Greek Glossary  

The Four Governing Councils  

College Panhellenic Council (CPC) – The governing council for the National Panhellenic Council and one national engineering sorority.  

Intercultural Greek Council (IGC) - The governing council for the culturally based fraternities and sororities including Asian/Latinx/Multicultural interest organizations. Some of these organizations hold or have held membership in NALFO (National Association of Latino Fraternal Organizations), NAPA (National APIDA Panhellenic Association), and NMGC (National Multicultural Greek Council).

Interfraternity Council (IFC) – The governing council for men’s fraternities, of which many hold or have held membership in the North American Interfraternity Conference.  

National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) – The governing council for the historically Black, international Greek lettered fraternities and sororities, collectively referred to as the “Divine Nine” or “D9”.  

Active Member

A fully initiated, lifelong fraternity or sorority member who is active at the collegiate level.


An initiated member of a sorority or fraternity who is no longer in college but is a lifelong member of the organization. 

Associate/New Member

An individual who is undergoing their educational joining process who has not yet been initiated into their respective chapter/ organization.

Associate Chapter/Colony

A newly formed group of members who intend to be chartered as a chapter by meeting inter/national headquarters standards.


The pin of an initiated member, received during the initiation ceremony and worn in a designated location.


A formal invitation to join a particular fraternity and sorority.


A local group at an individual campus of the larger inter/national organization, designated by a special name.


The official document from an inter/national fraternity or sorority that permits the creation of a local chapter affiliated with a college or university campus.

Continuous Open Bidding (C.O.B.)

At the conclusion of the primary recruitment process, CPH sororities and IFC fraternities may continue to give out bids via an informal recruitment process. For CPH sororities only those chapters with a membership size less than total can participate in COB. 


The actual date of initiation into a culturally based fraternity or sorority.


Expansion is the process by which inter/national organizations can (re)establish chapters on campus and includes the formalization of a relationship between the University and the corresponding inter/national entity. The expansion process at the University of Connecticut is coordinated by the Center for Fraternity and Sorority Development. 


Any activity without reasonable or legitimate educational value expected of someone for the purpose of initiation, admission into, affiliation with, or as a condition for continued membership in a group or organization that humiliates, degrades, or risks emotional, psychological, and/or physical harm, regardless of a person’s willingness to participate. 


A meeting held by an IGC or NPHC chapter for prospective members who are seeking more information about the organization and how to join.


Ritualistic ceremony during which new members receive lifelong membership privileges.


The sibling, child, or grandchild of a fraternity or sorority members. Each chapter has its own definition and policies regarding legacies. Being a legacy does not guarantee automatic membership into that chapter. Nevertheless, special consideration is often given to legacies.


Term used by NPHC and some IGC organizations to refer to the member who joins the same chapter in the same semester. Lines are traditionally ordered by numbers and there is terminology for a person’s position in line. For example, “aces” are traditionally the first person on a line to be initiated. 


The process for fraternities and sororities (primarily NPHC and IGC) to bring in new members. The intake process typically begins with an informational and concludes with initiation. 

Neophyte (Neo)

The most recently initiated member of an IGC or NPHC organization. 

New Member Presentation

Event where newly initiated members of a culturally based organization reveal themselves to the public after their membership intake period. This typically includes recitation of information, songs for their prophytes, and revealing themselves as members. This is sometimes referred to as a probate.


A charitable fundraiser or project sponsored by a fraternity or sorority. Some organizations have a designated charity they continuously support. These charities are also referred to as a chapter’s “philanthropy”. 

Primary Recruitment

The annual period structured for recruitment. CPH sororities hold primary recruitment at the start of the fall semester. IFC holds primary recruitment at the start of both fall and spring semesters. For IGC and NPHC organizations recruitment/ intake is an individualized process, which varies by organization. 

Potential New Member (PNM)

A college student who is participating in the recruitment process.


An older member of an NPHC organization, who has initiated new members into their respective chapter.   


The process through which students become members of some fraternities and sororities. For some IFC fraternities this may be referred to as rush.

Recruitment Counselor

A neutral member of a Panhellenic sorority who serves as an unbiased guide for Potential New Members during Panhellenic recruitment.  


A ceremonial event (or private/secret components of chapter operations) unique to each organization that plays out the ideals, values, principles of that organization.  


A member of a different organization or campus that was initiated in the same semester.


A tradition common to many Latinx organizations. Saluting is a unique art of reciting information in a line formation and involves a line of members performing intense, in-sync, and sharp hand & body movements with greetings attributing to others, honoring past and current accomplishments, or cherishing the cultural history, heritage, and traditions of the entire organization.


Activities in which members of an organization volunteer their time to help members of the community. Oftentimes individuals interchange philanthropy and service, but they are not interchangeable. 


A member(s) of the same sorority. A term most often used by NPHC sorority members.   

Stepping/ Step Shows

A display of coordinated group steps, dance, singing, and chanting, having roots in African tribal traditions; various influences over the years from military practice and African American culture. Step shows are a display of stepping. 


When members of a particular Greek organization line up one after another and perform a synchronous dance. Members can stroll by themselves but most often stroll with other members of their chapter. 


The allowable chapter size on a campus, as determined by the College Panhellenic, including new and active members. Chapters that fall under total may be allowed to participate in continuous open bidding (COB) until they reach total. 

Unaffiliated Student

A student who is not a member of a fraternity or sorority.


A term used by NPHC organizations in reference to their respective campus. For example, “which groups are on the yard?” meaning which groups are presently active on campus. 

Learning the Greek Alphabet

Learning the Greek alphabet can be very beneficial for parents and students who are new to the world of fraternities and sororities. Chapters represented at UConn may be represented by two or three Greek letters.