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Sorority Vocabulary

Active: A collegiate, initiated undergraduate member of a sorority.

Alumna/Alum: A woman who has completed a period of active membership in a sorority chapter in college.

Alumnae: Plural of Alumna.

Alumnae Panhellenic: The city organization of the alumnae of National Panhellenic Conference sororities.

Badge:  An insignia of fraternity or sorority membership worn by initiated members.  Each sorority has its own badge.

Bid: A formal invitation of membership that is extended to a Potential New Member asking them to join their chapter.

Bid Day: The last day of recruitment, when potential new members receive bids to join chapters and become new members.  Each chapter will usually host a Bid Day activity to help the new members get to know each other and the rest of the chapter.

Chapter: The local collegiate membership of a national fraternal organization.

College Panhellenic Council:  A council  for all NPC sorority chapters on a college campus.  This council serves as the governing body for all NPC chapters on campus and organizes the recruitment process.  Each chapter chooses a delegate to sit on it College Panhellenic Council.

Continuous Open Bidding (COB):  An opportunity for chapters that do not reach quota during primary recruitment to bid to total and/or quota.  The continuous open bidding process is less formal, and not all chapters will participate in continuous open bidding.

Deferred Recruitment: A form of recruitment where the formal recruitment process takes place after the completion of at least one semester of college.

Dropping out of Recruitment: If it becomes necessary for a potential new member to discontinue attendance at recruitment parties, she should check with her college Panhellenic as to procedure and registration for Recruitment at a later date.

Greek: A name/title applied to women who are members of a national sorority/fraternal organization.

Initiation:  A traditional ceremony, unique to each individual chapter, that brings a new member into full membership or a sorority.  Once you are initiated into an NPC sorority, you are ineligible for membership in any other.

Intentional Single Preference/ Solo Bidding/ Suicide/Suiciding: When a potential new member lists only one chapter on her Membership Recruitment Acceptance Binding Agreement following preference round.  It is recommended that every potential new member going through recruitment indicate a first and a second choice at preferential signing.

Legacy: A daughter, sister or granddaughter of an initiated member of a sorority.  Typically, different groups have different definitions of legacies.  Being a legacy does not guarantee a bid to a particular sorority.  Each organization has its own policy for invitations to legacies during recruitment.

MRABA: The Membership Recruitment Acceptance Binding Agreement.  This is a one-year binding agreement signed by a potential new member when ranking chapters after preference round.  A potential new member agrees to accept a bid from any chapter she lists on her MRABA.  If a potential new member receives a bid to a chapter she lists and declines it, she is bound to it for one year or until the next primary recruitment period, meaning she cannot accept a bid to any other organization.  If a potential new member signs a MRABA and does not receive a bid, she is eligible for continuous open bidding.

National Panhellenic Council (NPC):  The umbrella body for 26 international women’s fraternities and sororities.

New Member: A woman who has accepted a bid from a sorority but is not yet an active member of the chapter.  Chapters will have some sort of new member process during which the new members learn more about the sorority and prepare them for initiation.

Philanthropy: A charitable service project/event sponsored by a sorority.

Potential New Member (PNM):  A woman who is eligible to participate in recruitment.

Preferential Bidding:  A system used at the conclusion of Formal Recruitment when PNM’s and sororities indicate choices.

Quota:  System used to equalize, in general, the number of members in each campus group.  It means the number of girls who may be pledged by each group in Recruitment.  The quota is set by the university Panhellenic and depends on the number of PNM’s  and sororities on a particular campus.

Recruitment: The process of recruiting women to become members of the Greek community. Formal recruitment week consists of events hosted by each of the sorority chapters in which PNM’s are invited to attend.

Recruitment Counselor (also called Rho Chi): A sorority member who is disassociated from her sorority during recruitment to serve as a recruitment guide.  Each PNM will be assigned a recruitment counselor during formal recruitment.

Recommendation (Rec): A form completed by an alumna member of a sorority recommending a PNM for membership.  Recommendations forms vary by each sorority and slightly different informational needs.  Alumna use these forms to call a PNM to their group’s attention but it is the sorority chapter’s privilege to choose who shall receive invitations.

Silence: The period of time when there is absolutely NO contact between PNM’s and sorority members.

Snap Bid: An option available to chapters that did not fill quota.  Chapters may offer bids to PNM’s whose preferences were not matched, meaning they would not be extended a bid by chapters listed on their preference rankings after preference round.  This process takes place before bids are distributed, and a PNM would receive a phone call or other contact by  sorority offering her a snap bid.  If she chooses to accept, the new member would participate in normal Bid Day activities.