Alumnus/a: (plural alumni/alumnae) members of a fraternity (alumnus/i) or sorority (alumna/ae) who have graduated from an organization; generally this happens when the student graduates from college, although there may be reasons for a member to go “early alum” from the organization.
Bid: a formal invitation to join a fraternity or sorority; used by IFC and Panhellenic.
Big Brother/Big Sister: a fraternity brother or sorority sister assigned to a new member to help transition into the organization.
Brother/Sister: used within an organization to refer to other members of the same organization.
Chapter: a campus organization of an international fraternity or sorority. These often have their own chapter letter designations to distinguish them from other universities’ organizations.
Councils: the governing bodies that oversee the MWSU fraternities and sororities. Each council has an advisor and executive board members or officers. See the “Councils and Chapters” page for more information.
Greeks: a short, outdated term used to refer to members of the fraternity/sorority community. The first ever fraternity (Phi Beta Kappa) was named using Greek letters to keep its identity a secret, and that tradition has continued since 1776.
Hazing: any act which endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a student, or which destroys or removes public property, for the purpose of initiation, admission into, affiliation with, or as a condition for continued membership in a group or violation. This behavior is expressly forbidden by every fraternity/sorority chapter and council, as well as by Missouri Western State University, the State of Missouri, and the United States of America. Click here for more information on the MWSU hazing policy, or to report a hazing violation.
Initiation: the formal ceremony that brings a new member into full membership in their fraternity or sorority. Each chapter has its own set of requirements that must be met prior to initiation.
Intake: (Pertains only to NPHC organizations) the process of educating prospective members on the history of both the organization and the chapter, as well as working on collaborative projects and service events related to the mission and purpose of the organization.
Legacy: a person whose grandparent, parent, or sibling was a member of a fraternity or sorority. These individuals may have a higher chance of becoming a member of the organization to whom they are a legacy.
Philanthropy: the donation of funds towards a charitable organization. Each organization is affiliated with its own philanthropic organization(s).
Potential New Member (PNM): a college student who is participating in the recruitment process to join an organization.
Quota: (pertains only to Panhellenic sororities) the maximum number of members a chapter may have at a given time; evaluated every semester.
Service: the donation of time or work towards a charitable organization. Each organization requires its members to perform a certain number of service hours per year or semester.
Recruitment: the process by which fraternities/sororities and potential new members become acquainted, and chapters grow. Most organizations have a formal membership recruitment period and an Informal membership recruitment period.
Ritual: the traditional ceremonies and values of a fraternity or sorority.
Recruitment Counselor (“Rho Gamma”): a member of a Panhellenic sorority who temporarily disaffiliated from her chapter to guide PNMs through formal recruitment for panhellenic chapters.