Greek Alphabet

Greek Terminology

Term  Definition 
Greek Life "Greek" is typically a commonly used term to describe the community of fraternities and sororities on a college campus. Greek does not, however, refer to the country of Greece or any specific involvement with students with a Greek origin.
Colony A newly organized group working to become a chartered chapter.
Chapter The word used to identify the specific fraternity or sorority at Missouri S&T. For instance, the Alpha chapter of Alpha Beta Kappa fraternity. On another campus, they would be identified as the Beta chapter of the fraternity, and so on. Fraternities and sororities have numerous chapters across the country, some as many as 280!
Big Brother/Sister An active member who serves as a mentor for younger members.
Calls  A unique vocal expression attributed to an organization.
Signs A display of organization pride expressed by hand symbols. 
Legacy  An individual whose grandparent(s), parent(s), sister(s)/ brother(s) is/are a member of a particular organization.
Recruitment/Rush An organized activity to meet potential members.
Potential New Member A man or woman who is going through the rush/ recruitment process.
Formal Recruitment The period of time set aside for IFC and PHC sponsored activities seeking potential new members.
Bid A formal invitation to join an organization. A bid can be received through getting to know a fraternity or sorority, which is typically done after the student and the organization have a mutual agreement. For women, bids are also extended at the conclusion of recruitment.
Associate/ New Member/ Pledge A non-initiated member in a fraternity or sorority. Pledging is, in short, the new member education period that all new members go through during their first months with the fraternity/sorority. This period of time allows both the members of the fraternity and the new member to evaluate each other to determine whether there is a good fit.
Initiation  A formal ceremony during which a man or woman begins full membership in an organization.
Active An initiated man or woman who is a college student. This individual also pays dues and can participate in chapter events. 
Alumni An alumnus is a male graduate, or former student. Alumni is the plural of alumnus. The feminine form is alumna (singular) and alumnae (plural). Great care and precision should be employed by fraternity men in using these terms appropriately.
De-Pledge The termination of an associate or pledge member's relationship with a fraternity or sorority.
Chapter Total The maximum number of members to which a sorority chapter can recruit.
National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) The international organization composed of 26 women's fraternities.
Panhellenic Council The local coordinating and governing organization for women's sororities at Missouri S&T.
North American Interfraternity Conference (NIC) The international organization composed of over 50 men's fraternities. National equivalent to the Interfraternity Council.
Interfraternity Council (IFC) The local coordinating and governing organization for men's fraternities at Missouri S&T.
Intake  Term for the process by which NPHC members are selected to become new members of an organization. Also known as Membership Intake Process (MIP). Each group is assisted in this process by their Graduate Chapter and Chapter Advisor. In general, NPHC groups require sophomore status and a 2.5 cumulative GPA for someone to go through the intake process.
Crossing An NPHC term for people that have finished the intake process and are now full members.
Divine Nine Term used to describe the NPHC affiliated organizations.
New Member Presentation  An event referred to by the NPHC organizations, where new members are presented to the Missouri S&T community. Also referred as: Coming Out Show/ Presentation/ Probate/ Roll Out
Strolling NPHC organizational members move together in a line expressing pride for their organization. In this line, members may express their pride through use of their organization's call, sign, or ritual/ custom dances. All of this is done through movements that are unique to a particular organization. 
Greek Independent Board (GIB) A local representative body of both fraternities and sororities who do not nationally align to another governing council.
National Pan-hellenic Council (NPHC) The national organization for all historically African-American organizations. Also referred to as the National Black Greek Letter Organizations (NBGLO). 
Order of Omega  National honor society that recognizes and promotes Greek leadership and scholastics.
Greeks Advocating Mature Management (GAMMA) The purpose of GAMMA is to work together as an organization of Greeks who are peer educators promoting individual support and chapter education on health and safety issues at MS&T in accordance with the rules and regulations of Missouri University of Science and Technology, the laws of the state of Missouri and the laws of the United States of America.

Frequently Asked Questions

A: Participating in the fraternity can be very time consuming. However, we encourage the learning of time management skills, both as a new member and an active member, which will help him/her with his involvement in the fraternity, on campus, and eventually in their professional career.

Greek Life offers a variety of involvement opportunities, including intramural sports, community service, and assuming leadership positions within each fraternity/sorority. Each member will find a level of commitment that is comfortable for him. By learning to balance academics, fraternal involvement, campus involvement, and social commitments, each member is more likely to be successful later on in professional life.

A: Each fraternity is self-supported through dues charged to all members. In the first year of membership, a few one-time expenses are assessed. After those initial payments are made, your son's only expense will be his regular dues. If housing is offered, fraternity lodging and meals are competitive with other housing options. A variety of payment plans are usually offered.

A: Fraternities organize a process of meeting people and making friends called rush. Rush offers your son/daughter an opportunity to meet other people on campus and learn what each organization has to offer its members. Everyone likes to belong; to feel a part of something.

Each chapter has its own unique programs and strengths, yet all are primarily based on the development of character, social skills, friendship, service to humanity, and academic skills. Just like researching, visiting, and choosing a college, your child should seek out the fraternity or sorority that best fits their personality, needs and desires. They will find that there is a place for everyone. Click here for more information about joining.

A: Be supportive and learn as much as you can by asking questions of your child as he/she meets people through the recruitment process. Fellow members will be more than happy to tell them (and you) about their group.

Because your endorsement of their choice means a lot to them, we encourage parents to ask questions and become as informed as possible about fraternity/sorority life. If parents have any questions, they are encouraged to call the Department of Student Involvement for answers. (573) 341-6697 or email at

A: Whenever you decide to pledge (become a new member), you are joining a group of men or women that share common goals and experiences. You will likely have the option of living in the chapter house as early as your freshmen year. Each individual chapter (fraternity or sorority) will have more specific information. 

The cost of living in the fraternity is 60-80% of the average cost of living in a residential hall. This cost includes room, board, and a meal plan. Many of our chapters have ample parking available at no additional fee. The meal plan includes 14 meals during the week (3 meals Monday - Thursday; breakfast and lunch on Friday). The physical facilities have a variety of options that vary between them - many include study rooms, fitness facilities, common areas, and formal dining areas.

A: Alcohol abuse is unhealthy and inconsistent with Greek ideals. All fraternities and sororities are expected to uphold state, county, and city laws, and university policies regarding the consumption of alcohol. While opportunities for all college students to choose wisely and poorly exists, Greek Life at Missouri S&T provides a supportive and educational environment that ensures that if a member chooses to consume alcohol, to do so in a responsible manner. In addition, many of our students do not drink. Greek students who choose not to drink will know that it's ok and feel comfortable with their decision.

A: Students often find managing their time difficult when moving from the highly structured high school environment to the freedoms of college. Fraternities and sororities assist in that transition by offering scholarship programs which might include study partners, mandatory study hours, and time management workshops.

Your son or daughter can access the network of fraternity/sorority members who already know how to use campus resources like the library, study skills centers, computer labs, and academic advisors. While fraternities and sororities are concerned about the academic achievement of their members, your son or daughter is still ultimately responsible for utilizing the resources made available. You can research yourself! Fraternity and Sorority grades are posted here!

A: New Greeks all experience a period of orientation. During this time, your son/daughter and the other new members will participate in weekly meeting to learn about the university and the fraternity, leadership retreats, community service projects, and activities designed to build friendships among the new members and the older fraternity members. All fraternities & sororities oppose hazing and are committed to a membership education period which instills a sense of responsibility and commitment in the new members. This period will assist your son/daughter in overcoming some of his concerns about success in college. Missouri S&T's anti-hazing policy can be found here.

A: Anyone with issues with the fraternity/sorority community is welcome to call, write, email, or stop by the Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life on campus. Contact information is:

Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life
218 Havener Center
Missouri University of Science and Technology
Rolla, MO 65409
(573) 341-6697