Iota Upsilon Chapter 

at the 

University of Ottawa

Glossary


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Active/ Collegiate Member: Someone who has completed their new member period and has been initiated into the sorority.  Use the terms “sister,” “new member,” or “initiated member” instead of the term “active” or “actives.”

Advisor: An alumna/alumni member of a sorority that serves as a mentor to a collegiate chapter officer.

Alumna: A female (singular) college graduate.

Alumnae: (Pronounced: a – lum – nee) Female (plural) college graduates.

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Badge: The piece of jewelry every initiated member receives to show her affiliation with Alpha Phi.

Bid: An official invitation to membership in Alpha Phi or any National Panhellenic Conference sorority.

Bid Day: 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 to get to know each other and the rest of the chapter.

Big/Little Sister: An active member of a chapter who is paired with a new member as a mentor.

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Chapter: An organized body of undergraduate women who make up a recognized and official Alpha Phi Fraternity Group.

Charter: The physical document that declares an organized body as an officially recognized Alpha Phi chapter.

Charter Members: The founding members of a specific chapter.

Colony: A newly-formed sorority/fraternity organization on campus that has yet to receive their charter recognizing them as a chapter.  Colonies have to fulfill requirements set by the college and their national organization before becoming a chapter.

Continuous Open Bidding: 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. 

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Derby Dads: A Derby Dad is your go-to Sigma Chi for all the information, guidance, and support you may need throughout Derby Days. Your Derby Dads coach you throughout the week on creative ways to participate and ultimately win Derby Days while also participating in the events with you.

Derby Days: Derby Days is a series of events and competitions put on by Sigma Chi – Lambda Theta at the University of Ottawa (and other campuses across North America) that raises money for the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (C.H.E.O.) and the Huntsman Cancer Institute while also providing a fun and exciting time for all participants. This event includes the sisters of the Greek Community at the University of Ottawa and Carleton University.

Dues: As a new member of Alpha Phi, you will pay certain international and and chapter fees.  These fees help pay for chapter operations, events, programming, and support for the international organization and foundation.

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Family: Within a sorority, there may be different "family trees." For example, your Big’s Big would be your Grand-Big. Sorority families may have their own special traditions -- like wearing a particular design of necklace with Greek letters.  Greek families may also include twins, aunts, cousins, etc..

Formal: Like prom, only better. Typically, every sorority/fraternity hosts a formal once a year where each member is allowed one date, they are often themed, and awards are handed out after a series of nominations and voting.

Founders: The founding sisters or brothers of the international sorority or fraternity.

Fraternity Sweetheart/Dream Girl: A female who is elected by the members of a fraternity for her dedication and contributions to the success of the chapter over the previous year.  She is usually permitted to wear the fraternity letters.

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Good Standing: A member is in good standing when they have paid their dues on time and their G.P.A. remains at or above the average set by the chapter.

Greek Olympics: The Greek Olympics are a weekend-long event where all the Greek organizations in Ottawa compete in athletic events to raise money for the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (C.H.E.O.).

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Initiated Member: A member of the Fraternity who has participated in initiation, filed her paperwork, and paid her dues to the Fraternity.

Initiation:  A traditional ceremony that brings a new member into full membership of a sorority or fraternity.  The initiation ceremony is secret and rooted in history. Once you are initiated into an NPC sorority, you are ineligible for membership in any other.

Installation: The formal ceremony that officially establishes a new Alpha Phi chapter.

International: An adjective used to describe the Fraternity, signifying that it has chapters in more than one country.  Alpha Phi is an international organization.

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Lavaliere: A necklace bearing the letters of a sorority/fraternity.

Lavaliering: When a member of a fraternity gives his letters to his significant other, which indicates a romantic commitment.  The seriousness of this act varies from campus to campus and often ‘permits’ this person to wear the fraternity letters.

Legacy: 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.

Local: An adjective used to describe a local sorority.  The main difference that sets Local and Inter/National Greek organizations is one simple fact: for local sororities and fraternities, they are the only one of their kind.

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Mixer: A mixer is an informal gathering between a fraternity and sorority that are often themed.  We also mix with other sororities once in a while and those are called Chixers.

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National: An adjective used to describe a sorority/fraternity with more than one chapter in one country.

National Panhellenic Conference (NPC): An association of women’s college fraternities and sororities founded on May 24, 1902.  Alpha Phi is a member of NPC.

New Member: A member of Alpha Phi who has accepted a bid or invitation to membership, but has not yet been initiated.

New Member Period: The time between pledging and initiation when the new member learns about the sorority before becoming a collegiate member.  This period is typically 4-6 weeks long.

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Philanthropy: The desire to promote the welfare of others, expressed especially by the generous donation of money to good causes.  Each NPC sorority has a national or international philanthropy it supports.

Potential New Member: A woman who is eligible to participate in recruitment.

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Quota: 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. 

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Recommendation: 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. 

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Sorority Sweetheart (Mr. Ivy): A male who is elected by the members of a sorority for his dedication and contributions to the success of the chapter over the previous year. He is usually permitted to wear the fraternity letters.

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