Sorority Terms

If it's all Greek to you, take a moment to learn some frequently used terms! 

Advisors
Alumnae members who offer guidance and counsel to collegiate chapter members. 
 
Alumna [uh-luhm-nuh]
A member who is no longer in college; the plural is alumnae [uh-luhm-nee]. 
 
Badge
The badge (pin) is a symbol of an initiated member and her lifetime commitment to the Sorority. It may only be worn after Initiation. 
 
Bid
A formal invitation to join a sorority. 
 
Bid Day
The last day of recruitment when new members accept their bids and officially join a sorority. 
 
Big/Little Sisters
A Big Sister is a special friend in the chapter who helps her Little Sister become acquainted with college, sorority life and Gamma Phi Beta. As a role model and mentor, she always sets a fine example of the highest type of womanhood and is especially concerned about the welfare of her Little Sister. 
 
Chapter
A campus-based group of members who are affiliated with a National Panhellenic Conference inter/national organization. 
 
Chapter House/Suite/Facility
Depending on the campus, the location where the sorority members live and/or hold their meetings. 
 
College Panhellenic

The cooperative organization composed of National Panhellenic Conference sororities on the campus. 
 
Greeks
The informal name given to members of sororities and fraternities. 
 
Initiation
The formal ceremony that brings a new member into full Greek membership. Each chapter has a different set of requirements that must be met in order to be initiated. 
 
Legacy
A sister, daughter, granddaughter or great-granddaughter of a member of Gamma Phi Beta, including the "step" version of each of these relations. 
 
National Panhellenic Conference (NPC)
National Panhellenic Conference, founded in 1902, is an umbrella organization for 26 inter/national women's fraternities and sororities. Gamma Phi Beta is one of seven founding members of NPC.
 
New Chapter 
A newly-formed sorority/fraternity on campus that has yet to receive its chapter charter. New chapters have to fulfill requirements set by the college and national organization before becoming a chapter. 
   
New Member
A new member who has accepted the bid of a fraternity or sorority, but has not been initiated. 
 
Philanthropy
A service project sponsored by a chapter from which donations of goods, money and/or time are given to charitable organizations supported by the Sorority. 
 
Potential New Member (PNM)
A woman participating in recruitment. 
 
Quota
The maximum number each sorority can pledge during formal recruitment. This number is determined by the Panhellenic council at each school and is based on many different factors. 
 
Recruitment

Recruitment is a time set aside once or twice a year for non-Greek women to meet sorority members, learn about the sisterhood and decide which sorority would be the best fit. Membership in a sorority is voluntary and is the result of a mutual selection process. 
 
Recruitment Counselor
Sorority women who disaffiliate with their own chapter during recruitment to help the potential new members with the selection process. They offer impartial support and answer questions during recruitment. 
 
References
Every woman participating in Gamma Phi Beta recruitment is required to have a member-supplied reference expressing the qualities that make her a good candidate for membership.
 
Ritual
Symbolic gestures or ceremonies, often kept secret, preformed only by initiated members of the sorority.