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The Grizzly Gazette

The Grizzly Gazette

The Grizzly Gazette

Bama Rush

The process of being accepted into a sorority at the University of Alabama is an intense one. As the top sorority recruitment in the country, women from all around the world attempt to get drafted through highly competitive stages. 

According to Pi Beta Phi Fraternity For Women, “Sorority membership provides a community of women who share similar values, goals, and aspirations. These women will support you as you navigate your collegiate experience.” 

Yet, despite creating a community, the recruitment process in Alabama has been known to be full of racism and discrimination. Many girls who rushed at the university felt that a sorority would help them figure out the person that they wanted to be and provide a support system when they may not have one at home, however, it turned out to be very elitist. The student newspaper for the university, The Crimson White, revealed that Black students were denied a place in a sorority because of their race. 

Max’s new documentary “Bama Rush” gives an inside view on the long-held traditions of sorority recruitment at the University of Alabama.“Bama Rush” shows the troubling past of the university and its struggle with race in the Greek system. 

When the documentary was being filmed, many members of the exclusive sororities had fears of what this could spell. In one instance, a girl was kicked out of the process because the sorority believed that she was recording for the documentary; they mistook a rubber band for a wire. 

Recruitment typically takes place over four competitive rounds that potential new members must participate in. The week begins with convocation, which is where new members make themselves familiar with sororities. They stay mindful of appealing houses and members decide if they will be invited back. 

Philanthropy Day is the next event. Potential members learn about volunteer work and the sisterhood of sororities. New and current members spend one-on-one time with each other as a bonding activity. 

Preference night is where potential members try to promote a deep connection with sorority members before each makes their final decisions.

According to People Magazine, “Sororities [then] deliberate on the potential new members (PNMs) they’ve met throughout the week and extend bids, an offer to pledge their chapter.”

Other than the documentary, Bama Rush became all the rage on TikTok in the summer of 2021. Hopeful women who wanted to be accepted into a sorority began documenting the lighthearted and dark parts of recruitment. 

Bama Rush started to go viral after TikTok noticed the specific dress code for each round of the sorority recruitment process, girls were wearing brands like Lululemon, Lulus, Kendra Scott, and other big corporations. 

Potential members would share their outfit of the day from their events and their “rush bag”, which included the essentials that they would carry throughout the day. #RushTok continued to grow in popularity in August of 2022 when a new set of members were hoping to join their dream sorority. 

At its essence, the documentary was trying to mend the issues the sorority recruitment process had, especially those of acceptance, individuality, ideas, expressions, tradition, and diversity. 

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