Greek Life Heritage

“There is more to college than book learning…there are, in addition, friendship, fellowship, and plain old fun, and organizations which supply these healthy leavenings will never be long from our campuses.” – Taylor A. Borradaile

W_Alphabet
  • Alumni –a sorority member who has already graduated.  Plural: alumnae.
  • Alumnus – a fraternity member who has already graduated.  Plural: Alumni.
  • Associate – a person who has made formal intentions to become an initiated member of a Greek organization.
  • Badge – the symbol worn by the initiated member of a Greek organization.
  • Bid – an invitation to a rushee to join a Greek organization.
  • Board of Governors – the basic alumni governing body for chapters in Phi Kappa Tau.
  • Brother – an initiated member of a fraternity.  It is used as a term of address when an initiated member refers to another member.
  • Chapter – an individual, chartered campus membership unit of a Greek organization.
  • Chapter Advisor – a person, usually an alumnus, who established and maintains a close advisory relationship with a chapter and serves as a teacher, counselor, and friend.
  • Colony – a student organization in the final stage prior to being installed as a chartered chapter of a Greek organization.
  • Dis-associate – the termination of an associate’s relationship with a Greek organization.
  • Dry Rush – the practice of not serving alcoholic beverages at a rush function.
  • Exchange – an activity where the members of one Greek organization visit the chapter of another Greek organization for a social event.
  • Faculty Advisor – a member of the faculty of administration who establishes and maintains a close advisory relationship with a chapter and its scholarship programs.  The faculty advisor is not necessarily an initiate of the particular Greek organization.
  • Formal Rush – the major rush period of the year with specific scheduled events.  The most concentrated period with formal rush for entertaining and selecting associates is sometimes known as “rush week.”
  • Frater – an initiated man of a National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) fraternity.
  • Fraternity – an individual men’s Greek organization, especially general college fraternity (as distinguished from an honor, professional, or recognition fraternity or sorority), and the term applied to all Greek organizations.  Some sororities are identified as a fraternity in their official name; others describe themselves as being a “women’s fraternity.”
  • Hazing – illegal in Phi Kappa Tau; see the policy on hazing included in the Risk Management Policy printed in this manual.
  • House – the physical facility which serves as a home for a chapter.
  • House Corporation – a legal entity holding title to any real property (land and buildings) for a chapter’s living/meeting purposes.  This alumni body has basic responsibilities relative to property ownership, maintenance and management.
  • House Mother – usually a women, who may or may not live at the chapter house, who is a friend, advisor, hostess, and chaperone – in every way a “house” mother.
  • Inactive Member – an unrecognized status used by a few chapters to identify chapter members who do not fulfill the obligations of undergraduate membership.
  • Informal Rush – a year-round (or extended period) of continuous, open rush with no specific, scheduled, system-wide activities of rushing and pledging.  Also known as “open rush.”
  • In-house Advisor – a house mother, house father, house director, resident scholar, graduate advisor, or any person serving the chapter as an its live-in advisor.
  • Initiate – a person who has been initiated into a lifelong membership in a Greek organization.  Traditionally, it designated a member as an undergraduate member.  It is now preferable to use “undergraduate member” or “student member” for those still in school.
  • Initiation – a ritualistic ceremony in which an associate becomes an initiate: a full, lifelong member of a Greek organization.
  • Interest Group – an individual campus membership unit in the first stage of the process leading to installation as a chapter of a Greek organization.
  • Leadership Academy – In Phi Kappa Tau, a week of leadership training sessions held biennially at Miami University in Oxford, OH.
  • Legacy – an undergraduate relative of a Greek organization member who is extended full consideration during rush and associating process.
  • Local Fraternity – a Greek-letter group which exists on campus but has no affiliation with a national Greek organization.
  • National Convention – In Phi Kappa Tau, a biennial meeting of the membership, both undergraduate and alumni, to conduct the business of the Fraternity.  Leadership training and other activities are included as well.
  • Open House – a time free of specific, scheduled activities when a rushee can visit any Greek organization chapter.  An “open house” is also an individual chapter’s reception or similar event to honor a person, celebrate Founders’ Day, etc.
  • Pledge – a person who has accepted the bid of a Greek organization, received the pledge pin, and is engaged in preparing for initiation, but who has not yet been initiated into full membership.  This term is not used in Phi Kappa Tau.  We prefer “associate member.”
  • Rush – A program (and period of time) of membership recruitment by Greek organizations.
  • Rushee – A non-member who is eligible to participate in the rush program, visiting Greek organizations with an interest in possibly pledging one of them.  Also called “potential members” or “prospective members.”
  • Sister – an initiated member of a sorority.
  • Soror – an initiated woman of a National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) sorority.
  • Sorority – an individual women’s Greek organization.  This is the term commonly used to distinguish between men’s (fraternites) and women’s (sororities) organization.  As noted, some sororities identify as a fraternity in their official name; others describe themselves as being a “women’s fraternity.”
  • ACHS-Association of College Honor Societies: organization of honor societies and fraternities.
  • AFA-Association of Fraternity Advisors: organization of college and university administrative staff members who have primary responsibility for working with Greek organizations on their campuses.
  • CFEA-College Fraternity Editors Association: organization of editors/publicity/communication professionals who work for fraternities, sororities, and societies (general, honor, professional, and recognition) as well as representatives of interfraternal organizations and other groups with a genuine interest in Greek communications programs (primarily magazines).
  • CSCF-Center for the Study of the College Fraternity: a voluntarily-supported organization at Indiana University with the mission of supporting and developing programs and services to further excellence in the Greek community inhar¬mony with the purposes of higher education.
  • FEA-Fraternity Executives Association: organization of the chief professional, admin¬strative officers of men’s and women’s general college fraternities.
  • IFC-Interfratemity Council: organization of all men’s general college fraternities on an individual campus. At some schools, there is also a Junior IFC for all fraternity associate classes.
  • IFI-Interfraternity Institute: annual seminar, co-sponsored by AFAand FEA, to provide exchange of information between fraternity advisors and professionals.
  • IRAC-Interfraternity Research & Advisory Council: organization of three interfraternal organizations—NIC, NPC, and PFA.
  • NALFO-National Association of Latino Fraternal Organizations: This is an association of emerging fraternities and sororities whose primary membership consists of Hispanic-Americans.
  • NIC-North-American Interfraternity Conference: organization of men’s general college fraternities.
  • NICF-National Interfraternity Foundation: organization dedicated to preserving the college fraternity system. Publishes the Interfraternity Bulletin.
  • NPC-National Panhellenic Conference: organization of women’s general college sororities
  • NPHC-National Pan Hellenic Council: organization of men’s and women’s general college fraternities whose member¬ship is primarily composed of African- Americans.
  • PC-Panhellenic Council: organization of all women’s general college sororities on an individual campus. At some schools, there is also a Junior Panhellenic Council for sorority pledge classes.
  • PFA-Professional Fraternity Association: organization of professional fraternities and societies, most of which have coeducational memberships limited to stu¬dents and/or practitioners in a specific field of activity.
  • Regional IFC’s-Organization of college and university IFC’s in four geographical sections of North America: MITCA(MidAmerica Interfraternity Conference Association), NEIFC (Northeastern Interfraternity Conference Association), SEIFC (Southeastern Interfraternity Conference Association) and WRGC (Western Regional Greek Conference).
  • UIFI-Undergraduate Interfraternity Institute: An annual leadership insti¬tute sponsored by the NIC. Numerous sessions are held each summer on the campus of Butler University. The Phi Kappa Tau Foundation sponsors several undergraduates each year through scholarships