Why Everyone Needs To Back Off Alpha Phi At The University Of Alabama

It’s rush season at college campuses around the country, which means men and women of Greek life are trying to promote their organizations to recruit new members. Any sorority or fraternity member can tell you that a big part of this is the recruitment video, which is basically tries to paint the best possible picture of life in your particular organization.

The women of University of Alabama’s Alpha Phi sorority are under fire after sharing their recruitment video on YouTube. People on the Internet were slammed the video for featuring mainly white women partying and attending events in the sorority’s house for lacking racial diversity in its 72 members as well as its supposed sexual nature. A writer for Al.com published an op-ed and called the video “worse for women than Donald Trump.”
These young women, with all their flouncing and hair-flipping, are making it so terribly difficult for anyone to take them seriously, now or in the future. The video lacks any mention of core ideals or service and philanthropy efforts. It lacks substance but boasts bodies. It’s the kind of thing that subconsciously educates young men on how to perceive, and subsequently treat, women in their lives. It’s the kind of thing I never want my young daughters to see or emulate.

If Greek life at Alabama is anything like where I went to school, the ladies of Alpha Phi have to maintain a certain GPA, be a part of other organizations like honor societies and clubs on campus, spend many hours each semester supporting their philanthropy through fundraising events and hands-on experience, and hold an appointed position within the sorority. I promise you, these women do much more with their time than flip their hair around and do cartwheels on the football field.
Unfortunately, this video does not portray all these elements of being part of Alpha Phi. That doesn’t mean these women aren’t beautiful and intelligent and philanthropic.
Let’s think of the audience to this video. It wasn’t meant to be seen by 50-year-old men who have nothing better to do than look at sorority videos on YouTube. It was meant for potential new members (PNMs) thinking about joining their sorority. When you are 18 years old and entering college, you’re looking for a social life as well as an educational experience. Who would want to watch a five-minute video of a bunch of girls studying in the library or sitting in class? What the PNMs will think when they watch this video is not “Wow, these girls don’t do anything of substance.” They will see a group of women who love to spend time together and can have a good laugh (even when they’ve probably been filming this video for hours).
These girls can portray themselves however they so choose. If people want to criticize Alpha Phi for their recruitment video (that, honestly, isn’t unlike many other sorority rush videos I’ve seen), that’s their choice. But they might need to find a more fulfilling hobby. Needless to say, these haters won’t be getting a bid.


 

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