Greek Life Terminology

GREEK: A member of a Fraternity or Sorority.

FRATERNITY/SORORITY: The name for a Greek-letter brotherhood/sisterhood that have the same basic ideals, hopes and goals. Fraternities are generally for men and sororities for women.

NATIONAL OFFICE or HEADQUARTERS: The overall administrative body of the Fraternity made up of alumni member volunteers.

CHAPTER: The campus group of a Fraternity/Sorority organization. Within each organization, chapters are usually referenced by state and/or Greek letters.

LETTERS: Reference to having been initiated and obtaining the Greek letters of the Fraternity.

DUES: Ongoing membership fees paid by individuals and the chapter to the Fraternity in order to be in good standing.


Alpha Psi Lambda specific terms:

AFFILIATE CHAPTER: A probationary body of our Fraternity. Some organizations may use terms such as "Associate Chapter" which can be considered a new Greek organization that is awaiting official recognition from their National Office to become an active chapter on their college’s campus.

MEMBERSHIP INTAKE PROCESS (MIP): The process individuals go through in order to become a member that includes learning Fraternity education and participating in Fraternity rituals.

ASSOCIATE MEMBER (AM): A person who has accepted the invitation of our organization but has not yet been initiated into full membership.

ASSOCIATE MEMBER EDUCATOR (AME): Chapter member that oversees the Membership Intake Process.

ASSOCIATE MEMBER PARENT: Member serving as guide/mentor throughout the Membership Intake Process.

CROSSOVER: An initiation ceremony through which Associate Members become full members of the Fraternity.

MGC/NPHC specific terms:

CALL: a vocal expression used by members of MGC and NPHC fraternities or sororities. Please do not repeat a call or response. It is considered a sign of disrespect.

CHANT: a call used by members of MGC or NPHC organizations to acknowledge or gain the attention of others.

INFORMATIONAL: A forum for individuals interested in seeking information about a MGC or NPHC fraternity or sorority.

LINE: a group of individuals going through the membership intake process together.

LINE BROTHER/SISTER: a term used for members of a MGC or NPHC organizations who were initiated at the same time into the same organization.

MULTICULTURAL GREEK COUNCIL (MGC): The umbrella organization for the multicultural Greek letter organizations. May also be similarly named as Latino Greek Council, United Greek Council, etc.

NATIONAL PAN-HELLENIC COUNCIL (NPHC): the governing body comprised of the 9 national historically African American fraternities and sororities.

NEO/NEOPHYTE: a new member of a MGC or NPHC fraternity or sorority.

NEW MEMBER PRESENTATION/PROBATE: a performance where the newest members of a MGC or NPHC organization present history, reveal who they are and typically stroll or step.

SANDS: a term used to refer to other members of MGC or NPHC groups who were initiated during the same term and year. They do not have to belong to the group.

SIGN (HANDSIGN): a hand symbol unique to each MGC or NPHC group. Please do not imitate an organization’s sign; it is a sign of disrespect.

STEPPING: a tradition where members synchronize their moves without music. Members will clap, stomp with their feet, jump, chant, etc.

STROLLING: members move together in a line expressing pride for their organization through their call, sign or custom dances. Please do not imitate the stroll or cut in between members of the line.