Greek Terminology

Active: A fully initiated member of a sorority who is currently attending university.

Alumna: An initiated member of a sorority who is no longer an undergraduate.

Bid: An invitation for membership in a chapter.

Carleton Sororities: Carleton's body that represents its three Panhellenic sororities.

Chapter: A local group of a national/international organization, designated by its own Greek letter name.


Continuous Open Bidding (COB): An opportunity for chapters who are not at quota or total to extend bids to women who did not join a sorority during the formal recruitment period.


Formal Recruitment: The weeks in which sorority recruitment events are held on campus.

Fraternity: An organization with lifelong membership which uses Greek letters as a name. Women's fraternities are informally called sororities.


Initiation: A formal ritual ceremony a new member goes through to become a full member of the sorority.

Legacy: A female whose grandmother, mother, an/or sisters have been a member of a certain sorority is know as a "legacy" to that sorority. Legacy definitions differ from organization to organization.

Letters: Greek initials that stand for the sorority's Greek name.

Member: A woman who has joined a sorority.

MRABA: The Membership Recruitment Acceptance Binding Agreement is a document that must be signed to be eligible for a bid for membership from a CUPC sorority.

New Member: One who has been accepted as a probationary member of a sorority. After a period of training in the history, ideals and traditions of the organization, and after earning a designated grade average, she may be initiated.

NPC: National Panhellenic Conference; a conference body composed of delegates from the 26 women's (inter)national sororities, each of which is autonomous as a social, Greek Letter society of college women, undergraduate and alumnae.

One Calendar Year: The period from a given date in one year to a comparable date in the next year. If a PNM accepts a bid on Preference, she must wait one calendar year before she is permitted to go through the recruitment process again.

Panhellenic: Greek word meaning "All Greek".

Philanthropy: An effort to promote welfare through community service. Philanthropic activity is one of the foundations of Greek organizations.

Potential New Member (PNM): A woman who is participating in the recruitment process and wishes to explore the possibilities of sorority membership.

Preference: The order of prospective new member's choices of which sorority to join; also called "pref".

Quota: The number of new members in a recruitment pool that each chapter takes at the conclusion of recruitment. Quota is set at the conclusion of the recruitment process and is based on the number of women remaining in the process in each recruitment pool.

Recruitment: The process in which potential new members visit all chapters, and through a mutual selection process, finds a chapter that best suits her.

Rho Gamma: A neutral representative of the college Panhellenic community who guides and supports the PNMs through recruitment.

Ritual: The traditional secret ceremonies of a sorority.

Sisters: What sorority members call one another.

Sorority: A society of women on a college/university campus that represents a Greek lettered sisterhood.

Intentional Single Preference: Putting only one sorority on a potential new member's final preference card. Carleton Sororities highly discourages this practice.

©2019 by Carleton University Sororities.

Our thanks goes to UofT Sororities and UBC Sororities for providing website and logo inspiration.

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