Recruitment Terms 101


Has a Potential New Member approached you with questions about the recruitment experience or requested a letter of recommendation? Recruitment is just around the corner for almost three-fourths of our collegiate chapters. We can’t wait to welcome thousands of New Members into our sisterhood!

Recruitment and membership are constantly evolving to better meet the needs of the 21st century college student. With those changes come new processes and terminology. Review the vocabulary list below to familiarize yourself with phrases common in today’s recruitment world. Visit or email to discover ways to support Potential New Members and collegiate chapters during this exciting time of year!

Primary Recruitment: The member intake process National Panhellenic Conference groups participate in at least once annually. “Formal recruitment” and “rush” are phrases no longer used per the request of the National Panhellenic Conference.

Potential New Member or PNM: A woman who is eligible to participate in recruitment. The term “rushee” is no longer used.

Legacy: A daughter, sister or granddaughter of an initiated member of a Pi Beta Phi. To learn more about our legacy policy, visit

Sponsorship: Expressing approval to invite a PNM into membership in Pi Beta Phi.

Legacy Introduction Form: A form that can be completed by anyone (Pi Phi or not) to alert a chapter that a woman on campus is a Pi Phi legacy and may be interested in recruitment. A Legacy Introduction Form does not provide sponsorship to a PNM. To learn more about the Legacy Introduction Form, visit

Recruitment Information Form or RIF: A form that may be completed by an alumna member of Pi Beta Phi on behalf of a PNM. A RIF provides sponsorship to a PNM and serves the same purpose as a recommendation letter in other National Panhellenic Conference organizations. To learn more about the Recruitment Information Form, visit www.pibetaphi.or/recruitment.

New Member: A woman who has accepted a bid to Pi Phi but is not yet an initiated member of that chapter. We no longer use the word “pledge” as a noun. A New Member pledges to Pi Beta Phi.

New Member Class: A group of New Members who have pledged to Pi Phi but have not yet been initiated. The phrase “pledge class” is no longer used.

National Panhellenic Conference or NPC:  The umbrella body for 26 inter/national women’s fraternities and sororities.

Unanimous Agreements: Agreements between the 26 NPC member groups that provide fairness and equality between the groups. Several of these agreements have to do with recruitment procedures and alumnae are held to the same standards. To view the Unanimous Agreements, visit

Policy and Position Statements: Binding statements that guide Pi Beta Phi Fraternity chapters, clubs and members. Grand Council formulates these policies to reflect the best interests of member and Fraternity safety, security, risk management and liability. To view the Policy and Position Statements, click here.

Vice President of Membership or VPM: The member of a Pi Phi chapter’s Executive Council whose job is to plan and execute a successful recruitment. She also oversees the tasks related to providing a positive membership experience to the entire chapter. Pi Beta Phi’s committee structure does not include a “Rush Chairman.”

Values-Based Recruitment: A recruitment style that focuses on meaningful conversations between initiated members and PNMs with the goal of recruiting women who will have a positive impact on chapters and the Panhellenic community. Nonessential features such as skits, elaborate decorations and costumes are removed from the process, and the focus is on the values, benefits and obligations of membership for each organization.

Intentional Single Preference: A woman chooses to list only one chapter on her Membership Recruitment Acceptance Binding Agreement (MRABA) following Preference Round. A woman who chooses to intentional single preference is not eligible for quota additions. The term “suicide” is no longer used.

Mutual Selection: While PNMs are ranking which chapters they would like to visit during the next round of recruitment, the sororities are also selecting which women they would like to invite back.

Release: The process of not inviting PNMs back to future rounds of recruitment. “Cut” is no longer used to describe this process.

Silence: A period of time after the close of membership recruitment events and prior to the distribution of bids when there is no communication between PNMs and sorority members, collegiate or alumnae.

Quota: The number of PNMs to which each chapter can offer bids during primary recruitment. This is determined with a formula involving the number of chapters and the number of women participating in bid matching.

Total: The allowable chapter size on a campus, as determined by the College Panhellenic, including New Members and initiated members. Chapters that fall under total may be allowed to participate in Continuous Open Bidding until they reach total.

Recruitment Counselor: A sorority member who is disassociated from her sorority to serve as a recruitment guide. Each PNM will be assigned a recruitment counselor during primary recruitment. Some universities call the Recruitment Counselors “Rho Gammas” or “Gamma Chis.”

Bid Day: The last day of recruitment, when PNMs receive bids to join chapters and become New Members.


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