Greek societies use new language

  • Updated: September 11, 2013 - 1:40 PM

Originally formed as secret societies, fraternities and sororities have always had their own jargon for their rituals, rules and membership. In an effort to eliminate terms freighted with hazing implications, the language has been freshened up.

“Rush,” the time when candidates and organizations look one another over, is now called “recruitment.”

A “pledge,” the term for a student who had accepted a bid but was not initiated into a Greek organization, is now called a “new member.” The pledge period is called “new member education”

And “frat” is a no-no. It’s fraternity.

Gopher Greeks

The first fraternity arrived at the University of Minnesota in 1874, and the first sorority was chartered six years later. The long list of accomplished members in the ensuing 138 years includes judges, CEOs, elected leaders and professional and Olympic athletes, both male and female.

Some notable Gopher Greeks include Carlson Companies founder Curt Carlson (Sigma Phi Epsilon), Vikings Coach Bud Grant (Phi Delta Theta), first female photographer for Life magazine Margaret Bourke-White (Alpha Omicron Pi), actor Peter Graves (Phi Kappa Psi), Nobel Peace Prize recipient Norman Borlaug (Alpha Gamma Rho), “60 Minutes” anchor Harry Reasoner (Theta Chi) and comedian and creator of “The Daily Show” Lizz Winstead (Delta Gamma).


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