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Glossary of Sorority & Fraternity Terms

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Someone who has graduated from a women’s Greek Letter organization; plural is alumnae.


Someone who has graduated from a men’s Greek Letter organization; plural is alumni.

Award for Excellence

An internal self-evaluation process that each chapter completes and submits each November.


A formal invitation to become a member of a Greek Letter organization.


The local campus group of a fraternity or sorority.


Fees paid to a sorority and fraternity organization for membership, typically paid per semester.

Greek Allies Program (GAP)

The Greek Allies Program (GAP) is a council of 1-2 members from each fraternity and sorority focused on sexual violence prevention using education, prevention and response.

Interfraternity Council (IFC)

The Interfraternity Council (IFC) is the governing body of the Whitman College fraternities providing advocacy, marketing, support, risk management education and judicial oversight for the fraternity community.


If your relative is an initiated lifelong member of a fraternal organization, even at different schools, you are may be legacy of that organization.

National/International Organization

A Greek Letter organization that has chapters at other colleges and universities around the country and sometimes in Canada.

New Member

A new member is a person who has gone through the recruitment process and is in the process of becoming an initiated member of the organization.

New Member Period

The period from when a student joins a fraternity or sorority until that student is initiated into the group.

Order of Omega

The Order of Omega is an honorary organization that recognizes the top 3–5% of the sorority and fraternity community. Membership is limited to sophomores, juniors and seniors who have demonstrated outstanding effort in their academics, leadership and service work.

Panhellenic Association

The Panhellenic Association, also known as Panhel, is the governing body of the Whitman College sororities providing advocacy, marketing, support, risk management education and judicial oversight for the sorority community.


A Potential New Member (PNM) is someone who could potentially become a new member of a Greek Letter organization. This often refers to students who are going through recruitment.

Recruitment Counselors

Recruitment Counselors, also known as Rho Gammas or RhoGams, are sorority members who ‘disassociate’ from their sorority chapter during recruitment to support and serve as a resource for potential new members participating in the sorority recruitment proves.

Rho Gamma

A Rho Gamma, or RhoGam for short, is a sorority member who serves as a Recruitment Counselor. Rho Gamma is from the Greek letters standing for Recruitment Guide. The team of RhoGams are available to support potential new members and help them understand the sorority recruitment process.

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