Fraternity and Sorority Terminology
Alumni/a – A fraternity (alumni) or sorority (alumna) member who has graduated and is a lifelong member of the organization.
Bid – An official invitation to become a new member of a particular fraternity or sorority.
Big Brother/Sister – An initiated member that is selected to mentor a new member.
Bra - What a member of a historically African American fraternity calls his fraternity brother.
Brother – A term used by members of a fraternity when referring to one another.
Candidate – A person going through the membership intake process for an NPHC organization.
Chapter – A term used by inter/national fraternities and sororities for their local group at an individual campus.
Crossing – The process of becoming an initiated member in NPHC fraternity or sorority.
Greek – A term used to refer to fraternity and sorority members and their organizations due to their use of Greek letters.
Hazing – Any type of action or activity that does not contribute to the positive development of a person. Hazing is against the law and is not tolerated at UA.
Initiation – The traditional ritual which brings a new member into full membership in the fraternity or sorority.
Intake – The process used by historically African American fraternities and sororities to enlist new members.
Interfraternity Council (IFC) – The governing body of the North American Interfraternity Conference (NIC) member fraternities.
Legacy – A potential new member who has a close relative (usually parent, grandparent, or sibling) who is a member of a fraternity or sorority.
Line – What a new member class is called in a historically African American fraternity or sorority.
National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) – The coordinating body for the nine historically African American fraternities and sororities.
New Member – A person who has accepted a bid but has not yet been initiated.
New Member Class – A group of individuals who have pledged themselves to membership in a particular fraternity or sorority.
Panhellenic Council (PHC) – The governing council of National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) member sororities.
Potential New Member – A full-time UA student interested in joining a fraternity or sorority.
Recruitment – The process used by fraternities and sororities to enlist new members.
Sister – A term used by members of a sorority when referring to one another.
Soror – What a member of a historically African American sorority calls her sorority sister.