Panhellenic Dictionary

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Active - A sorority member who has completed her pledgeship and has been formally initiated by her chapter.
Alumna - An initiated sorority member (feminine) who is no longer in college. (Plural: Alumnae)
Bid - A formal invitation issued through the Panhellenic Council on behalf of an individual sorority to a PNM to join that sorority.
Bid Day - The day that PNM's receive their bids.
Bid Matching - A system of matching a PNM's preferences with sororities' preferences.
Candlelighting - A sorority ceremony in which a sister announces her receiving of a lavalier, pin, or engagement ring.
Chapter - The local group of a national sorority designated by a special Greek letter name
Chapter Room - The room used by sorority members where chapter meetings are held.
College Panhellenic - The cooperative organization of collegiate members of sororities.
Depledge - The process of resigning from a sorority after formal pledging and before initiation.
Formal Recruitment - The major recruiting period of the year during one week early in the Fall semester, formal recruitment consists of three rounds of parties given by each sorority. PNM's have the opportunity to visit each sorority house and meet is members. Formal Recruitment is scheduled and governed by the Panhellenic Council for the purpose of meeting prospective students.
Fraternity - A Greek letter organization characterized by ritual, a pin and a strong tie of friendship.
Greek - A member of a sorority or a fraternity so called because the organization bears a Greek letter name.
Greek Week - A series of events sponsored by the Greek community to promote community service and Greek unity.
Hazing - Unethical and forbidden pre-initiation activities.
Initiate - A person who has recently become an active member of a sorority.
Initiation - The formal, ritualistic ceremony during which a new member takes her final vows and becomes a full member of her sorority.
Interfraternity Council (IFC) - The representative governing body of the fraternity system.
Lavalier - A necklace with Greek letters on it. Sorority women wear these with their sorority's letters, and some become lavaliered upon receiving a lavalier from a boyfriend with his fraternity's Greek letters.
Legacy - A PNM whose mother, sister, or grandmother is an alumna or active member of a specific sorority.
Making Your Grades - All Greek organizations require a minimum grade point average in order to become a full member of the group.
Mixer - A social activity with two or more Greek organizations.
Nationals - The governing body of each sorority or fraternity on a national level; the central headquarters of a Greek organization.
New Member - A student who has accepted the bid or invitation for membership of a Greek organization and has taken the first step toward full membership but has not yet been initiated. After a period of training in the history, ideals, and traditions of the group after earning a designated grade point average, she is initiated. A pledgeship expires when one is not initiated within one academic year.
- National Interfraternity Conference, a confederation of 64 men's fraternities.
NPC - National Panhellenic Conference, the national governing body of sororities, each of which is autonomous as a social, Greek letter society as college women undergraduates and alumnae. This is the national governing body of all national social sororities.
Open Bidding - That period in which any sorority not having reached quota and/or chapter total may recruit and pledge a woman without specifically scheduled bidding or parties. Also referred to as Open Recruitment.
Panhellenic - National and local council of sororities the purpose of which is to govern, to unify, and to aid sororities in their relationships with one another and the college community.
Philanthropy - A service project undertaken by sorority chapters on the campus, community or national level.
New Member Educator - The individual who is the liaison between the new members and the chapter. This person is responsible for the development of the new members and preparing them for initiation.
New Member Pin - A small pin that a pledge wears during pledgeship.
Pledgeship - A period of education when a new member learns about the organization.
Potential New Member (PNM) - Any student who is regularly enrolled and is eligible according to scholastic requirements, who is interested in becoming a member of a sorority, and who has registered for Recruitment.
Preference Card - The cards signed after each round of Recruitment parties by each PNM, indicating the order of her preferences of the sororities.
Quota - The number of women that each sorority may pledge during Recruitment.
Recommendation - A written letter or statement recommending a woman for pledgeship in a sorority. It can be sent form an alumna of any chapter and is sent to the chapter of her sorority on this campus. The sorority, not the PNM, is responsible for soliciting these.
Rho Gamma - Sorority members who do not affiliate with their own sororities during Recruitment, but who serve as unbiased advisors to PNM's during Recruitment.
Recruitment - A process whereby students interested in a sorority can meet the members of each chapter and learn more about the organizations.
Recruitment Weekend - The major, formal period set aside by College Panhellenic for entertaining and selecting new members for membership. It is also referred to as Closed Recruitment.
Silence - That period of time designated by College Panhellenic during formal Recruitment Weekend when there is no communication between members and PNM's except at Recruitment parties and through casual greetings in public. This is done to prevent undue pressure on the PNM during Recruitment so that each PNM can make her own decisions.
Sorority - A Greek-letter sisterhood, also called a women's fraternity.

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