Some of the most common terms you'll hear about sorority life.
A collegiate, initiated member of a sorority chapter.
An insignia of fraternity or sorority membership worn by initiated members.
Each sorority has its badge.
The last day of recruitment, when potential new members receive bids to join
chapters and become new members. Each chapter will usually host a Bid Day
activity to help the new members get to know each other and the rest of the
chapter, like bowling or roller skating. The Unanimous Agreements state that
there is to be no alcohol use or men associated with recruitment or Bid Day.
An active member of a chapter who is paired with a new member as a mentor.
Panhellenic Association: The cooperative campus organization of collegiate
members of NPC fraternities
Panhellenic Council: A council for all of the National Panhellenic
Conference sorority chapters on a campus. This council serves as the governing
body for all NPC chapters on campus and organizes the recruitment process. Each
chapter chooses a delegate to sit on its College Panhellenic council.
Open Bidding (COB): An opportunity for chapters that do not reach quota
during primary recruitment to bid to total and/or quota. The continuous open
bidding process is less formal, and not all chapters will participate in
continuous open bidding.
A traditional ceremony that brings a new member into full membership of a
sorority or fraternity. Once you are initiated into an NPC sorority, you are
ineligible for membership in any other.
single preference: When a woman lists only one chapter on her membership
recruitment acceptance binding agreement following preference round.
A daughter, sister or granddaughter of an initiated member of a sorority. Typically,
different groups have different definitions of legacies. Being a legacy does
not guarantee a bid to a particular sorority. Each inter/national organization
has its own policy for invitations to legacies during recruitment
The Membership Recruitment Acceptance Binding Agreement. This is a one-year
binding agreement signed by a potential new member when ranking chapters after
preference round. A PNM agrees to accept a bid from any chapter she lists on
her MRABA. If a PNM receives a bid to a chapter she lists and declines it, she
is bound to it for one year or until the next primary recruitment period,
meaning she cannot accept a bid to any other organization. If a PNM signs an
MRABA and does not receive a bid, she is eligible for continuous open bidding
or snap bidding.
A person who has accepted a bid from a sorority but is not yet an active member
of that chapter. Chapters will have some sort of new member process during
which the new members learn more about the sorority and prepare them for
The National Panhellenic Conference, or the umbrella body for 26 inter/national
women’s fraternities and sororities.
new member (PNM): A woman who is eligible to participate in recruitment. On
campuses that hold deferred recruitment during second semester, chapters might
use the term PNM to refer to any woman eligible for recruitment.
The number of potential new members to which each chapter can offer bids during recruitment. This is determined with a formula involving the number of
chapters and the number of women participating in bid matching.
A form completed by an alumna member of a sorority recommending a potential new
member for membership. Recommendations may be more important at some campuses
than others. Check with your fraternity and sorority life office to find out
counselor: A sorority member who is disassociated from her sorority to
serve as a recruitment guide. Each PNM will be assigned a recruitment counselor
during primary recruitment.
private traditions and practices of a sorority deeply rooted in the shared
values and purpose of the members. Ritual serves as a reminder to each member
of her responsibilities and inspires her to fulfill them. Rituals connect the
past with the present and the future.
A period of time after the close of membership recruitment events and prior to
the distribution of bids when there is no communication between potential new
members and sorority members.
bidding: An option available to chapters that did not fill quota. Chapters
may offer bids to potential new members whose preferences were not matched,
meaning they would not be extended a bid by chapters they listed on their
preference rankings after preference round. This process takes place before
bids are distributed, and a potential new member would receive a phone call or
other contact by a sorority offering her a snap bid. If she chooses to accept,
the new member would participate in normal Bid Day activities.
The allowable chapter size on a campus, as determined by the College
Panhellenic, including new and active members. Chapters that fall under total
may be allowed to participate in continuous open bidding until they reach
Agreements: Agreements between the 26 NPC member groups that provide for fairness
and equality between the groups. Several of these agreements have to do with
Values-based recruitment: A
recruitment style that focuses on meaningful conversations between active
members and potential new members with the goal of recruiting women who will
have a positive impact on chapters and the Panhellenic community. Nonessential
features such as skits, elaborate decorations and costumes are removed from the
process, and the focus is on the values, benefits and obligations of membership
for each organization.