Sorority Terminology The following is a listing of terms that are often used within the sorority community at Valparaiso University.
Active - An initiated woman who is a college student.
Alumna - A sorority member who has graduated or left college (plural: alumnae).
Badge - The pin of an initiated member.
Bid - A formal invitation to join an organization.
Chapter - The local group of an international organization.
Chapter Advisor - An alumnus who establishes and maintains a close advisory relationship with a chapter and serves as a teacher, counselor, and friend.
Chapter Total - The maximum number of members to which a sorority chapter can recruit.
Colony - A newly organized group working to become a chartered chapter.
Community Service -Hands-on activities directly benefiting others.
De-pledge - The termination of a new member's relationship with a sorority.
Fraternal Information and Programming Group (F.I.P.G.) - A group of national/international organizations which have grouped together to form a uniform risk management policy in order to obtain adequate liability insurance.
House/Floor/Stairwell/Suite - The structure in which organizations reside or socialize together.
Initiation - A formal ceremony during which a man or woman begins full membership in an organization.
Interfraternity Council (IFC) - The representative body of all men's fraternities.
Legacy - A potential new members whose grandparents, parents, sister/brother is a member of a particular organization.
North American Interfraternity Conference (NIC) - The international organization composed of over 70 men's fraternities.
National Association of Latino Fraternal Organizations (NALFO) - The national organization for Latino/a fraternities and sororities.
National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) - The national organization for all historically African-American fraternities and sororities.
National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) - The international organization composed of 26 women's fraternities.
New Member - a member of a sorority or fraternity who has not been initiated (also called associate member or pledge).
New Member Period - The time during which new members learn about their organization, its members, and their activities.
Panhellenic Council - The local coordinating and governing organization for women's sororities.
Philanthropy - Endeavors raising money for charitable organizations.
Potential New Member - A woman who is going through the recruitment process.
Quota - A specified number of potential new members that each sorority may invite for membership.
Recommendation - A letter signed by an alumna/alumnus recommending a potential new member for membership.
Ritual - A value-based esoteric ceremony that is traditional of a chapter. Rituals are kept secret.
Recruitment - An organized activity to meet potential members.
Recruitment Counselor - A woman who disaffiliates herself from her sorority during recruitment to help women interested in fraternity/sorority life by answering questions unbiasedly.
Sister - A term used by sorority members in reference to one another.
Sorority - The name that applies to female chapters and is characterized by a ritual, a pin, and a strong bond of friendship.