Sorority Family Terminology

One of the charms of being a university student is being a part of either a sorority or a fraternity. Other than academic, professional, and social progress, their driving purpose is to create a sense of home and belonging amongst; national and international pupils. Let us know about ‘Sorority Family Terminology’.

Sorority Family Terminology

Being away from your loved ones can be massively overwhelming; even more so with the crushing academic commitments. And being guided by fellow seniors who have thereby created a perfect balance of work and play is nothing short of assistance and comfort. 

Now, it might be a tad tricky to understand the sorority family tree, especially with the new terms used to address other sisters on the campus. Corresponding and referencing it to your family tree might be of great help. The primary lineage of a sorority family tree is displayed below: 

  • Grand Big 
  • Big 
  • Little 

The Sorority Family Tree 

As mentioned above, for a thorough understanding continue to relate each role to your family members. Another obvious but important note is that every sorority has “littles” and “bigs”. 

Little is just every newly accepted member, whereas big is usually someone a year or so older with more lessons and experience to impart. As a fellow little, she is your hype-woman, a true leader and mentor. Also, a Big can have multiple littles (twins, triplets, quadruplets, etc) 

Additional sorority members are below.

  • Aunt: just like your aunt, if your sorority big has a sister/twin then she is your sorority aunt. 
  • God Big: like your parents choose your godparents, your chosen Big chooses someone reliable to be your God Big. And you in turn are called her God Little. 
  • Grand Big: also called G-Big, is your Sorority Grandma 
  • GG-Big: Great Grandmother Big aka Great Grandmother of the Sorority, most of them often graduated already 
  • Pan Big: a mentor to the little from some other sorority, can be great for unbiased opinions and perspectives. Also, the mentoree of a Pan Big is a Pan Little, 
  • Pseudo Big/Little: can occur post a falling out with either previous Big/Little and another Big adopts the Little, also called as Adopted Little 

Sorority recruitment or sorority rush is a term that refers to the formal process consisting of different rounds based on the university you are attending to find new members and invite them to join. 

A few important terminologies while going through this process are mentioned further. 

  • PNM: Potential New Member, all freshmen who want to be in a sorority are called the PNM 
  • Actives: simply the recruiters 
  • Rho Gammas: women who are not a part of any sorority for the recruitment period. They help the PNMs with the decision-making process and give them unprejudiced advice and guidance throughout 

 An added suggestion is to get a letter of recommendation from good-standing alumni having a significant impact on your sorority. 

The breakdown for the recruitment period

  • The first day: This is the day of orientation or opening convocation, here you meet fellow rushers and Rho Gams are there to help you out with your questions
  • Second day: Open house round. On this day, you meet all the different chapters/houses. Can last either one or two days
  • Post this you are to give your list of preferences to your assigned Rho Gam. Some sororities may let you go so it can be quite favorable to add a few alternatives too 
  • Philanthropy round: different philanthropical events are discussed, and you can show your interest in the ones you truly like 
  • Again, your preferred sororities are listed and given to your respective Rho Gams
  • Sisterhood round: It’s smooth sailing hereon as this round is fun and interactive. You can pick up on vibes and comprehend more about the engaging activities hosted by a certain house. You can ask the sisters various questions to check their credibility and to know if that is a space you would be willing to let go of your inhibitions
  • Preference round: the sororities make their bid to you asking you to join them 
  • Do not fret if you cannot make any stable decision after all the rounds, your Rho Gams are there for you. Schedule a meeting with them and talk it out. 

How are sororities named?

It is common knowledge that fraternities and sororities use Greek letters as their name also carries significance in the fraternity or sorority. Dating back to the rich history somewhere around the 18th century (1775) and the need for secrecy, a sequence of two or three Greek letters are used. You may have heard some of them like Delta Sigma Theta, Kappa Alpha Theta, Phi Mu, Alpha Phi, and so forth. 

Hence, these exclusive societies are also called ‘Greek life’. Be sure to create social media traffic for your house using hashtags and that brings more attention to your sorority and all the things you have got to offer. 

Why should one join a sorority? 

Just like school inculcates core values that help us in our formative years, being a part of a sorority deepens connections and builds trust and understanding between women. Women with shared interests and a strong drive for something greater are breeding grounds for innovation and empowerment. If that is not enough motivation to join one, we have highlighted a few other compelling pointers below:

  • Building solid networks

If there is one thing you must have learned from your working folks, it is that knowing the right people gets the job done a lot quicker. A crucial part of attending college is learning the ropes and ways the world works. This means knowing the art of communicating, building, and maintaining true yet professional connections with people. Being a part of the sorority, you are exposed to multiple parties which is the appropriate space for mingling and bridging gaps. After all, you never know which alumni or which sister is going to land you your desired job. 

  • Values and character

If there is one thing a good sorority gives you other than memories, is values. To uphold the sororities’ reputation, members are often encouraged and positively conditioned to be the best version of themselves. Regardless of any situation, it’s beautiful to see everyone coming together as one and standing united at the forefront. Initiative and leadership skills are honed extensively due to the engaging participation in new emerging events and activities. 

  • Philanthropy

Giving back to society is one of the many generous ventures the student body takes part in, which means organizing a fundraiser, hours of community service, or simply hosting a car wash day for a good cause. Such affairs take the focus from oneself and implore students to focus on life around them, imbibing a sense of purpose within them. 

  • Being mentored

Apart from the overwhelming academic load, losing a sense of familiarity, and juggling to make an impression amongst your peers, it sure does help to have a guiding presence. And what better than a sorority house with people from around the same age group? Not only can you all impart advice but also find solace in the fact that there is someone with you facing similar troubles and relating to them all the same.

Other notable advantages are:

  • Admirable resume – being part of a collective and greater cause boosts your resume. You can also contact employers who have affiliation with the house.
  • Learn to balance an academic and social life – college shouldn’t just be about maintaining that GPA. Go to parties you can brag to your friends about and live the life you always see in the media!
  • Easy housing options – well-maintained and established sororities have housing facilities within the campus itself! This is accessible in so many ways than one can count for a student. 

How is society impacted by running a sorority?

Due to living in a sisterhood and sharing close quarters, a fellow member of a sorority always reaches out and helps anyone around in need. Post the four hectic but enjoyable years, some might find the adulting lifestyle to be quite harsh. But most of them since having experienced it all can work their way around the tricky situations and pull themselves up when life comes at them too hard. From hosting a formal party to breaking the ice at your new office, a sorority house has you equipped for it all. 


To pledge or not to pledge? This is the final question you will be asked once you’re through with the process. While this may all look a little stressful and pressurizing with the spotlight being on you. But, don’t you worry it’s all part of the Greek life experience every collegiate boasts about. It’s a true matter of pride and honor to belong to a sorority house and be called one of their own. 

And you know where to turn to whenever you want a shoulder to cry on or navigate through life!