Greek life is a term used to describe all Greek letter organizations at a college or university. Typically Greek life is made up of fraternities and sororities. These organizations are made up of students that share a common goal or goals and tend to socialize together. Many fraternities and sororities are very active in their community and at school. Most organizations don't haze, and typically colleges and universities have strict rules against hazing. Any college student looking to become more active in the community and meeting lots of other college students looking to do the same should find out what Greek letter organizations exist on their campus. A good place to start is going to the student affairs office.
Typically the processes of joining a fraternity is called rush, and joining a sorority is called sorority recruitment. Fraternities are typically allowed to approach guys at any time and convince younger students to join their organization. College men can choose what fraternities they would like to join, and only attend those rush meetings. At most college campuses, women going through sorority recruitment are split up into groups and they must meet with all the sororities on campus, before choosing one. If the organization and the student both choose each other, bids are handed out to the students on "bid day". Fraternities usually hand out bids when they choose unless forced by the Greek system. Sororities sometimes meet together in a large gym or hall and the female student is called out in the middle of the room to find out what sorority they belong to. Once they find out the sorority usually goes nuts and they get all excited.
The Greek letters found on fraternity and sorority houses and fraternity and sorority members chests represent the organization they belong to. Most fraternities and sororities are made up of two or three capital Greek letters from the Greek alphabet. Each Greek letter organization has its own secrets, rituals and beliefs. Typically "new members" or ("pledges" is now an underground term at many schools) are not allowed to wear letters until they "earn" them by completing the "pledging" process.