Skip to main content

Fraternity and Sorority Life


Family Guide to Fraternity and Sorority Life


Legacy – A student whose family member (typically parent, sibling, grandparent, aunt or uncle) is a member of an organization.

Potential New Member (PNM) or Aspirant – A student interested in joining a fraternity or sorority.

New Member – A student who has accepted a bid to an organization and is taking part in the new member education/intake program.

Philanthropy – A nonprofit organization, usually chosen by the national organization, in which chapters educate others, raise funds or donate items.

Big Brother/ Big Sister – An older member in the chapter assigned to serve as a mentor to a younger/new member.

Bid – A formal invitation to join a fraternity or sorority.

Informational – A meeting held by a chapter for prospective members who are seeking more information about the organization and how to join. An informational is typically the first step in the Membership Intake process for our MGC organizations.

Inter/National Organization – A common way to refer to the larger fraternity or sorority with a chapter on a college campus.  For the business center of these organizations Headquarters, Central Office, or Executive Office is appropriate.

 Ritual – A ceremonial event unique to each organization that plays out the ideals and principles of that organization.  They are the same for every chapter of the same fraternity or sorority, and are usually the time when students take an oath to uphold the values of that organization.

Chapter – The collegiate group of a local, national, or international fraternity or sorority. Inter/national organizations often give chapters a name, usually a Greek letter or combinations of Greek letters and/or the state.

 Chapter Advisor  An alumna/alumnus who establishes and maintains a close advisory relationship with a chapter and serves as a teacher, counselor and friend.

 Colony – A term used to describe the collegiate group of a fraternity or sorority in a new organization on the campus.