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Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life


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Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life

238 Sykes Student Union
West Chester, PA 19383

Phone: 610-436-2117



Advisors are an important part of helping to guide and assist our chapters on all levels. In requiring fraternities and sororities to have Chapter Advisors, the University expects that advisors will take an active role in the organization. The nature and style of that role is left to the determination of the organization and its advisor. The role of the Chapter Advisor is to guide, advise, and support the chapter and its officers and monitor their progress.

Parents & Families

The college experience is a huge transition and an exciting time in your son or daughter's life. This new time brings opportunities, challenges, and rewards for you and your son or daughter. As a parent, you must have questions and concerns about the choices that they will make. Joining a fraternity or sorority can enhance their experience at WCU. This information is designed to provide answers to some of your questions about Fraternity & Sorority Life and what it can offer them in the coming years.

Want to read first-hand accounts of parents with a daughter in a sorority or going through the recruitment process? The National Panhellenic Conference has a blog where three sets of parents share their experiences as their daughter moves through the different phases of sorority life -- recruitment, new member period, chapter leadership, and more. See what these parents have to say at


Fraternities and sororities have a unique language to refer to the things they have in common and the things that make them unique.

Glossary of Common Terms

Active: An initiated undergraduate member of a fraternity or sorority.

Alumna: A post-collegiate life-long member of a sorority. Generally, women move to alumnae status after eight semesters of undergraduate study. Plural is alumnae (pronounced alumnee).

Alumni: Used to refer to multiple male or female post-collegiate members of Greek organizations. An alternative plural is the combination alumni/ae.

Alumnus: A post-collegiate life-long member of a fraternity. Generally, men move to alumni status after eight semesters of undergraduate study, but they may continue to pay active member dues up until graduation, if their undergraduate work continues beyond eight semesters. Plural is alumni (pronounced alumnye).

Anchor/Tail: The last person in the intake class for a culturally based fraternity or sorority (usually organized from shortest to tallest).

Badge: The badge of an initiated member is received during the initiation ceremony and worn in a designated location.

Bid: A formal invitation to join a fraternity or sorority.

Black and Latino Greek Council (BLGC): governing body for culturally based fraternities and sororities, currently representing Black Greek Letter Organizations and Latino Greek Letter Organizations.

Brother: a term used when referring to other members of a fraternity.

Call/Chant: A vocal sound (sometimes high-pitched) used by members of cultural based fraternities and sororities to acknowledge one another.

Captain/Ace: The first person in an intake class for a culturally based fraternity or sorority (usually organized from shortest to tallest).

Chapter: A local branch of a national fraternity or sorority. Each fraternity and sorority at WCU has a unique chapter designation; for example, we are home to the Lambda Gamma chapter of Phi Mu.

Chapter: A term used to describe the collegiate group of a fraternity or sorority.

COB: Continuous Open Bedding; the opportunity for a chapter to invite women to membership if the chapter did not fill its quota in FMR or has not reached total.

Colony: A term used to describe a new organization on the campus, not yet fully installed as a full chapter by the national organization.

Crossing: A term used by BLGC chapters groups to indicate that a new member has been fully initiated into the group.

Event: the name used during Panhellenic formal membership recruitment to refer to when PNMs are in a chapter house. Party is no longer used.

Formal membership recruitment: The NPC sorority membership selection period held before school starts in the fall.

Greek Week: An annual celebration held in the spring in which chapters participate in athletic events, community service, brotherhood and sisterhood activities.

House: Independent living unit owned or rented by a chapter's alumni Housing Corporation Board. WCU does not formally recognize any fraternity or sorority houses.

Informational: A forum for individuals interested in seeking more information about a particular BLGC fraternity or sorority.

Initiation: The ceremony in which a new member becomes an initiation member.

Intake: The term groups used to bring new members into a BLGC organization. Each chapter determines when they will conduct intake and is assisted in this process by their Graduate Chapter and Chapter Advisor (a group of local alumni).

Interfraternity Council (IFC): the local governing body for the member chapters that are also affiliated with the North-American Interfraternity Conference (NIC).

InterGreek Council (IGC): the programming board that is responsible for coordinating programs for the entire fraternity and sorority community.

Legacy: A potential member whose grandparent, parent, brother or sister is a member of a fraternity or sorority.

MRABA: Membership Recruitment Acceptance Binding Agreement; a one-year binding agreement between the PNM and an NPC chapter on campus.

NALFO: National Association of Latino Fraternal Organizations.

National Headquarters: The governing association for each individual sorority. Link every chapter together. No longer referred to as "Nationals".

National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC): the national governing body for the nine historically African-American fraternities and sororities. NPHC member organizations are members of BLGC at WCU.

New Member Show: A term used by BLGC groups to designate the time when new members of such groups come out/present themselves to the campus. Those joining an BLGC organization are generally not known and thus it is a time when the new members are revealed.

Non-affiliated: Those WCU students not involved with an inter/national fraternity or sorority.

New Member: For an IFC or PHC chapter, this is a potential member who has accepted a bid from a fraternity or sorority but is not yet initiated. May also be referred to as an "associate member."

NIC: North-American Interfraternity Conference, the national leadership organization for its member fraternities.

NPC: National Panhellenic Conference, the national leadership organization for its member sororities.

Panhellenic: Greek word meaning all Greek. It is inappropriate to shorten it to "Panhell"

Panhellenic Council (PHC): Panhellenic Council, the local governing body for the NPC member sororities.

Philanthropy: Fundraising activities or service projects for charitable institutions, or charitable aid/donations to these institutions. (Please note the difference between philanthropy and community service).

Potential New Member (PNM): An individual interested in becoming a member of a fraternity or sorority.

Quota: The number each NPC sorority may pledge on a campus during formal recruitment

Recruitment Counselor: A neutral representative of the College Panhellenic who guides and supports the participant through recruitment.

Recruitment: Refers to the process by which PHC and IFC chapters select new members.

Ritual: The traditional, secret ceremonies of a fraternity or sorority.

Sands: The term used to refer to men and women who were initiated in the same term and year (ex. Spring 2013).

Sister: A term used within a women's fraternity when referring to other members or new members.

Soror: A term used within BLGC member sororities when referring to other members.

Step Show: An event in which members of an organization or several organizations perform synchronized, rhythmic steps while chanting lyrics to show pride and spirit for their organization.

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

Women: The term used to refer to members of the sorority community. It is inappropriate to use any other words including girls or ladies.

Yard: A term used by BLGC groups to indicate the campus with which they are affiliated.


Cara Jenkins

Cara Jenkins
Director of Fraternity and Sorority Life

Prior to her position as director of fraternity and sorority life, Cara worked in Student Affairs at WCU with Student Leadership and Involvement, as well as Office of Student Conduct. Before arriving at WCU, she was the fraternity and sorority advisor at Virginia Commonwealth University (2006-2010) where she advised four award-winning governing councils and more than 30 chapters. Before that, she worked with the leadership programs and fraternity and sorority life at Quinnipiac University. Cara received her bachelor of arts in 2003 from Randolph-Macon College in Virginia and master of education from the University of South Carolina in 2005.

Susan Mathieson

Susan Mathieson
Assistant Director of Fraternity and Sorority Life

Susan joins the staff from the University of Alabama in Huntsville, where she served as the Assistant Director for Student Life overseeing both fraternity and sorority life and civic engagement opportunities. She earned her bachelor of arts from West Chester University in 2011 and her masters of education from Georgia Southern University in 2014. While pursuing her graduate degree, she worked in the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life advising three different councils. Susan has also served as a Membership Manager for Delta Phi Epsilon.

Lorae Bonamy

Lorae Bonamy
Graduate Assistant for Fraternity and Sorority Life

Lorae completed her undergraduate coursework at Temple University, earning her Bachelor of Arts degree in Strategic Communication with a focus in Public Relations. She is currently a candidate for her Master of Science degree in Higher Education Counseling/Student Affairs here at West Chester University. During her undergraduate career, Lorae served Temple University's Division of Student Affairs as a Resident Assistant, Conference Assistant,Diamond Leader, Homecoming Queen and was actively involved in numerous student organizations.Lorae is an active member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated, Beta Delta Zeta Chapter.

Nathaniel Martin

Nathaniel Martin
Graduate Assistant for Fraternity and Sorority Life

Nathaniel is a Bowling Green State University graduate who received a Psychology degree in 2015 and is now attending West Chester to pursue his masters in Industrial/ Organizational Psychology. During his time as a collegiate, he was actively involved with a number of organizations and committees. He is an initiated member of Tau Kappa Epsilon having served as president for two years.

Stephanie Foote

Stephanie Foote
Graduate Assistant for Fraternity and Sorority Life

Stephanie is a West Chester University graduate who completed her English and Political Science degrees in 2011 and is now returning to pursue her masters in Higher Education Counseling with a focus in Student Affairs. During her time as a collegiate, she was actively involved with a number of organizations and affinity groups. She is an initiated sister of Alpha Sigma Tau having served on both their general and executive boards as an undergraduate. Additionally, she remains an active alumnae of the university by serving as the Director of Alumni Relations for the Fraternity and Sorority Alumni Board and the Secretary of the West Chester university Political and Government Affairs Alumni Board.