Founded 1845 | Yale University


Site Map

Alpha Sig Terminology

Fraternity Terminology

Frequently Used Fraternity Terms

Like most large organizations, Alpha Sigs have developed their own terms and language. The following is a list of some of the most common words in Alpha Sigma Phi.

Active: A member of Alpha Sigma Phi who has been initiated and is currently in college.

Alumnus:  An initiated member of Alpha Sigma Phi who has received their undergraduate degree and/or are no longer enrolled in college.

Alumni: Multiple initiated members of Alpha Sigma Phi who have received their undergraduate degree.

Alumni Association: A booster club comprised of chapter alumni created to plan reunion events and support the chapter.

Bid:  A formal invitation to join Alpha Sigma Phi.

Big Brother:  An older member assigned to assist a new member in his college transition.

Brother:  A term used within Alpha Sigma Phi when referring to other members.

Chapter: A chartered undergraduate group that is recognized by Alpha Sigma Phi and has a vote at Grand Chapters.

Chapter Council: An advisory team of alumni, parents, and faculty/staff members created to mentor, guide, and advise the undergraduate officers and the chapter.

Formal Recruitment:  A structured period set aside on some campuses (typically 1-2 weeks early in the semester) where potential members and chapters participate in a structured recruitment process. Alpha Sigma Phi encourages all chapters and colonies to participate in recruitment 365 days a year.

Grand Chapter/Provisional Chapter Advisor: The main advisor to a chapter or provisional chapter.

House Corporation: A group comprised of alumni, investors, and parents that manages and operates the chapter facility.

House Director: A person who is hired to supervise the kitchen, plan menus, and manage the food budget and also assist in house management: often known as a house mom or house dad.

Informal/Open Recruitment:  The unstructured recruitment process by which fraternities take members throughout the academic year. The preferred and recommended process of Alpha Sigma Phi and one that all groups should utilize, even if there is a formal recruitment process

Informational Meeting:  A meeting to provide membership information to prospective members. Also referred to as an interest meeting.

Initiation:  The formal ritual ceremony that brings new members into full membership of Alpha Sigma Phi.  Through initiation, members learn and commit themselves to the ideals of the fraternity.  Our initiation ceremony is open to initiated members only.

Interfraternity Council (IFC):  The governing body of all North-American Interfraternity Conference fraternities. Alpha Sigma Phi follows all NIC member standards.

Legacy:  A prospective member whose parent, sibling, or grandparent is an alumnus of Alpha Sigma Phi.

Membership Education Director: The undergraduate officer responsible for facilitating and teaching new members during the Alpha Phase.

New Member: A man who has accepted a fraternity bid, but has not been initiated.

New Member Education Period:  The period of time before initiation when new members learn about Alpha Sigma Phi and the necessary information to prepare them to be a brother. All new member programs must end eight weeks after the Pledge Ceremony. Alpha Sigma Phi calls our new member program the Alpha Phase.

Philanthropy:  Fundraising projects sponsored by Alpha Sigma Phi supporting local and inter/national charitable organizations. The Fraternity has an innovative values-based philanthropic model with five partners: RAINN, Ronald McDonald House Charities, Humane Society, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, and Homes for our Troops.

Pledge Ceremony: The first ceremony new members participate in where they begin to learn about Alpha Sigma Phi and commit themselves to the organization. Part of the Pledge Ceremony is an open ceremony so family and friends can be invited to attend.

Potential Members: Any male who is not a member of an NIC fraternity, is academically eligible, and is morally and socially a benefit to Alpha Sigma Phi.

In this section