Tufts Panhellenic Sorority Lingo
*Tufts University encourages any woman-identifying person to participate in recruitment and join a sorority. In this guide, female pronouns and the words ‘woman’ and ‘girl’ refer to any person who identifies as a woman.
National Panhellenic Conference (NPC)- Refers to the umbrella organization of 26 international women’s sororities. At Tufts, Panhellenic sororities include Alpha Omicron Pi, Alpha Phi, Chi Omega, and Kappa Alpha Theta. The NPC provides support and guidance to each Panhellenic sorority and serves as a national voice.
Alpha Omicron Pi- Nickname: AOPi | Color: Cardinal | Mascot: Panda | Philanthropy: Juvenile Arthritis Research | Campus Philanthropy Events: Rose Royalty Pageant, Pie a Pi | Address on Campus: 25 Whitfield Road
Alpha Phi- Nickname: APhi | Color: Silver & Bordeaux | Mascot: Phi Bear | Philanthropy: Alpha Phi Foundation (Women’s Cardiac Care) | Campus Philanthropy Events: Bid Your Heart Out, Alpha Phifa | Address on Campus: 14 Sawyer Road
Chi Omega- Nickname: Chi O | Color: Cardinal & Straw | Mascot: Owl | Philanthropy: Make-a-Wish Foundation | Campus Philanthropy Events: Wing Fling, Dishes for Wishes | Address on Campus: 106 Professors Row
Kappa Alpha Theta-Nickname: Theta | Color: Black & Gold | Mascot: none | Philanthropy: Court Appointed Special Advocates, The Theta Foundation | Campus Philanthropy Events: Thetathon, Smart Cookies | Address on Campus: 94 Curtis Street
Multicultural Greek Council (MGC)- This council works to bring the city-wide culturally based organizations together to have a strong presence on campus. There are two MGC events per year which all organizations interested in attracting Tufts students are required to participate in. Active MGC organizations on Tufts campus include Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., and Latinas Promoviendo Comunidad / Lambda Pi Chi Sorority, Inc.
Panhellenic Council (Panhel)- The Panhellenic Council is the student-run governing body for the four National Panhellenic (NPC) sororities on campus. The Council, made up of Panhellenic sorority members, works together to promote women’s empowerment through programming and awareness activities as a collaborative community. Panhel also organizes formal recruitment in the Fall semester.
Interfraternity Council (IFC)- This is the governing body for the six national fraternities, two local fraternities, and one local co-ed fraternity on campus. They work together to promote healthy risk management and education and serve as a voice for fraternities.
Inter-Greek Council (IGC)- This is the governing council for the entire fraternity and sorority community on Tufts campus. They meet biweekly and all member organizations are required to participate. The purpose of the IGC is to foster a unified community that upholds: the values of brotherhood and sisterhood; high academic standards; philanthropic action; development of the individuals of each chapter; and support for the greater Tufts community and Greek communities through adherence to the IGC Constitution with transparency and unbiased governance.
Potential New Member (PNM)- Any woman-identifying student who is eligible to participate in formal recruitment. Eligibility requirements include: completed one full semester at Tufts, or one full semester at another university if you are a transfer student, at least a 2.5 GPA for Arts & Sciences students, or 2.3 GPA for Engineers, and students may not be on university probation.
Panhellenic Recruitment (aka Formal Panhellenic Recruitment)- Formal NPC Recruitment is the official process for eligible woman-identifying students to join a Panhellenic sorority, and is a mutual selection process between PNMs and chapters. Formal Recruitment is spread over 3 days, with parties occurring Saturday and Sunday, followed by Bid Day on Monday.
Recruitment Parties- The different ‘rounds’ of Formal Recruitment. Each Panhellenic sorority chapter throws their own ‘parties’ for PNMs to attend. At Tufts, the parties occur in the order as follows: Community Day Parties, Sisterhood Day Parties, Bid Day.
Community Day- The first day of Formal Recruitment. On community day, each PNM will attend a party at all 4 NPC sororities at Tufts. At Community Day Parties, PNMs can expect to have conversations with several members from each chapter. This is the chance for chapters to demonstrate the roles that their members play within the Tufts community as well as highlight their individual philanthropy.
Sisterhood Day- The last day of Formal Recruitment. This day is for chapters to focus on what makes their organization special, and for sisters to share what their organization means to them. This is the last party before PNMs and chapters make their final decisions about membership. PNMs will be invited to up to 2 Sisterhood Day Parties.
Bid Day- The last day of recruitment, when PNMs receive bids to join a chapter and become a new member. 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. The Unanimous Agreement states that there is to be no alcohol use or men associated with recruitment or Bid Day.
Bid– An official invitation from a sorority to become a new member, received on Bid Day during Formal Recruitment, on Bid Day during informal recruitment in the fall semester, or may be received from a chapter offering continuous open bidding.
Generally Assured Bid System- This system is in place at Tufts. With a generally assured bid, as long as a PNM attends all parties she has been invited to and ranks every Panhellenic sorority she is able to on each night of Formal Recruitment, she will be assured a bid from one Panhellenic sorority she has ranked on the last night of Recruitment. The Panhellenic sorority she is offered a bid from is excited to have her as a new member.
Continuous Open Bidding- An opportunity for Panhellenic chapters that do not reach quota during Formal 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.
Snap bidding- An option available to Panhellenic chapters which did not fill quota. These chapters may offer bids to PNMs whose preferences were not matched, meaning they would not be extended a bid by chapters they listed on their preference rankings after Preference Night. This process takes place before bids are distributed, and a PNM 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.
Total- The allowable chapter size on a campus, as determined by the Panhellenic Council, including new and active members. Panhellenic chapters that fall under total may be allowed to participate in continuous open bidding until they reach total.
Quota- The number of PNMs to which each Panhellenic chapter can offer bids during recruitment. This is determined with a formula involving the number of Panhellenic chapters and the number of woman-identifying students participating in bid matching (recruitment).
Intentional Single Preference- When a PNM lists only one chapter on her Membership Recruitment Acceptance Binding Agreement following the Preference Night parties. This means she has opted out of the generally assured bid system. This does not serve in her best interest, given that if her one chosen sorority does not offer her a bid, she will receive no bid from any other sororities and will not be joining a sorority this recruitment.
Membership Recruitment Acceptance Binding Agreement (MRABA)- A one-year binding agreement signed by a PNM when ranking chapters after Preference Night, during formal recruitment. A PNM agrees to accept a bid from any chapter she lists on her MRABA. If a PNM receives a bid from a chapter she has listed and declines the bid, she is bound to it for one year or until the next primary recruitment period (for Tufts this is Spring/Formal Recruitment), meaning she cannot accept a bid from 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.
New Member- 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 for initiation.
New Member Period- The time between Bid Day and initiation in which the new member learns about her sorority before becoming a collegiate member. This period is a maximum of 7 weeks long.
Dues- Fees paid to the sorority you are a member of. Dues must be paid to remain in “good standing” with your chapter. New members are given a few weeks in their new chapter before being required to pay dues.
Initiation- A traditional ceremony within a sorority, occurring after the New Member Period, that brings a new member into full membership of that sorority. Once you are initiated into an NPC sorority, you are ineligible for membership in any other.
Ritual- The private traditions and practices of a sorority, which are deeply rooted in the shared values and purposes of the members. Ritual serves as a reminder to each member of her responsibilities and inspires her to fulfill them, while connecting the past with the present and future.
Chapter- Each national sorority and fraternity has an individual chapter of their organization at different colleges and universities. Additionally, some sororities refer to their required weekly meeting as “chapter.”
Unanimous Agreements- This set of 10 principles, procedures, and behavioral expectations are “considered so basic to ethical and harmonious inter-sorority life that they are binding on every NPC member organization.” All individual members of a Panhellenic sorority must abide by these agreements
Advisor- An alumna member of a sorority that serves as a mentor to a collegiate chapter.
Good Standing- A sorority member who has fulfilled all membership obligations, such as paying dues and maintaining the required GPA of her chapter, among other things, is in good standing with her sorority.
Letters– The Greek letters of a sorority or fraternity name.
Nationals/Headquarters– Every Panhellenic chapter at Tufts is a member of its own national organization apart from NPC, which sets policies for the entire sorority.