Fraternity & Sorority Life Terms

Fraternity & Sorority Life brings many terms that may be unknown to students and parents. We have compiled a list of terms that will help you understand our community better.

Active: An initiated member of a fraternity or sorority.

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

Alumna/ae: A sorority woman who has graduated from college. Alumnae is the plural version of alumna.

Alumnus/i: A fraternity man who has graduated from college. Alumni is the plural version of alumnus and is used to represent a group of alumni consisting of men and women.

Alumni/ae Association: An organization of alumni from an individual Fraternity or Sorority. The association may be based on geographical location or chapter.

Associate Member: A person who has accepted the bid of a fraternity or sorority but has not yet been initiated into full membership.

Badge: The symbol worn by the initiated member of a fraternity or sorority.

Bid: An invitation to become a member of a fraternity or sorority.

Brother: A term used by members of a fraternity when referring to one another.

Chapter: a local group of the larger inter/national organization, designated by a specific Greek letter name.

Chapter Advisor: An alumni who establishes and maintains a close advisory relationship with a chapter and serves as a teacher, counselor, and guide.

Chapter Meeting: Each fraternity/sorority holds a weekly meeting to keep all of the members informed about upcoming events and work through chapter operations. Often referred to as “Chapter”.

Continuous Open Bidding: Continuous Open Bidding is a very informal process that sororities use to take in new members. Unlike formal recruitment, there are no silence rules, no long days of going from party to party, or complicated invitation acceptances. This happens after the end of Formal Recruitment.

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".

Crossed: The term means different things to different groups, but generally means crossing over from being a prospective member to a full member.

Disaffiliation/Disassociation: The action recruitment counselors and council executive boards take during formal recruitment in order to perform their duties and assist PNMs during recruitment without bias to achieve parity amongst the community.

Dry Recruitment: Any organization's event where they are trying to gain interest in or from potential new members without the presence of alcohol.

Dues: These are the membership, and other fees, paid to the local chapter of a sorority or fraternity in order to be a member in good standing with the local chapter and to stay in good standing with its national organization.

F.I.P.G.: Fraternity Insurance Purchasing Group is a group of inter/national fraternities that have grouped together to form a uniform risk management policy in order to obtain adequate liability insurance.

Formal Recruitment: The predetermined time span for recruitment in which the majority of recruitment occurs each year.

Fraternity: A fraternal organization of men. Formally, both men's and women's groups were called fraternities, though many of the women's groups now refer to themselves as a "Fraternity for Women" or sororities.

Greek Life/Greeks: Term often used to describe a fraternity or sorority and their members. All organizations are named after Greek letters and their teachings are routed in mysticism and secrecy.

FSL: Fraternity and Sorority Life

FSL Advisor: A staff member that helps guide and structure the fraternal community and its members. Works on the day to day operations of the community.

Hazing: “In accordance with Section 1006.63, Florida Statutes, “Hazing” is defined as any action or situation that recklessly or intentionally endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a student for purposes including, but not limited to, initiation or admission into or affiliation with any organization operating under the sanction of a postsecondary institution. "Hazing" includes, but is not limited to, pressuring or coercing the student into violating state or federal law, any brutality of a physical nature, such as whipping, beating, branding, exposure to the elements, forced consumption of any food, liquor, drug, or other substance, or other forced physical activity that could adversely affect the physical health or safety of the student, and also includes any activity that would subject the student to extreme mental stress, such as sleep deprivation, forced exclusion from social contact, forced conduct that could result in extreme embarrassment, or other forced activity that could adversely affect the mental health or dignity of the student.” ERAU Daytona strictly prohibits any form of hazing. Hazing is prohibited by university policy, State law, and the policies of inter/national fraternities and sororities.

Jersey Friday: A long-standing tradition at ERAU Daytona where members of organizations all wear their jersey’s every week on Friday.

Informal Recruitment: A method by which men’s groups individually determine when they will extend bids to PNMs. Unlike formal recruitment, sororities who have spots available (based on total) can extend a bid at any time during the year with informal recruitment.

Initiation: A traditional, secret ritual that brings an individual into full membership.

Lavalier: A piece of jewelry depicting the letters of one's organization.

Legacy: A PNM or active member whose grandparent, parent, aunt, uncle, brother or sister is a member of a fraternity/sorority. Legacy status differs from organization to organization.

Meet the Greeks: An event held twice a year where all chapters gather in front of the Student Union with their tents and actively recruit members.

Mixer: An activity where the members of one or more fraternal organization(s) host a social event with another fraternal organization.

Interfraternity Council: The Interfraternity Council (IFC) is a governing body representing all member fraternities at ERAU. It is their goal to provide our community with any assistance they might, need while promoting the fraternal movement at ERAU and beyond.

Inter/National Headquarters: The governing body and staff of each inter/national fraternity or sorority.

New (or Associate) Member: A person who has accepted a bid from a fraternity or sorority. Previously referred to as a Pledge. Some organizations still use the term pledge.

New Member Class: All potential members of a chapter who accept their bids to join the fraternity/sorority in the same semester. All members go through the New Member Process as a unit.

New Member Education Process: The time period in which candidates for active membership (or new members) learn about the organization and participate in brotherhood/sisterhood actives.

New Member Pin: A pin that designates a new member of a fraternity or sorority.

Order of Omega: A national honor society recognizing fraternity and sorority members who excel in academic achievement, Fraternal leadership, and campus involvement. Reserved for the top 3% academically.

Panhellenic Council: The Panhellenic Council (PHA) is a governing body representing all member sororities at ERAU. It is their goal to provide our community with any assistance they might, need while promoting the sorority movement at ERAU and beyond.

Philanthropy: The chapter's specific charitable organization(s) that they raise or donate funds for.

Pin: The symbol worn by the initiated member of a fraternal organization.

PNM (Potential New Member): A college student who is interested in joining a fraternity or sorority and is taking part in the recruitment process.

Quota: The number of women each sorority may accept during formal recruitment. This number changes each year.

Recommendation: Sometimes a PNM may not be a legacy, but she may know an alumna of a sorority chapter. In these cases, the alumna may choose to write a recommendation letter of introduction to the chapter of the sorority of which she is a member. This letter generally is a means by which the sorority can get to know a bit more about a PNM. It is not necessary to have any letters of recommendation to go through the recruitment process.

Recruitment Counselor/Rho Gamma: An upper-class member of a sorority, chosen and trained to assist PNMs with formal recruitment.

Risk Management: Involves analyzing all exposures to the possibility of loss and determining how to handle these exposures to reduce, mitigate, or transfer the risk.

Ritual: Secret ceremonies that are used to inspire and educate members about the importance of the organization. Teaches the importance of brother/sisterhood.

Recruitment: The time when fraternities and sororities sponsor activities seeking PNM's while the PNM's seek fraternal membership.

Service: is volunteering that is done by a fraternity or sorority member or organization.

Sister: A term used by members of a sorority when referring to one another.

Social: An activity where the members of one or more fraternal organizations have a social event with another fraternal organization.

Sorority: A fraternal organization of women.

Silence Period: The time between preference night and bid day during Panhellenic Formal Recruitment in which no sorority woman or PNM may have contact.

Total: The maximum number of women a Panhellenic chapter may have in their chapter. A chapter may go over total during formal recruitment only by reaching Quota.

Unaffiliated: A student not in a fraternity or sorority.