Mensa 101

During your first contacts with Mensans and Mensa publications, you may notice we use a few acronyms and “buzz words.” We’re similar to many other organizations… the “inside” terms sound strange at first, but soon you find that they streamline communication.

Here are some of the most common Mensa acronyms and terms.

Glossary of Terms

Term Meaning
AG Annual Gathering. This is American Mensa’s national convention and it’s held in a different city each year, usually around the 4th of July. It’s typically attended by around 2,000 Mensans and guests from around the world.
AMC American Mensa Committee. American Mensa's elected officers and appointees who form the Board of Directors
AML American Mensa, Ltd. Our parent organization. We also often refer to “National” or the “National Office.” The office and staff are located in Hurst, TX, near Dallas/Ft Worth.
Anniversary Event Orange County Mensa’s annual brunch or dinner where we celebrate the anniversary of our existence as a Local Group, thank our outgoing officers, and welcome our newly elected officers. This usually happens around April 1 of each year.
Bulletin The Mensa Bulletin, American Mensa’s monthly magazine that is mailed to all members.
Colloquium An annual national Mensa conference focusing on one intellectual topic.
CultureQuest This is an annual Mensa competition to promote and test cultural literacy, usually held in April. Mensa teams from around the U.S. and Canada compete within their local geographic area.
Foundation Mensa Education and Research Foundation (MERF), a separate arm of Mensa with nonprofit 501C(3) status so that donations may be tax-deductible. The foundation sponsors scholarships, research into intelligence, the Colloquium, and much of AML’s Gifted Youth Program.
Gathering A large Mensa conference or convention. The Annual Gathering (AG) is the national convention and is held in a different city each year. Regional Gatherings (RGs) are held throughout the year by various local groups throughout the U.S. (The term is a carry-over from our British origins.)
Gifted Youth Gifted Youth Coordinators (GYC) provide valuable local resources for parents of gifted youth (under the age of 18).
GLAAM Greater Los Angeles Area Mensa. The Mensa local group to the north of Orange County Mensa.
Local Group The smallest official geographic subdivision, or chapter, of American Mensa. Orange County Mensa is a local group.
LocSec Local Secretary. The name used by American Mensa for the elected head of a local group (a carry-over from our British origins). In OC Mensa, we use the term “President.”
M / Ms / YM Mensan/Mensans/Young Mensan
MERF Old nickname for the Mensa Education and Research Foundation, and still widely used. The currently used short name is The Foundation.
Mind Games An annual Mensa function held every year in a different city for the purpose of playing and rating new board games and giving feedback to the game publishers. The top rated games have the privilege of being labeled “Mensa Select.”
OCM Orange County Mensa.
Open House This is Orange County Mensa’s “official” monthly meeting and party, where you can meet and get to know your fellow Mensans. There is a minimal door charge to pay for the refreshments that are served.
Oracle OCM's monthly newsletter.
Proctor Mensa member volunteers who have been trained and are certified to administer Mensa Admissions Testing.
RG Regional Gathering. A conference or convention held on the local level for Mensa members and their guests.
Region One of ten geographic subdivisions of American Mensa. OCM is in Region 9 (Far West). Region 9 includes 4 local groups in Southern California (San Diego Mensa, Orange County Mensa, Greater Los Angeles Area Mensa, and Channel Islands Mensa), Greater Phoenix Mensa, Tucson Mensa, Southern Nevada Mensa, Utah Mensa, and Mensa Hawaii.
RVC Regional Vice Chairman. A national Mensa officer who serves as our liaison with American Mensa and represents us on the AMC. (OCM is in Region 9, so our representative is frequently referred to as RVC9.)
San Diego Mensa The Mensa local group to the south of Orange County Mensa.
SIG Special Interest Group. Mensans seem to have extremely wild and wonderful interests. No matter what your interest, there is probably a Mensa SIG. If not, you can organize your own. There are more than 100 national SIGs, which may communicate virtually and/or may occasionally have face-to-face get-togethers. We also have a number of local SIGs that meet here in Orange County.
SIGHT Service of Information, Guidance and Hospitality to Travelers. This is an international program enabling Mensans to visit and host Mensans from around the world. Most local groups have a SIGHT coordinator (including groups in 40 countries around the world), and local members may provide services ranging from giving sightseeing advice to meeting a traveler for dinner or even hosting a visiting Mensan in their home.