Tuesday, August 9, 2011

It's All Greek to Me! Defining Important Sorority Terms.

The Greek community is a unique opportunity and experience. During recruitment you may hear some terms that are unique to the Greek community and unfamiliar to you. Here is a list of a few terms that might help explain Greek life a little better.

Bid: a bid is a formal invitation to join a Greek organization.

Chapter: a chapter is a smaller piece of a larger organization. For example, Alpha Alpha Alpha sorority is a national organization with "chapters" on hundreds of campuses around the nation.

Charter: a charter is a document given to each chapter by their national organization recognizing them as an affiliated part of the organization.

Colony: a colony is the beginning stage in becoming a chapter. Once the colony completes certain requirements they can apply for a charter from their national organization to become a "chapter".

Four Pillars: the four pillars are the values that Greek life stands for. These pillars are scholarship, service, leadership and sisterhood/brotherhood.

IFC: this stands for Interfraternity Council. They are the governing body of all the IFC affiliated fraternities on campus.

Initiation: this is a ceremony through which you learn about the history of your organization and you become a true member.

Legacy: A legacy is woman who has an immediate family member (mother, grandmother, sister) who was a member of a Panhellenic sorority.

MGC: this stands for Multi-Cultural Greek Council. MGC is the governing body of all the MGC affiliated sororities and fraternities.

National Headquarters: every Panhellenic sorority here at KU is part of a larger organization. Each chapter follows the rules and regulations set forth by their national headquarters, and usually a representative from headquarters will visit the chapter each year.

New Member: a new member is a woman who has pledged to join a particular sorority but has not yet been initiated.

NPHC: this stands for National Pan-Hellenic Council. They are the governing body for the NPHC affiliated sororities and fraternities, which are historically African-American.

Panhellenic Association: The Panhellenic Association is the governing body of all 13 Panhellenic affiliated sororities here at KU.

Philanthropy: Greek life organizations often host Philanthropic events. The purpose of these events is to raise money for a charity of the Greek organization's choice. Each Greek organization usually supports the same charity  as their national organization. Philanthropic events are extremely diverse. They can be a traditional walk/run, a benefit concert, a pancake breakfast, a scavenger hunt or even a water balloon fight.

Pledge: an oath taken to signify your intention to join a particular organization.

Purpose/Creed/Motto: each Greek organization was founded on values and principles. Each organization has a statement of these values. Some statements are public while others can be known only to initiated members.

Ritual: this is the ceremony before every chapter meeting. It was created by each organization's founders and is known only to initiated members. Its purpose is to remind members of the values their organization stands for.

Rush: this is a term for recruitment used on other campuses around the nation. Here at KU we call the process Fall Formal Recruitment.

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