Sigma Chi (and Fraternity) Jargon

Active, Advisor, Affiliate, Alumnus, Badge, Chapter, Charter, Colony, Composite, Constantine Sig, Crest, Depledge, Dry Rush, Grand Chapter, Hazing, Initiation, Installation, Interfraternity Council, International Fraternity, Leadership Training Workshop, Legacy, Life Loyal Sig, Local, Officer Names, "Packaged Deals", Pledge, Province, Risk Management, Ritual, Rush, Significant Sig
Active. An initiated, dues-paying, undergraduate member.

Advisor(s). Each Sigma Chi chapter has a Chapter Advisor. He acts as the chapter's link with the national officers and Fraternity. Most chapters also have a Faculty Advisor, who is a full-time member of the university's faculty or staff and acts as the liaison between the chapter and the university and helps to counsel members and pledges in academic areas. Chapters also utilize the talents of a Financial Advisor, who oversees the financial aspects of the chapter.

Affiliate. A member of Sigma Chi who was an active at one university and then transfers to another university where there is a chapter can "affiliate" with that chapter as long as he was in good standing when he left his former chapter.

Alumnus (plural: Alumni.) A graduated member of Sigma Chi or one who is no longer on campus. He is eligible to become a member of any Sigma Chi alumni association or chapter throughout the world. (See The Alumnus Experience)

Badge. Each fraternity has a badge, worn by initiated members. The meaning of the symbols and other markings on the badge is secret and revealed at initiation. Pledges wear a pledge pin denoting their pledge status in the fraternity.

Chapter. An organization of men on a college campus having direct affiliation with a national or international fraternity, which has chapters on many university campuses. Each chapter has its own governing bylaws in addition to the General Fraternity's governing regulations. Chapters are designated by one or a combination of Greek letters (i.e., Alpha, Beta, Gamma, etc., or Alpha Gamma, Beta Upsilon, etc.).

Charter. The formal, printed document which establishes a chapter as a legal affiliate of Sigma Chi. Charters are usually prominently displayed in the Chapter house.

Colony. A group of men, organized as a chapter, which has petitioned a national fraternity for affiliation, but has not yet received formal acceptance.

Composite. Pictures of all members and pledges are taken during the school year by a professional photographer and put into a designated format. Many composites are displayed on the walls in most Sigma Chi chapter houses.

Constantine Sig. This designation is given to those alumni who have given years of service to Sigma Chi and have been recognized by the Fraternity for their contributions. Each year, up to fourteen men may be inducted into the Order of Constantine and given this distinction.

Crest. The "coat of arms" of a fraternity. The crest has various symbols which have meaning to the initiated members; the meaning is usually disclosed at initiation.

Depledge. If a pledge determines that fraternity life is not for him or if the particular fraternity he pledged is not for him, he may choose to "depledge," relinquishing his rights to continue his pledgeship and to be initiated. A pledge is sometimes "depledged" by a fraternity for actions which have in some way brought discredit or embarrassment to the fraternity.

Dry Rush. No alcohol is served at rush parties. Sigma Chi, as well as most national fraternities, require their chapters to conduct dry rush and to follow the rules set up by local Interfraternity Council and school administration.

Grand Chapter. The name given to Sigma Chi's International Convention which convenes every two years. At this convention, meetings are held to discuss all aspects of the fraternity, to elect officers, to amend the Constitution, if necessary, and to conduct whatever business is needed. The Grand Chapter is made up of delegates from every undergraduate and alumni chapter.

Hazing. Hazing activities are outlawed by many states and all national fraternities. A chapter found guilty of hazing is in jeopardy of losing its charter and being declared inactive by the national organization. The university is likely to punish a group found guilty of hazing by placing it on probation or rendering some other form of punishment.

Initiation. The ceremony in which a pledge becomes a member of a Sigma Chi. To be initiated into Sigma Chi, a pledge must (1) be in good standing academically and (2) fulfill the requirements of pledgeship required by his chapter and the General Fraternity.

Installation. The ceremony in which a man who has accepted a bid formally becomes a pledge of Sigma Chi. The term also refers to the official chartering of a chapter.

Interfraternity Council (IFC). The governing body for fraternities on most campuses. It is composed of members of all recognized Greek-letter social fraternities on that campus.

International Fraternity. Sigma Chi has chapters at universities in the United States and Canada and is therefore an International Fraternity.

Leadership Training Workshop. Each August Sigma Chi conducts a workshop on a college campus for the presidents, vice-presidents, treasurers, pledge trainers, rush chairmen, Chapter Advisors, House Corporation Officers, and province directors of all chapters. The purpose of the workshop is to prepare these officers for their positions during the upcoming school year and to educate them on changes in policies and regulations.

Legacy. The male relative (son, nephew, brother, etc.) of a Sigma Chi.

Life Loyal Sig. An initiated Sigma Chi can become a Life Loyal Sig by paying a specified amount to the General Fraternity. This entitles him to a lifetime of information about Sigma Chi. Many parents give their son a Life Loyal Sig membership for his birthday, a Christmas present, or graduation.

Local. A group on a college campus, structured like a fraternity, which has no national affiliation. A local might become a "colony" desiring affiliation with a national fraternity. (See "colony" above.)

Officers' Names. All fraternities have officers, but many of these offices have unusual names unique to that particular fraternity. For example, in Sigma Chi, the president is called the Consul, the vice-president Pro-Consul, the pledge trainer Magister, the secretary Annotator, the treasurer Quaestor, the sergeant-at-arms Kustos.

"Packaged Deals." Sometimes several rushees decide they will all pledge the same fraternity, but they tell the fraternities that each must receive a bid from that particular fraternity. Fraternities frown on such "deal making." While it is logical that friends would like to participate in activities together, ultimately friends should remain friends no matter what choices one makes. Pledging a fraternity should be an individual choice. A man should not let others decide for him; each person should make up his own mind on the organization to pledge. "Packaged deals" can be a detriment to a fraternity and ultimately to the rushees involved.

Pledge. A man who has accepted a formal bid from Sigma Chi and begins learning about Sigma Chi. During pledgeship he learns about the General Fraternity and about the local chapter's operations and members.

Province. A regional area where chapters of Sigma Chi are located. The Province Director, called the Grand Praetor, is nominated by the chapters in that area and elected by the Grand Chapter delegates as the overseer and liaison between the chapters and the International Headquarters. Sigma Chi has forty-three provinces. Epsilon Psi at Sam Houston is in the Southern Texas Province along with chapters at Texas A&M/College Station, University of Houston, and Stephen F. Austin.

Risk Management. All fraternities have been made aware of the risks that are involved when sponsoring an event. Therefore, certain precautions are taken at the request of the university and the international fraternity for the safety of participants. Violations of risk management policies can lead to restrictions of activities.

Ritual. The activities involved in initiation. The ritual is secret, formal, and has been passed down through the years. The ritual is identical for all Sigma Chi chapters.

Rush. A designated period of time for fraternities to meet men interested in becoming members. This is many times referred to a recruitment.

Significant Sig. This designation is awarded to those Sigma Chi alumni who have brought distinction to themselves and Sigma Chi in their chosen profession. Look over the complete list of Significant Sigma Chis.

The Pledge Experience
The Active Member Experience
The Alumnus Experience
Frequently Asked Questions

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