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An initiated sorority woman/fraternity man who is graduated or has withdrawn from school.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

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.


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


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 31 days past due with any financial obligations to the chapter.

Formal 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.

Formal Membership Recruitment Acceptance Forms

The forms used by sorority and fraternity prospective members at the end of a formal recruitment period to indicate their order of preference for the sororities or fraternities they wish to join (formerly known as bid cards or preference cards).


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.

Fraternity Insurance Purchasing Group (FIPG)

Formed in 1987, the original concept behind the Fraternity Insurance Purchasing Group was simple and two-fold. First, adopt a risk-management plan that would help reduce exposure to risk. Second, use the group buying power of many national organizations as leverage to obtain more extensive coverage at lower prices. Today, though the title has remained the same, the organization is actually a risk-management group. Men's and women's fraternities join FIPG, adopt its risk-management policy and make every effort to reduce their exposure to claims. They are not required to purchase insurance from the same carrier.


The name applied to all fraternity and sorority members.

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.


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.


Greek goddess, patron goddess of Alpha Chi Omega.


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.

MacDowell Colony

Alpha Chi's first altruistic project, an artists' colony located in Peterborough, New Hampshire, committed to the development of the arts.

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 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 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 Interfraternity Conference (NIC)

Since 1909, the National Interfraternity Conference has been serving the men's college fraternity community in Canada and the United States. The NIC advocates the needs of fraternities through the enrichment of the Greek experience, advancement and growth of the fraternities and enhancement of the educational mission of the host institutions.

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. Members are represented on over 655 college and university campuses in the United States and Canada and in over 5,300 alumnae associations, making up a population of over 3 million sorority women in the world. The mission of the NPC is “to support and promote women's fraternities as a positive element of the higher education experience."

New Member

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


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.

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. 
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5939 Castle Creek Parkway N. Dr.
Indianapolis, IN 46250

Phone: 317.579.5050
Fax: 317.579.5051