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Common Terms

Active Member: A formally initiated member of a fraternity or sorority.

Alumna(ae): A sorority member who has graduated from college.

Alumnus: A fraternity member who has graduated from college.

Alumni: Plural for initiated members who have graduated from college.

Badge: The insignia that designates a fraternal organization.

Bid: A formal invitation to join an organization.

Bid Day: The final day of recruitment when a potential new member receives an invitation to join an organization.

Brother: A term used to refer to other members of a fraternity.

Brotherhood: Intangible, yet the most cherished of assets among fraternity members - brotherhood is the foundation of fraternity life.

Call/Chant: A vocal sound used by members of culturally-based organizations to acknowledge one another.

Chapter: A campus group recognized by the institution and the inter/national fraternal organization.

Chapter Advisor: An alumni member who advises students in specific organizational procedures.

Colony: A group of students that has started a new chapter of a fraternity or sorority on campus.

Community Service: Services volunteered by individuals of an organization to benefit a community or its institution.

Crossed: The actual date of initiation into a multicultural Greek organization. The term is used to represent the symbolic “crossing of the burning sands."

Formal/Date Party: A social event held by one chapter to which each member may invite one date to attend.

Fraternity: A student organization (can be male, female, or coed) that has secret rites; a student organization for academic, professional, or extracurricular activities. The term “fraternity” also applies to some women’s groups.

Greek: A member of a fraternity or sorority.

Greek Week: A week each year to promote unity within the fraternal community, that includes recreational and educational events and programs. At Villanova, events during this week include: Greek day of service, Mass, flag football, basketball, tug-of-war, Skit Night, and many others.

Hazing: Any action or situation that recklessly or intentionally endangers the mental or physical health or safety of an individual, or which willfully destroys or removes public or private property for the purpose of initiation or admission into or affiliation with, or as a condition for continued membership in, any organization operating under the sanction of or recognized as an organization by the university. (See the Villanova University Student Handbook appendix for more information).

Initiation: A ceremony in which a new member begins full membership in a specific organization.

Interfraternity Council (IFC): A central governing body for certain fraternities at Villanova. This Council provides programs and service to chapters and holds chapters accountable for Council and university policies and procedures.

Leadership: Many leadership opportunities exist within Fraternity and Sorority Life. Not only are officer positions available in each chapter and council, but affiliation also opens doors to other involvement opportunities across campus.

Legacy: An individual whose mother, father, sister, brother, grandmother, grandfather, or other immediate family member was or is currently a member of a particular organization. Each inter/national organization may have its own definition of "legacy."

Line: Members of a cultural Greek organization's new member class.

List Social Event: A social event in which invitations are given to friends of a sponsoring organization. The organization then produces a list of invited guests, and attendees travel via bus to a third party vendor for the event. (See the Fraternity List Party Guidelines section of the Social Policy for specific procedures regarding these events).

Multicultural Greek Council (MGC): A representative body for Villanova'a multicultural Greek organizations.

Mixer: A social gathering between one (or more) sorority and one (or more) fraternity held at a third party vendor. These events cannot be longer than three hours. (See Social Policy for the specific procedures regarding these events).

National Association of Latino Fraternal Organizations (NALFO): An umbrella Council for Latino Greek Letter Organizations. The purpose of NALFO is to promote and foster positive interfraternal relations, communication, and development of all Latino fraternal organizations through mutual respect, leadership, honesty, professionalism, and education.

National Panhellenic Conference (NPC): A representative body for certain sororities at Villanova. The Panhellenic Council is a central governing body of certain sororities at Villanova that offers programs and service to chapters and the community, as a whole. This is derived from the Greek meaning all (Pan) Greeks (Hellenic).

Neophyte: A new member of a multicultural Greek organization.

New Member/Associate: A member of a fraternal organization that has not yet been initiated.

New Member Badge: A badge that designates a new member of a fraternity or sorority.

New Member Conference: An all-day breakout style conference that occurs in the Spring semester and serves as an opportunity for new members to meet fellow peers across organizations and learn more about Fraternity and Sorority Life at Villanova University.

New Member Recruitment: The continual process of recruiting members for a fraternity or sorority (typically IFC and NPC).

New Member Education Period: The time prior to initiation in which new members of a fraternal organization learn about their organization, develop relationships with fellow new and active members, and examine the values their organization is built on.

Philanthropy: A charitable project to raise money and awareness for a particular cause sponsored by each organization on campus.

Potential New Member: A student that participates in either formal or informal recruitment.

Presidents’ Council: A governing body encompassing all chapter presidents.

QUEST: An off-campus weekend leadership retreat that takes place in January for incoming chapter presidents and council officers.

Recommendations/References: A written letter from an alumnus or alumna recommending a potential new member for membership. These are not necessary for students to participate in recruitment.

Recruitment: A social experience organized by the Panhellenic and Interfraternity Councils in which mutual selection allows each potential new member and chapter to determine membership.

Recruitment Counselor: Individual who is available during formal recruitment to answer questions about recruitment.

Recruitment Guide (Rho Gamma): A disaffiliated member of an organization who assists potential members throughout the recruitment process.

Ritual: A detailed act or series of acts carried out by an individual to represent their organization’s values.

Scholarship: Fraternity and Sorority Life at Villanova University strives for high scholarship. A minimum GPA of 2.75 is required to participate in the recruitment process. Each chapter has a scholarship program to provide incentives, coordinate study groups, and to encourage members to achieve their highest academic goals.

Sister: A term used to refer to other members of a sorority.

Sisterhood: Intangible, yet the most cherished of assets among all sorority members - sisterhood is the foundation of sorority life.

Social: Fraternity and Sorority Life at Villanova University provides opportunities for a well-rounded social life, as well as for developing lifelong friendships. Many activities are organized not only to become closer to one's sisters or brothers, but to members of other chapters, as well.

Social Event: A general term that includes mixers, formals, and date parties that must be registered in accordance with the Social Policy. (See Appendix)

Sorority: A female student organization that has secret rites; a student organization for academic, professional, and extracurricular purposes.

Strict Silence: A time period when members of sororities may not discuss recruitment with non-sorority members outside of recruitment events.

Stroll: A line dance done by members of multicultural Greek organizations (usually at a step show).

“Undergrounds”: Groups that are not recognized inter/nationally and/or by Villanova University.


Sarah Hernandez
Phone: 610.519.7282

Eric Goins
Assistant Director
Phone: 610.519.7285

Olivia Farkas
Phone: 610.519.4373

Marian Moran
Administrative Assistant
Phone: 610.519.7280

Jasmine Thornton
Graduate Assistant
Phone: 610.519.7280

VU Groups

Visit your student organization VU Groups page to start the approval process regarding meetings, membership engagement events, and events open to the University community. 


Tabling that student organizations regularly engage in, typically near the Connelly Center, the Riley Ellipse, Bartley Hall, and Dougherty Hall, is not permitted at this time during the Spring 2021 semester.