- Active Members:
- Members which are still going to school and actively participating in the fraternity business on a day-to-day basis.
- Alumni Members:
- Members of a fraternity that have graduated from school but are free to come back to the house at any time and wear the letters of the fraternity.
- When the pledge period begins, a Greek organization gives a piece of paper, called a bid, to those individuals that it recognizes as potential members. This paper is an invitation to attend bid night, the official start of pledging.
"Jim got a bid from TDK and Sean got a bid from Zeta Nu."
- Big Brother/Little Brother:
- Every pledge of a fraternity is assigned a big brother, who functions as the pledge's guide and mentor. The big brother/little brother relationship winds up being a close one since bonds are formed as the big brother helps the little brother through the pledge program.
- In addition to letters, Greek organizations are also identified by their colors. Zeta Nu's colors are navy blue and pure white. The colors of a Greek organization become themselves as readily identifiable with the organization as the letters themselves.
- Every Greek organization has a unique crest, a symbol of their organization. Each crest has hidden, secret meanings behind it.
- Family Lines/Family Trees:
- Multiple generations of big brothers (see BIG BROTHER) and little brothers can be brought together to form a family line. When one member's little brother takes a little brother, that pledge becomes the original member's little little (or double little) brother. As individual members take subsequent and multiple little brothers, the trees branch out and expand. Members of one family often share a special bond within the fraternity at large.
"I can trace back my family line to a 1981 graduate!" "Hey, is he in your family tree, too?" "My big big big big brother came up for alumni weekend!"
- A closed social gathering between two or more Greek organizations, one almost always being a fraternity and one being a sorority. A "four-way" function is with two fraternities and two sororities; "six-ways," "eight-ways," and "ten-ways" are also possible. Functions mean a lot for Greek life and they are a great opportunity to meet new people.
- The word "house" often refers to a fraternity or sorority's physical house, but it is also used to refer to the organization itself.
"I like your house because all the guys are so friendly."
- Inter Fraternity Council (IFC):
- IFC is the body of social fraternities at Clarkson University. At IFC meetings, fraternities decide on special events, work out any differences, schedule community service, talk about rush, and the like.
- The collection of Greek letters that identifies a Greek organization is referred to as that organization's "letters." It can alternatively indicate a garment displaying the letters. Only duly inducted members are allowed to wear a Greek organization's letters.
- The process where a student becomes a member of a Greek organization. With most organizations, as with Zeta Nu, the pledge program is kept a secret. However, common things, such as learning about the house's traditions, rules, and history as well as learning of unity within the pledge class, happen in each house.
Clarkson University has mandated that no pledge program lasts more than seven weeks. In earlier days, it was not uncommon for the pledge process to go a full semester (i.e. fourteen or more weeks).
There are many popular misconceptions about fraternity pledge programs. To clarify, Zeta Nu pledges
- will NOT be publicly embarrassed
- will NOT have their health or well-being endangered
- will NOT be hurt physically, mentally, or emotionally
- will NOT be forced to consume alcohol, nor any other liquid or solid matter
Zeta Nu does NOT participate in "hazing" practices; such practices are against the policies of Clarkson University, the Inter Fraternity Council and Zeta Nu.
Once a pledge completes the pledge process, he is a active member.
- A student who has accepted a bid and is actively participating in the pledging process.
- Pledge Class:
- The group of pledges that accept their bid at the same time. A special bond is formed between members of this group as they complete the pledge process.
"I was in the Spring '06 pledge class. Which class did you pledge?"
- A period of time preceding the beginning of pledging in which potential members have the opportunity to attend events held to encourage education about the fraternity as well as present an opportunity to meet the active brothers.
- When a brother of a fraternity has been in a long, committed relationship with a girl and wishes to acknowledge this, a "shirting" ceremony may take place where the letters of the fraternity are granted to the girl. At ZN, a vote of all the active membership must take place first and the vote must be unanimous for the shirting. Shirtings are the only time females may wear our letters. Shirting ceremonies are conducted by our house chaplain officer.
Unlike some other houses, Zeta Nu shirtings are not to be taken lightly. There's a minimum sixth month rule for the relationship between the girl to be shirted and the brother and as stated before, the house vote must be unanimous. Shirted girls are considered very special to ZN.
- Zoonie Boonie:
- Our annual party, thrown by our alumni every spring when the weather gets nice. Held outside, the Zoonie Boonie features a live band or bands, T-shirts for sale, grilled food and good times.