The Alpha Phi sorority chapter at the University of Alabama is receiving widespread backlash and criticism after releasing a video online in hopes of recruiting new pledges this fall.
The original six-minute video consisted of sorority girls attempting to woo new pledges by parading in front of their house, swimming in a lake and playing football with Alabama’s running back Kenyan Drake.
The video contained an abundance of glitter and smiles, but lacked two very crucial things: diversity and depth.
A.L. Bailey, a freelance writer based out of Hoover, Alabama, wrote an article for AL.com detailing the depravity of the video and launched the issue nationwide. Bailey claimed the video was “worse for women than Donald Trump.”
She stated, “It’s all so racially and aesthetically homogeneous and forced, so hyper-feminine, so reductive and objectifying, so Stepford Wives: College Edition. It’s all so … unempowering.”
While a few people have spoken out in support for the sorority, most seem to agree with Bailey’s views. Greek life is meant to enhance students’ college experiences and push them to become better people. It is not intended to support the party atmosphere stereotype, which is all that was showcased in this video.
Greek life should be focused on recruiting diverse, gifted and intelligent pledges that will benefit their community. This chapter, however, fixated on marketing itself based entirely by its look.
There was absolutely no depth to the recruiting video. Philanthropy, which is a large part of Greek life, was not mentioned once. There were no signs that charity work was even an aspect of Alpha Phi’s mission.
The academic focus, fundraising and partnerships made by every chapter were not deemed worthy enough for the video. The dancing and glitter-blowing skills, however, were demonstrated several times.
Despite the criticism, Alabama added 2,262 women to its sororities this month. Unfortunately, only 214 of those women are minorities.
It is important to remember that not all Greek life is as despondent as Alabama’s chapter. USF proudly has a diverse and talented Greek community.
An assessment taken in 2013 by USF’s Educational Benchmarking Inc. stated 63.8 percent of the Greek community where White, 19.8 percent were Hispanic, 7.1 percent were African American, 6.7 were Asian, 1.5 percent were American Indian/Alaska Native/First Nation, 0.6 percent stated to have an unknown ethnicity, 0.5 percent were Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander and 0.1 percent were two races or more.
Unlike Alabama’s Alpha Phi, USF Greek life is a diverse and philanthropic community. USF students demonstrate what going Greek is intended to be about: forming long-lasting relationships and making the community a better place.
Breanne Williams is a junior majoring in mass communications.