Glossary of Terms

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Alpha Chi Omega Fraternity

Through the Real. Strong. Women.® Experience, Alpha Chi Omega cultivates impactful communities where women are inspired to connect, lead, grow and serve.

Alpha Chi Omega Foundation

The Alpha Chi Omega Foundation strives to realize and sustain the educational and philanthropic values of Alpha Chi Omega through successful fundraising and stewardship. Generous gifts from our members and friends enhance the Real. Strong. Women. Experience and empower our members to impact their communities and world positively.

Alpha Chi Omega National Housing Corporation (NHC)

The National Housing Corporation enhances the Real. Strong. Women. Experience by providing safe and competitive facilities where members connect, lead, grow and serve.


An initiated sorority woman/fraternity man who is graduated or has withdrawn from school.


Plural of alumna/alumnus.

Alumnae Chapter

An organized group of alumnae members that meets regularly, collects dues and participates in Alpha Chi Omega celebrations and Ritual.

Annual Obligations

The signing of this agreement confirms that each collegiate member agrees to follow the chapter’s bylaws, the anti-hazing policy, the statement of obligation, the claims and dispute resolution program, and the financial responsibility policy.

Association of Fraternity Advisors (AFA)

Founded in 1976, the AFA has provided individuals concerned with the fraternity/sorority movement an avenue for professional growth and development. Since that time, AFA has grown into a multi-faceted international organization providing resources, recognition and support for campus fraternity/sorority advising professionals.


A pearled golden lyre worn by initiated members of Alpha Chi Omega.


As part of Alpha Chi Omega’s commitment to a holistic risk management educational experience, the backstops are a way for members to make smarter choices when faced with health and safety concerns. They are two questions to ask yourself: 1) What choices do I have? and 2) How will I be a real, strong woman today?


Acronym for Black, Indigenous and People of Color

Bid Day

The day at the end of the primary recruitment process where women receive their bids and become new members of a sorority.


The Fraternity’s bill processing and payment solution for collegiate chapters.

Board of Directors

The volunteer alumnae leadership of the Alpha Chi Omega National Housing Corporation. Composition is one chair, the Fraternity National President, two Fraternity vice presidents and six trustees.

Board of Managers

The volunteer alumnae leadership of Pearl Stone Partners, LLC. Composition is one chair (the Fraternity National President) and four managers.

Board of Trustees

The volunteer alumnae leadership of the Alpha Chi Omega Foundation. Composition is one president, one National Council member and five directors.


Rules made by the local chapter in conjunction with national policies to administer chapter/establishment affairs.


The maximum number of members who can reside in a chapter house.


The name applied to the local group of a national fraternity or sorority.

Chapter Advisor (CA)

An Alpha Chi Omega alumna offering her time, talents and expertise to a collegiate chapter.

College Panhellenic Association

The cooperative campus organization of collegiate members of NPC sororities.


An Alpha Chi Omega who is regularly enrolled at a college or university hosting an active Alpha Chi Omega chapter.

Continuous Open Bidding (COB)

Also called open bidding and informal membership recruitment; COB bids may be extended and accepted at any time during the school year other than formal recruitment.


Biennial meeting of delegates who form the convention body, which is the supreme legislative power of the Fraternity and has power to transact Fraternity business.


Alpha Chi Omega’s new member education program


A designated representative who votes on legislation at a national convention.


Acronym for diversity, equity and inclusion


The four entities of Alpha Chi Omega – Fraternity, Foundation, National Housing Corporation and Pearl Stone Partners – make up the Enterprise.


Method of establishing a new chapter on an approved campus.


The organized, planned growth of the Greek system on a college campus.

Financial Suspension

A membership status enacted when a member is a month past due with any financial obligations to the chapter.


A group of people linked together by similar interests. Officially a women’s Fraternity, Alpha Chi Omega uses the term because the word “sorority,” coined in 1874, wasn’t widely used at the time of our founding.

Fraternity Executives Association (FEA)

The Fraternity Executives Association is organized and operated exclusively to further the common business interest of the members by promoting, supporting and encouraging the free discussion and exchange of ideas relating to college fraternal organizations. The membership of FEA is composed of employees of the administrative offices of NIC and NPC member organizations.

Greek Affairs/Greek Life

The name of the campus department responsible for fraternities and sororities. On many  campuses, this department is commonly referred to as Office of Fraternity/Sorority Life.

Greek Alphabet

The alphabet from which most fraternity and sorority names are derived.


Any reckless or intentional act that produces physical, mental or emotional pain, discomfort, humiliation, embarrassment or ridicule, regardless of a person’s willingness to participate, that is required or expected of a member and that is not related to the Fraternity’s mission. This includes any activity, whether it is presented as option or required, that places a member in a position of servitude as a condition of membership. Alpha Chi Omega considers hazing a form of domestic violence.


The building which houses Alpha Chi Omega's Fraternity, Foundation and National Housing Corporation offices, as well as offices for Pearl Stone Partners and the archives, located in Indianapolis, Indiana.

The Heights Learning Center

Alpha Chi Omega’s learning management system containing interactive, educational modules for collegiate officers, new members and volunteers (abbreviated as The Heights or THLC)


Greek goddess, patron goddess of Alpha Chi Omega. Alpha Chi Omegas celebrate Hera Day on March 1 by aiding in the happiness and well-being of others.


One who is undergoing or has undergone the second degree of initiation.


The formal ceremony in which new members become full members of the organization.


The establishment of a nationally-recognized Alpha Chi Omega chapter – the presentation of an Alpha Chi Omega charter and assignment of chapter name.

Interfraternity Council (IFC)

The campus governing body for all fraternities; male counterpart of the College Panhellenic Council.


A sister, daughter, granddaughter or great-granddaughter of an initiated Alpha Chi Omega.

Lifetime Member

A member who has participated in the second degree of initiation.

Local House Corporation (LHC)

A nonprofit corporation that owns and operates a local facility for a specific chapter; the LHC is the landlord from whom the local chapter rents the facility and is typically made up of alumnae. The LHC oversees the physical and financial management of the facility.


1) The instrument of the Greek gods; 2) The symbol and badge of Alpha Chi Omega; 3) Quarterly publication of the Fraternity.


Alpha Chi's first altruistic project, an artists' colony located in Peterborough, New Hampshire, committed to the development of the arts. Alpha Chi Omegas patronize the arts during MacDowell Month each February.

Manual of Information (NPC)

Published by the National Panhellenic Conference, this manual contains NPC Unanimous Agreements and recommendations critical to the management of a College Panhellenic Council or Alumnae Panhellenic Association. It is formerly referred to as the “Green Book.”

Membership Recruitment Acceptance Binding Agreement (MRABA)

PNMs must sign this at the completion of preference round in order to receive a bid of membership through the primary recruitment process.

Membership Standards

Alpha Chi Omega's five membership standards for which all members should strive.  They are academic interest, character, financial responsibility, leadership ability and personal development.

Membership Status

One's standing within the Fraternity.


An initiated member assigned to a new member to be her guide and counselor in all matters pertaining to the Fraternity.

National Alumnae Initiate Program (NAIP)

The process by which Alpha Chi omega extends our membership experience to real, strong women in our communities who identify with the mission and values of Alpha Chi omega and care about our philanthropic initiatives. Candidates cannot already be members of another NPC or NPHC sorority.

National APIDA Panhellenic Association (NAPA)

Founded in 2005, NAPA was established to advocate, collaborate with and educate members and constituency for the greater good, as well as to support Asian Pacific Islander Desi American (APIDA) individuals at colleges and universities.

National Association of Latino Fraternal Organizations (NALFO)

Founded in 1998, NALFO was created to promote and foster positive interfraternal relations, communication and development of all Latino fraternal organizations through mutual respect, leadership, honesty, professionalism and education. It exists to unite and empower its member organizations through advocacy and organizational development while fostering positive fraternal relationships and collaborating on issue impacting the Latino Greek community.

National Council

The Board of Directors for Alpha Chi Omega Fraternity elected every other year by the national convention delegates and made up of alumnae of Alpha Chi Omega. Composition is one National President and five national vice presidents.

National Multicultural Greek Council (NMGC)

Founded in 1998, NMGC provides a forum for the free exchange of ideas, programs and services between its constituent fraternities and sororities. It promotes the awareness of multicultural diversity within collegiate institutions and the greater community at large.

National Pan-Hellenic Conference (NPHC)

Formed in 1930 to provide a haven and outlet for Black students to connect and feel welcome, NPHC fosters cooperative actions of its members in dealing with matters of mutual concern. Through brotherhood and sisterhood, NPHC organizations work to bring about social change that will create positive changes for Black people and the country.

National Panhellenic Conference (NPC)

National Panhellenic Conference, founded in 1902, is an umbrella organization for 26 women's fraternities and sororities. Each member group is autonomous as a social, Greek-letter society of college women and alumnae. The mission of the NPC is to support the advancement of the sorority experience by encouraging the sharing of information, resources and best practices to continue meeting the needs of today’s collegiate women.

New Member

A woman or man who has accepted a sorority or fraternity bid but is not yet an initiated member.

North American Interfraternity Conference (NIC)

Since 1909, the North American Interfraternity Conference has been serving the men's college fraternity community in Canada and the United States. The NIC’s purpose is to promote the well-being of its member fraternities, including academic enrichment, health and safety


Acronym reminding members to Promote Alpha Chi Everyday.


adj: of or pertaining to women's Greek-letter organizations; noun: college or national organization established to maintain fraternity relationships among women's groups and promote the sorority system.

Pearl Stone Partners, LLC

Pearl Stone Partners delivers comprehensive human resources services and supports employees and those who direct them to enhance the Real. Strong. Women. Experience.


Promise made by a new member. A new member should never be referred to as a pledge.

Potential New Member

Any woman interested in becoming a sorority member who is matriculated and eligible according to College Panhellenic requirements.

Primary Recruitment

A designated membership recruitment period during which a series of organized events are held by each sorority; membership recruitment is organized and implemented by the college Panhellenic.

Prospective Chapter

A group preparing to become an active Alpha Chi Omega collegiate chapter.


A designated Alpha Chi Omega territory administered by a province officer.

Province Alumnae Chair (PAC)

Alpha Chi Omega alumna who is assigned by the National Council to oversee the alumnae chapters in a given province (usually a grouping of states); term is usually two years.

Province Collegiate Chair (PCC)

Alpha Chi Omega alumna who is assigned by the National Council to oversee the collegiate chapters in a given province (usually a groups of states); term is usually two years.


The number of women going through formal membership recruitment divided by the number of sorority chapters.

Recruitment Information Form

Form submitted to a chapter by an alumna, recommending a young woman for membership in Alpha Chi Omega.


The Fraternity ceremonies observed by every chapter.


A Greek-letter sisterhood; note that some sororities’ formal names include “Fraternity,” such as Alpha Chi Omega Fraternity


The allowable chapter size, as determined by the College Panhellenic, including both new members and initiated members. 

Women & Wisdom

Alpha Chi Omega’s program that provides professional and personal development opportunities for our members.
© 2022 Alpha Chi Omega.  All Rights Reserved.
Alpha Chi Omega Headquarters
5635 Castle Creek Parkway N. Dr.
Indianapolis, IN 46250

Phone: 317.579.5050
Fax: 317.579.5051