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Panhellenic Info and Terminology

What is Panhellenic?   Panhellenic is a group of sororities that have organized to promote Greek life and cooperation between member groups.  There are three levels within the Panhellenic system:  

National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) – is the governing body of all NPC members.  Delegates are elected from their sororities to represent their groups within NPC.  For more information, visit the NPC website.

Alumnae Panhellenic (APH) – is a community-based organization, affiliated with the NPC, whose membership is composed of representative alumnae from NPC member group fraternities.  The primary goal of the McKinney Area Alumnae Panhellenic is to assist female high school graduates who are interested in pledging at universities nationwide.

Collegiate Panhellenic (CPH) – is established on campuses where there are at least two NPC member group chapters.  CPH's exist to develop and maintain fraternity life and interfraternal relations.  CPH's through their all-sorority programming efforts, often promote superior scholarship, leadership development, and dissemination of information important to women in general. The CPH is the coordinating body for recruitment  

Purpose of Alumnae Panhellenics:

To INFORM fraternity women of current trends
To PROMOTE the fraternity system
To IMPROVE the Panhellenic image
To STIMULATE a continuing interest in Panhellenic affairs

At this time, there are over 200 Alumnae Panhellenics in the US, Canada, and the United Kingdom.   An APH represents an ongoing commitment of women to promote and foster the Greek experience.

Greek Glossary – terminology to help you navigate the Recruitment Process

Active – an initiated sorority member attending college

Alumna (plural is alumnae) – an initiated sorority member who is no longer an active

Bid – a formal invitation to join a particular sorority

Chapter – an organized group of women representing a national sorority.  Collegiate chapters are found on college campuses.  Alumnae chapters are usually organized by geographic areas and support their collegiate chapters.

Deferred Recruitment (formerly Deferred Rush) – formal recruitment that takes place at the beginning of the spring semester Formal

Recruitment (formerly Rush) – the process of mutual selection between a prospective member and active chapter.  Each potential new member is given the opportunity to attend events hosted by all participating sororities.  As recruitment progresses, the sorority members and potential new members go through a mutual selection process until the last day, then participants are offered an invitation (bid) to join a sorority chapter.

Greek – any member of a Greek letter social or community service organization (fraternity or sorority)

Initiation – The formal ceremony that marks the beginning of the active membership. Each chapter has a different set of requirements in order to be initiated.

Legacy – generally defined as a daughter, granddaughter, sister, or great-granddaughter of a sorority member.  A potential new member could be a legacy to more than one sorority.  Being a legacy does NOT mean automatic membership into that chapter. Nonetheless, being a legacy does not hurt your chances at membership in any way.

Letter of Support - A secondary letter of reference for a Potential New Member, submitted by an Alumna of the organization

New Member (formerly a Pledge) – a member of a sorority who not been initiated.

Open Recruitment – a period usually following Formal Recruitment where there may be an opportunity to fill a chapter’s designated number of new members.  Open recruitment is limited to those chapters who do not fill their allowable quota in Formal Recruitment.

Potential New Member (formerly a Rushee) – a college woman who has chosen to participate in the recruitment process

Preferencing (Pref) – During the last part of recruitment, a potential new member determines which particular sorority she is willing to join by listing three sororities in her order of preference.

Quota – The specified number of recruitment guests to which each sorority may extend a bid.

Recruitment Counselor (or Rho Chi) – a sorority member who has disaffiliated herself from her chapter during Formal Recruitment.  She is specially trained to assist Potential New Members throughout the recruitment process and to answer any questions they may have about sorority membership.

Recommendation (Rec) – A personal letter of reference provided by a sorority alumna to the chapter of her sorority on campus.

Recruitment Information Form (RIF) - A form required by most sororities with basic information on a Potential New Member

Sister – A term used by sorority members to refer to one another

Single Intentional Preference (formerly Suicide) - The term for only listing the name of one sorority a potential new member is willing to join.