Frequently Asked Questions

When can I join a fraternity or sorority?

  • You must be currently enrolled as a student at East Central University;
  • Interfraternity Council: Beginning of Fall or Spring semester;
  • National Pan-Hellenic Council: varies by chapter;
  • Panhellenic Council: Formal recruitment – beginning of the Fall semester;
  • Informal recruitment - beginning of Spring semester (not all chapters participate);
  • For the most up-to-date information, all interested men and women are encouraged to visit the Office of Campus Life and Leadership or the Greek Life webpage.

Being a member of a sorority and fraternity is a significant time commitment. For most people, the time requirement would be equivalent to taking another 3-credit class.

While self-governing, each of our individual chapters is held accountable by multiple entities. Chapters are responsible for meeting the standards that are set forth by their inter/national organization, their governing council, as well as East Central University through Campus Life and Leadership. In addition, each chapter is required to maintain an internal judicial system that is designed to hold members accountable for their actions.

How can I find out specific information about organizations?

Information such as grades, conduct, etc. for each of our chapters is available here.

What is the University’s stance on hazing?

ECU seeks to promote a safe environment in which students may participate without compromising their health, safety or welfare. For more information, please review the student handbook.


Active: A member who has been initiated into lifelong fraternity or sorority membership and is active at the collegiate level.

Alumni/ae: Initiated fraternity or sorority members who have graduated from college.

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

Big Brother or Big Sister: An active member who serves as a mentor to a New Member during their New Member program.

Call: A vocal sound used by members of NPHC organizations to acknowledge one another.

Chapter: The local group of a larger national organization, and designated by a special name, or Greek letters.

Continuous Open Recruitment: An informal recruitment process that takes place after the conclusion of Formal Panhellenic recruitment.

Formal Panhellenic Recruitment: A series of events given by each sorority that are designed to introduce sorority life to potential new members. Formal Panhellenic Recruitment is scheduled by the Panhellenic Council.

IFC Recruitment: A week-long period in which fraternities and potential new members become acquainted.

Initiation: The formal ceremony that marks the beginning of active membership. Each chapter has a different set of requirements to be initiated.

Interfraternity Council (IFC): The governing body of 4 social fraternities at East Central University.

International/National Headquarters: The central organization of a particular fraternity or sorority.

Legacy: A prospective member whose grandparent, parent, or sibling is an alumnus of, or active in, a particular fraternity or sorority. Please note that most organizations are not obligated to pledge or extend bids to legacies.

Line: Term used to describe the members of a new member class in NPHC organizations.

Membership Intake: The process that NPHC chapters utilize to recruit, interview, select, and initiate new members. The period of membership intake varies, but cannot exceed 10 weeks.

National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC): The governing body for the historically black fraternities and sororities at East Central University. This is also the name of the national governing body and is sometimes referred to as the Divine Nine.

Neophyte: A member of the last line to cross in the local chapter of a NPHC organization.

New Member/Pledge: A member of a fraternity or sorority going through the new member education/pledging process.

New Member Educator/Membership Intake Coordinator: The liaison between new members and the Chapter and is responsible for implementing and monitoring the new member program and preparing the new members for initiation.

New Member Education Program: A period of education when new members learn the history, ideals, and values of fraternity and sorority life. The time frame varies, but cannot exceed 10 weeks.

Order of Omega: Order of Omega is a leadership honor society for members of Greek organizations.

Panhellenic Council: The governing body for the 3 National Panhellenic Conference sororities/ women’s fraternities at East Central University.

Philanthropy: A charitable fundraiser sponsored by a sorority or fraternity.

Potential New Member (PNM): A college student participating in recruitment.

Presentation Show: The introduction of a line to campus. This is usually the first full step show/exhibition performed by members of the new member class of a NPHC organization.

Prophyte: A neophyte becomes a prophyte after another line is initiated.

Recruitment/Rush Chair: An active member of a sorority or fraternity who is in charge of recruitment efforts for the chapter.

Recruitment Counselor (Pi Chi): A trained Panhellenic sorority member who has disassociated herself from her chapter during Formal Panhellenic Recruitment in order to counsel and assist potential new members during recruitment.

Social: A get-together with another group for a party, dinner or fun occasion.

Stroll or party hop: A line dance by members of NPHC organizations.