority women and those that have gone through the recruitment process may have no contact whatsoever during this time.
Yell-In happens on the Monday following the Panhellenic Council’s formal recruitment and is the time when every new sorority woman reveals her choice of organization. The girls meet with their Gamma Chi group at the top of The Hill, and then when their turn approaches, sing a brief song ending with the girls yelling their choice of sorority. Each girl then runs down the hill and is greeted by her new sisters. Greek women will attest that Yell-In is one of the most memorable moments of the Greek experience!