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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. Alumnae is the plural form, and alumn can also be used by members.

Bid: An invitation for membership in a chapter.

Carleton University Panhellenic Council: Carleton's body that represents its two 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 Panhellenic 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.

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

Legacy: An individual whose grandmother, mother, and/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 person 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 Panhellenic 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, they 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, they must wait one calendar year before they are 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 person 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 PNMs 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.

Recruitment Counsellor: A neutral representative of the college Panhellenic community who guides and supports the PNMs through recruitment. Informally known as a "Rho Gamma."

Ritual: The traditional secret ceremonies of a sorority.

Sisters: What sorority members call one another.

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

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