Greek Speak Glossary


Active: A college undergraduate who has been initiated into fraternity or sorority membership and is active at the collegiate level.

Alumni/Alumnae: Sorority and fraternity membership is a lifetime association. After graduating, you will always have a group to return to for homecoming, alumni weekends, and more. Alumni are the backbone of sororities and fraternities. They contribute experience to strengthen each chapter, and can also influence and inspire your future endeavors.


Badge(pin): The insignia that designates your Greek organization.

Bid (card): A formal invitation to join a particular fraternity or sorority. .

Bid Day: The day immediately following Formal Sorority Recruitment where chapters extend invitations for membership to potential new members.

Big Brother/ Big Sister: An active member assigned to be the personal mentor of a new member.

Brother: A term used by fraternity members to refer to one another.


Call/Chant: A vocal sound (sometimes high-pitched) used by members Multicultural Greek Council(MGC) sororities and fraternities to acknowledge one another.

Chapter: A local group of the larger (inter)national organization.

Chapter Advisor: An alumnus/alumnae or faculty/staff member who serves in an advisory role to provide guidance to the organization.

College Panhellenic Council (CPH): The governing body of sororities at UNM.

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."

Community Service: Philanthropies provide opportunities for Greeks to participate in community and national service projects. Not all donations are monetary. Many hours of time have been donated as well. All of these experiences are very rewarding and result in a great sense of accomplishment.

Crossed: The actual date of initiation into a MGC organization. The term is used to represent the symbolic “crossing of the burning sands.”


Exchange: A theme party with a fraternity and a sorority. A formal exchange held at the end of Recruitment Week is called a Preference Party or simply Pref.


Fraternity: The name that applies to all Greek letter organizations characterized by a ritual, pin, and strong ties to friendship and moral principles. Informally, women's fraternities are called sororities.


Greek: Any member of a Greek-letter social or community service organization (sorority or fraternity).

Greek Week: A special week each year where all members of the Greek community come together. This week includes such events as Greek games, tug-of-war, and other social and philanthropic activities.


Hazing: Mental or physical abuse or harassment of a member. University policy, State law, and the policies of national fraternities and sororities prohibit hazing.

House: The physical residence where the local chapter of a fraternity or sorority resides. Not all fraternities and sororities have houses.

House Corporation Board: A legal entity holding title to, or leasing, any real property (land and buildings) for a chapter's living/meeting purposes. This alumni body has basic responsibilities relative to property ownership and maintenance.


Initiation: the formal ceremony that marks the beginning of active membership.

Intake: The membership recruitment and induction process for MGC organizations.

Interfraternity Council (IFC): The governing body of fraternities at UNM.

Intramural: Athletic activities in which members from different chapters participate in and compete with each other.


Lavalier: A pendant carrying a sorority's Greek letters. Sorority members usually receive their chapter's lavaliere at the time of initiation.

Leadership: Many leadership opportunities are available within the Greek community. Not only are officer positions available in each chapter, but also within organizations across campus.

Legacy: The brother/ sister, son/ daughter, or grandson/ granddaughter of a fraternity or sorority member. While being a legacy does not mean automatic membership into that chapter, it is looked upon favorably.

Line: A MGC organization’s new member class.


Multicultural Greek Council(MGC): The governing body for 14 fraternity and sorority chapters. This is UNM’s largest Greek council and is comprised of chapters with diverse backgrounds, including historically African American, Native American, Latina/Latino, Multicultural, and local groups.


Neophyte: A new member of a MGC Greek organization.

New Member: A member of a fraternity or sorority who has not been initiated.

New Member Pin: A pin that designates a new member of a Greek organization.

New Member Program: A period of learning about fraternity and sorority life prior to initiation. This period varies for all groups.

New Member Recruitment: the continual process of recruiting members for a Greek organization (usually IFC and CPH)


Order of Omega: A national honor society recognizing fraternity and sorority members who excel in academic achievement, Greek leadership,and campus involvement.


Philanthropy: A charitable fundraiser or service project sponsored by a fraternity or sorority.

Pledge: An antiquated term -- see "New Member."

Potential New Member: A college woman who is participating in Formal Sorority Recruitment.

Preferencing /"preffing": During the last day of recruitment, a Potential New Member determines which particular sorority she wants to join by listing three sororities in her order of preference.


Quota: The specified number of Potential New Members to which each sorority may extend a bid.


Recruitment: (formerly known as rush) The process sororities use to recruit new members.

Recruitment Guide(Rho Gamma): A sorority member who has disaffiliated herself from her chapter during Formal Membership Recruitment. She is specially trained to help Potential New Members and answer any questions they may have about sorority membership.

Ritual: The traditional beliefs and oaths of a sorority or fraternity usually used in reference to the ceremonies of initiation as well as weekly chapter meetings. These traditions do not include any forms of hazing, because hazing weakens the bonds of brotherhood/sisterhood, and undermines the common experience of the fraternity or sorority.

Rush: (now known as recruitment) The process fraternities use to recruit new members. The UNM campus participates in an informal summer rush.

Recruitment Chair: The person from each fraternity who leads each chapter's recruitment functions.


Scholarship: The Greek community at UNM strives for high scholarship. A minimum grade point average is required by sororities and fraternities in order to stay an active member. Each chapter has a scholarship program to provide incentives, coordinate study hours, and to encourage members to achieve their highest academic goals.

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

Sisterhood/Brotherhood: Intangible, yet the most cherished of assets among all Greek members, sisterhood and brotherhood are the foundations of sorority and fraternity life. Both are difficult to explain, but they can be basically characterized by their most common and identifiable element.

Social: A get-together with another group for a party, dinner, or other fun occasion.

Sorority: A Greek letter organization for women.

Strict Silence: Not discussing recruitment with non-sorority members outside of the recruitment events.

Step: A series of complex, synchronous, and precise rhythmic body movements performed with stomps, songs, or chants created by organization members.

Stroll: The traditional dance or “line walk” performed by culturally-based fraternities and/or sororities.

Stroll/Step Show: A line dance done by members of MGC organizations (usually at a party or step show).