Glossary of Greek Life Terms

ACTIVE MEMBER (often referred to as BROTHER OR SISTERS): Refers to a member who has gone through a new-member process and has been initiated, through a ritual, into the chapter.

ALUMNI (or GRADUATE member): An initiated member who has been graduated. Some organizations confer alumni status after an initiate has been an active member for four or more years.

ASIAN GREEK COUCNIL (AGC): The Council serves as the governing body, which carries on a tradition of serving Asian American students and the community.

BID: An invitation from a chapter to join the organization.

BID MATCHING: In the conclusion of the fall recruitment process for Panhellenic Association (general sororities), each potential new member submits a prioritized choice of sororities they would like to join and each sorority submits a prioritized list of women to whom they are interested in offering a bid. A computerized matching process is used to determine which sorority each participant will be invited to join. Every potential new member may not receive a bid to her favorite chapter since the Panhellenic Association sororities have a maximum number of bids (QUOTA) that they can offer.

BIG BROTHER/BIG SISTER: An active member assigned to be the personal mentor for a new member.

CHAPTER: A local group of a national organization.

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

CHAPTER HOUSE: Most general fraternities and sororities at UCLA operate facilities near campus that provide residential space for members to live and facilities for chapter meetings and activities.

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."

CONTINUOUS OPEN BIDDING ("COB" or INFORMAL RECRUITMENT): At the conclusion of the fall recruitment process for the Panhelllenic Association sororities, those chapters with a membership size less than a specified number (TOTAL) can continue to give out bids via an informal recruitment process.

FRATERNITY: A Greek-letter social or honorary organization(informally applied to men’s groups).

GAMMA: Stands for "Greeks Advocating Mature Management of Alcohol," a peer organizations that promotes responsible use of alcoholic beverages within the Greek community.

GAMMA SIGMA ALPHA: Gamma Sigma Alpha Honor Society exists to recognize and advance academic excellence as a core value of fraternities and sororities.

GREEK: An informal name for a member of a fraternity or sorority.

GASA (GREEKS AGAINST SEXUAL ASSAULT): Greeks Against Sexual Assault is an organization of Greek men and women that is dedicated to the education, awareness, and prevention of sexual assault on campus. The "not in our house" campaign sponsored by GASA is just one initiative that brings forward dialogue on this important campus issue.

GREEK WEEK: A week of activities involving all UCLA fraternities and sororities to promote Greek unity and to raise funds for a charitable beneficiary.

HAZING: Mental or physical abuse or harassment of a member. Hazing is prohibited by university policy, State law, and the policies of national fraternities and sororities.

HOUSE CORPORATION: Alumni organization which owns and/or manages a chapter house.

HOUSE DIRECTOR (sometimes called HOUSE MOTHER): A live-in employee of a residential sorority hired to manage the chapter house.

INITIATION: Ritualistic ceremony during which new members receive lifelong membership privileges.

INTAKE: The membership recruitment and induction process for the National Pan-Hellenic Council (historically African-American fraternities and sororities)

INTERFRATERNITY COUNCIL (IFC): The governing/coordinating student council for the general fraternities and sororities. All IFC member organizations are chapters of a fraternity affiliated with the North-American Interfraternity Conference (NIC).

LATINO GREEK COUNCIL (LGC): The governing body for the historically Latino/a-based fraternities and sororities. Most chapters of this organization are affiliated with the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF LATINO FRATERNAL ORGANIZATIONS (NALFO).

LINE: Term sometimes used by various culturally-based Greek organizations to refer to the members who join the same semester.

LEGACY: A student who has a brother/sister, mother/father, aunt/uncle, and/or grandfather/grandmother who is a member of a particular fraternity or sorority. Legacies are often granted special consideration in the membership recruitment process but never guaranteed membership.

LOCAL: A fraternity or sorority not affiliated with a national or regional organization.

MULTI-INTEREST GREEK COUNCIL (MIGC): The governing/coordinating council for the culturally-based fraternities and sororities, which currently includes chapters that are multicultural in focus.

NATIONAL: The national or international organization to which a chapter is affiliated. Most have a national board of directors, comprised primarily of alumni, and national headquarters with support staff.

NATIONAL PAN-HELLENIC COUNCIL (NPHC): The governing/coordinating council for the historically African-American fraternities and sororities.

NEW MEMBER (Some organizations use other terms such as PLEDGE, ASSOCIATE, CANDIDATE, OR LINE BROTHER/SISTER): One who has been accepted as a probationary member of a sorority or fraternity but has not yet been initiated. Collectively, the New Members who join the same semester are called the NEW MEMBER CLASS OR PLEDGE CLASS.

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 activities.

ORDER OF OMEGA: An national honor society recognizing fraternity and sorority members who excel in academic achievement, Greek leadership and campus involvement.

PANHELLENIC ASSOCIATION: The governing/coordinating council for the general sororities. (Note: Panhellenic means "all-Greek"). All Panhellenic Association member sororities are affiliated with the National Panhellenic Conference (NPC).

PIN: The fraternity/sorority badge of membership.

RAID: A theme party with a fraternity and a sorority.

RECRUITMENT (sometimes called RUSH): The membership recruitment process. Potential New Members are sometimes referred to as RUSHEES.

RHO LAMBDA: The purpose of Rho Lambda is to honor those women within the Panhellenic sorority community who have exhibited the highest qualities of leadership and service to their Greek community and their sorority.

RHO GAMMA: Stands for "Sorority Recruitment Counselor;" active Panhellenic Association members who assist women participating in Panhellenic Recruitment. Formally referred to as RHO GAMMA.

SORORITY: A social fraternity for women.