Campus Terminology

Term Definition
Advisors Advisors are members who have graduated and serve the chapter and provide guidance and support on chapter management and operations.
AFLV

The Association of Fraternal Leadership & Values exists to stimulate the growth and development of fraternity/sorority council and chapter leaders by promoting leadership, educational, and values based experiences and resources for student leaders, their advisors, and the larger fraternal market. Each February, representatives from fraternity and sorority communities throughout the country meet in St. Louis for a weekend conference.

Alumni/Alumnae A graduate member of a fraternity or sorority. Many remain active with their chapters by serving as Alumni Advisors, in Graduate Chapters, or on chapter House Corporations
Bridging the Gap A quarterly lecture series of diversity issues jointly sponsored by IFC, MGC, NPHC, and Panhellenic
Chapter The local body affiliated with a national organization. Also, the common term for weekly meetings of the fraternity or sorority
Colony A group of men or women on a college campus who desire to affiliate their group with an inter/national fraternal organization. Colony status is the first step to establishing a chapter on campus
Crossing A term used by NPHC and MGC groups to indicate that a new member has been fully initaited into a group. You may also hear the term "crossing the burning sands"
Dance Marathon Originially created by Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity as a chapter philanthropy event. It is one of the largest student-run phlanthropies in the United States raising approximately $500,00 for chairty. Fraternity and sorority members and their chapters continue to play an integral role in its success
Dillo Day

Dillo Day is an annual festival at Northwestern University which takes place on the last Saturday of May. Begun in 1972, and organized by the Mayfest student group, the day is characterized by an all-day music festival and special events on the Northwestern Lakefill, as well as a spirit of celebration. Members of the IFC and PHA community sponsor breakfast, pizza, and water during the day.

Dues Fees paid by members to their chapter to cover operating costs for the organization, national membership fees, and programming/social events. Dues are often collected by the chapters through the University Billing System
Expansion/Extension When the University invites a new inter/national fraternity or sorority to establish a chapter at Northwestern.
Evans Scholars Founded at Northwestern, it is now a national organization with chapters at several universities. Men and women earn full scholarships from the Western Golf Association to the University and function similar to fraternities and sororities. Members live in the Evans Scholars chapter house for all four years. Evans Scholars is a member of IFC.
Fraternity These are values-based organizations that provide an organized social life for their members in colleges and universities and a contributing aspect of their educational experience. Many of the National Panhellenic Conference (Panhellenic) organizations exist as fraternities, though the generic term "fraternity" and "sorority" is used to distinguish between men and women's organization, respectively.
Freshman Freeze

First-year students are not permitted to enter fraternity or sorority houses or attend chapter events/activities during Wildcat Welcome and the subsequent first two weeks of classes of fall quarter. This period is known as the Freshman Freeze.

Gamma Sigma Alpha A national honor society that recognized Greek students of at least junior standing for ourstanding academic achievement. The minimum grade requirement for membership is a 3.65/4.0 GPA.
Gone Greek Night An annual event sponsored by the IFC and PHA community, which is a celebration of its newest members. Traditionally the IFC new members serenade the PHA women and then chapters sponsor social functions that evening.
Greek Awards Awards presented annually in the Spring at the Greek Awards banquet to recognize fraternity and sorority chapters who have excellened in areas such as scholarship, service/philanthropy, public relations, recruitment, etc. Awards are given out in individual categories and one IFC, MGC, NPHC, and PHA chapter is recognized for having the best overall chapter operations and programming during the year.
Greek Ally Group

The Greek Ally Group was created in 2008 to design and implement a longstanding fraternity/sorority organization that promotes educational programming and diversity awareness in regards to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning students and their allies.

Greek Emerging Leaders A class held each fall and spring for new members of fraternities and sororities in an effort to educate potential leaders and promote interfraternalism.
Greek Leadership Retreat

Each April, the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life sponsors a weekend retreat that brings together fraternity/sorority leaders from both the council and chapter level. The retreat serves as a forum to build relationships and have open discussions about the fraternity and sorority experience at Northwestern.

GreekScene An annual step-show sponsored by NPHC. It usually takes place during Winter or Spring quarter.
Greek Week A series of events held in the fall quarter ti bring together the fraternity and sorority community and celebrate being Greek.
Hazing The University defines hazing as any action taken or situation created intentionally, whether on or off University premises, to produce mental or physical discomfort, embarrassment, harassment, or ridicule. All incidents of hazing are investigated and adjudicated by the University, governing council, or the national organization.
Honoraries Organizations that recognize members for excellence in certain areas. Northwestern's Greek honoraries include Gamma Sigma Alpha, Rho Lambda, and Order of Omega.
House Corporations Legal entities that lease the chapter houses from the University and manage them on behalf of their fraternities or sororities. All fraternity/sorority housing and meal fees paid to the University are forwarded to the chapters or house corporations for operating and maintaining the structures.
House Directors A live-in adult or graduate student employed by the chapter house corporation. His or her duties and expectations vary from chapter to chapter. Typically the house directors supervise employed staff and manage the chapter house and kitchen.
Informational A forum for individuals interested in seeking more information about a particular NPHC or MGC fraternity or sorority.
Initiation The final formal ceremony, which new members experience in order to become full members within their organizations.
Intake The term used by NPHC (and some MGC) chapters for their recruitment process. In 1990, all 9 NPHC groups prohibited "pledging" and began a process called "intake".
IFC The Interfraternity Council (IFC) represents fraternities affiliated with the North-American Interfraternity Conference. The IFC is made up of the presidents of each chapter and an executive board that is elected by the Presidents. The exec board creates programming and represents the interests of the Fraternity community to the campus and the university. The council holds "forums" every two weeks where issues and events are discussed.
Judicial Boards IFC and PHA have a standards board made up of members of fraternities and sororities. These groups hear cases and make disciplinary decisions involving chapters. Headed by members of the councils and executive boards, these boards were created to insure that Greek members govern themselves to appropriate standards. Often referred to as "J-Board" or "Standards Board"
Legacy Someone who has a family member who is a member of a particular group.
Line Individuals ging through the membership intake process.
May Sing Annual event held each spring. Chapters pair and create skits and musical acts that often parody current events and the Northwestern scene.
MGCA See AFLV.
Mission Statement The Greek Mission Statement, adopted in spring of 1999. "We commit to cultivating a unified Greek community of diverse individuals that fosters personal excellence, scholastic achievement, social enrichment, and civic responsibility. we strive to be an exemplar of sisterhood and brotherhood for the Northwestern community and beyond."
MGC The Multicultural Greek Council (MGC) represents the 5 culturally-based fraternities and sororities on campus. MGC serves as the governing body for NU's Asian and Latino/a chapters.
NALFO The National Association of Latino Fraternal Organizations (NALFO) serves as the umbrella organization for Latino Greek letter Organizations and was established in 1998.
Neophyte A new member of an NPHC or MGC fraternity or sorority.
NIC The North-American Interfraternity Conference (NIC). The NIC organizes different national programming efforts such as UIFI, IMPACT, Futures Quest and as a resource for various campuses across the country.
NPC The National Panhellenic Conference oversees the Panhellenic chapters on various campuses. All of the Panhellenic sororites at NU are members of NPC.
NPHC The National Pan-Hellenic Council is the umbrella organization at Northwestern for the historically African-American fraternities and sororities. It is also the name of the national organization overseeing all 9 Afrian-American fraternities and sororities, also known as the Divine 9.
Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life The university provides three full-time professional staff members to work with the Greek community and its chapters. The OFSL staff serve as a resource to chapters, governing councils, and honor societies. The office is located in School Hall, Room 29 and can be reached at (847) 491-4522 if you have any questions.
Order of Omega Greek leadership honorary society for men and women, which recognized leadership, scholarship and commitment to the campus community.
Panhellenic Association The Panhellenic Association (PHA) represents the sororities affiliated with the National Panhellenic Conference. Officers of Panhellenic meet with the Panhellenic delegates from each chapter to discuss issues facing the membership. Panhellenic also plans events for the members of the community.
Prophyte Someone who has been a member of an NPHC or MGC group for a year or more, or someone who has initiated new members.
Recruitment Recruitment is the process in which current members seek out potential members through various informal and formal activities.
Recruitment Counselors Recruitment counselors (RC's) are the recruitment advisors for Panhellenic sorority recruitment. RC's are disaffiliated from their sororities in the fall and until the formal recruitment endsso that they can be unbiased counselors for the potential new members.
Rho Lambda Rho Lambda is a Greek honor society for Greek women that recognizes outstanding women for their leadership efforts in Panhellenic as well as their academic endeavors.
Risk Management The practice of following safety guidelines, which help to protect our members and guests when they attend or participate in chapter-sponsored events.
Ritual Ceremonies and traditions that fraternity and sorority chapters have done consistently since their organization's founding. Ritual represents the highest ideals of the organization. Many fraternity and sorority members refer to their initiation ceremony as their "Ritual".
Roundtables Leaders of the Greek community often have roundtables as a means to bring together specific officers from each organization. Executive boards members often hold the meetings from the governing councils. Examples of these roundtables include: social chair roundtables, scholarship chair roundtables, and President roundtables.
Sands The term used to refer to men and women of NPHC and MGC groups who were initated in the same term and year.
Scholarship Scholarship describes the importance of academics in college. Fraternities and sororities often have scholarship chairs to encourage academic excellence among their members. Scholarship is fundamental to Greek Life and deemed very important by each organization.
Ship Somebody who goes through the NPHC or MGC intake process with you.
Sorority These are values-based organizations that provide an organized social life for their members in colleges and universities and a contributing aspect of their educational experience. Many of the National Panhellenic Conference (Panhellenic) organizations exist as fraternities, though the generic term "fraternity" and "sorority" is used to distinguish between men and women's organization, respectively.
Standards Board IFC and PHA have a standards board made up of members of fraternities and sororities. These groups hear cases and make disciplinary decisions involving chapters. Headed by members of the councils and executive boards, these boards were created to insure that Greek members govern themselves to appropriate standards. Often referred to as "J-Board" or "Standards Board"
Stepping An elaborate performance involving dance, marching, and traditional culture of the organization.
Strolling Traditional dances or "party walks" for NPHC and MGC groups.
Substance-Free Substance-free is a term used for chapters whose facilities and/or activities are substance and/or alcohol free.
UIFI UIFI stands for the Undergraduate Interfraternity Institute sponsored by the NIC. UIFI takes places as summer sessions. Greek leaders on campuses from all over the country attend and develop new leadership skills and gain new ideas in order to develop concrete plans for change on his/her own campus.
Winter Leadership Conference The Winter Leadership Conference is a required program held in Winter quarter for ALL new members of the fraternity and sorority community. The program consists of several speakers and workshops on relevant issues. Members of the NPHC and MGC who cross after the program is held are required to attend next years conference.
Yard A term used by NPHC groups to indicate the campus. Used in phrases such as "which groups are on the yard," meaning which groups are currently present on campus.