Collins is a sophomore English major and can be contacted at email@example.com.
So, your little just got lavaliered by her frat-daddy, but her candle-passing won’t be for another week and you have to keep it on the DL? (I would never say that sentence, just so you know.) But somewhere, somehow, that random Alpha Chi Omega or Delta Delta Delta would, and while the Drake Greeks might pride ourselves on being a little more down to earth, it’s hard to understand something that’s (literally) all Greek to you. For those of you new to the Greek system (it is spring recruitment time) or have sworn it off entirely, here’s a quick glossary to get you up to speed.
Usually worn on a necklace, a lavalier is a set of silver or gold letters. For fraternity men it’s presented to girls as “the next step” in a serious relationship, placing them above their brothers and allowing them the privileges of their fraternity (it’s normally the step before an engagement, so if you’re only a sophomore and you’re already being lavaliered you might want to slam on the breaks a little).
Have you been recently lavaliered? Given a promise ring? Gotten engaged? Then you deserve a candle-passing! A sorority tradition, the women of the house stand in a circle, sing their house candle-passing songs and send around a lit candle. Depending on the house and it’s traditions, the candle normally goes around once for friendship, twice for lavaliering, three times for pinning or four times for engagement. The girl who has the candle-passing blows out the candle when it gets to her and gets to reveal herself as the lucky girl.
An abbreviation for fraternity, most “frats” prefer to be called by their full name or fraternity–unless it’s used in pop culture (think totalfratmove.com).
A party held by either a fraternity or sorority, a “crush” normally allows every member to invite multiple guests and is often one of the house’s largest events of the semestee–if you’re not Greek, this is your way into a Greek social event.
Bigs and li’ls or moms and daughters are two women in the sorority, one older and one younger who are (by mutual election) assigned to each other. They (theoretically) help guide and nurture each other just as a real mom and daughter or big and little sister would.
Hired to oversee a sorority, a housemom originally oversaw the girls and their welfare as well as imposed rules like curfews, skirt lengths and mealtimes. Now, however, most housemoms oversee the upkeep of a sorority’s physical property and maintenance (sorry, guys, she’s not usually as hot as Anna Faris in “House Bunny”).
Normally imposed around initiation time, Greek members are restricted from drinking alcohol during dry weeks.
Also normally on dry week, I-week is the abbreviation for initiation week.
Every national fraternity and sorority aligns itself with volunteer opportunities, normally with a national cause or organization and while most fraternities at Drake participate in the tradition, all five sororities hold at least one philanthropic event every year.