Greek Terminology

GREEK LIFE – “Greek” is typically a commonly used term to describe the community of fraternities and sororities on a college campus. Greek does not, however, refer to the country of Greece or any specific involvement with students with a Greek origin.

BID – A bid is an invitation for membership in the organization. A bid can be received through getting to know a fraternity or sorority, which is typically done after the student and the organization have a mutual agreement. For women, bids are also extended at the conclusion of formal recruitment – the main way women join sororities at Missouri S&T.

RUSH – An antiquated term for “recruitment”. This term was popular on college campuses in the 60s, 70s, and 80s. Missouri S&T chooses to use the term recruitment because it alludes to a more informed decision made by the prospective member, and a wiser decision made by the fraternity/sorority.

WHEN TO USE ALUMNUS AND ALUMNI – An alumnus is a male graduate, or former student. Alumni is the plural of alumnus. The feminine form is alumna (singular) and alumnae (plural). Great care and precision should be employed by fraternity men in using these terms appropriately.

PLEDGING AND PLEDGESHIP (Associate Membership) – Pledging is, in short, the new member education period that all new members go through during their first months with the fraternity/sorority. This period of time allows both the members of the fraternity and the new member to evaluate each other to determine whether there is a good fit.

CHAPTER – The word used to identify the specific fraternity or sorority at Missouri S&T. For instance, the Alpha chapter of Alpha Beta Kappa fraternity. On another campus, they would be identified as the Beta chapter of the fraternity, and so on. Fraternities and sororities have numerous chapters across the country, some as many as 280!

ASSOCIATE MEMBER – An associate member is a prospective member of a chapter but is not yet initiated. This is sometimes referred to as “pledge”.

INITIATE – An initiate is an initiated member of a Fraternity. Sometimes referred to as an “active”.

UNDERGRADUATES – Members of the present collegiate chapter are called undergraduates or “undergraduate members.”

GRADUATES – Members of the chapter or any chapter who have graduated or left college are known as graduate members or alumni.

INITIATION – The preferred term used to describe a Fraternity’s ritual ceremony of induction of associate members into chapter membership.


IFC – Interfraternity Council
NIC – North-American Interfraternity Conference
NPC – National Panhellenic Conference
NPHC – National Pan-Hellenic Council
FEA – Fraternity Executives Association
FIPG – founded as Fraternity Insurance Purchasing Group, now FIPG, Inc.
AFA – Association of Fraternity Advisors (national organization for Greek professionals)
NASPA – National Association of Student Personnel Administrators


Contact Missouri S&T Fraternity & Sorority Life

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