The Scandal That Wasn’t: Alabama Alpha Phi
It all started with Baylor University’s chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma (Shout out to the KKG’s!) that created a kick ass recruitment video, circa 2011. Since then, the recruitment game has forever been changed.
Before I begin here’s some terms for you non sorority and fraternity folk, a glossary if you will so you can keep up…
Rush/Recruitment- The process of pledging a sorority/fraternity
PNM’s- Potential New Members
Panhellenic Day/Pan Day- The first day of formal Sorority Recruitment when all the PNM’s meet women from each chapter
PC- Pledge Class
Greek Life- Part of a Sorority/Fraternity
Great, now where was I… Ah, yes- the game has been FOREVER changed.
I remember going through recruitment my freshman year and my mom made an excellent point. She said to make sure that I wear something each day that makes me stand out (as if that was hard 😉 ). And it’s the exact same thing for each chapter as well.
Every day of rush, each chapter wants to do something or wear something that makes them stand out from all the other chapters, like banging on the walls while yelling Hottie Tottie at the top of their lungs before the doors open or wearing white pumps on Pan Day. Recruitment videos are the exact same in this sense. They are typically going to consist of women prancing around in slow motion, hugging each other and laughing, showing off their beautful homes, wearing school apparel, sunglasses are probably involved, some way somehow sports teams will be incorporated, there will be glitter, and heaven forbid these women will be hot?! With these common denominators for each chapter, you must do something to make your chapter stand out!
Yet here we are, bashing on a completely innocent recruitment video (compared to ALL the other things on the internet? Really?).
There are so many different thoughts and emotions that are running through my mind as I hear one news story after another mock and ridicule the Beta Mu chapter of Alpha Phi, starting with AL.com. Here’s what baffles me: with all the things going on in our world (ie. the bombing in Bangkok, fires burning down central Washington, fires burning down large chunks of land across California, topless women wandering around Times Square, the 2016 elections, etc.), why is THIS gaining national media attention? Of all things?!
A bunch of hot, mostly blonde, collegiate women proudly promoting their chapter of their sorority in hopes of recruiting a bomb a$$ new PC should be the LEAST of our worries. Yet there is story, after story, after story, after story, after story, after story, after story about it. And yes, each link is to a DIFFERENT news source discriminating against this particular chapter of Alpha Phi (and that’s not even all of them).
As Elle Woods would say, “Why now? Why this [sorority recruitment video]?” 💁🏼🙋🏼 Heaven forbid anything like this happen to Delta Nu; you already know Elle would be addressing the public about their lack of intelligence when it comes to things they don’t know anything about. But I digress. 💁🏼
Tell me if I’m wrong, but what’s the difference between this recruitment video and this recruitment video? And this recruitment video? How about this recruitment video? And this recruitment video? And this recruitment video? (Shout out to Beta Rho, hey girls hey!) But seriously, see any significant differences? Not really.
The point of a recruitment video is not necessarily to promote the chapter’s scholarly successes, or philanthropic triumphs. Sure, maybe they should be, but let’s be real here- they don’t. Chances are, if you’re rushing and came across this video, you’ve been doing your homework on this sorority! Thus you already know about the chapter’s required GPA, the fact that they were one of the top chapters in the Greek System last spring, their symbol is the Phi Bear, their colors are silver and bordeaux, and their flowers are Ivy leaves, Lily of the Valley and Forget-Me-Nots. And if you didn’t know these things, chances are you didn’t really care to know them.
Still following? Here’s the point of a recruitment video.
The point of a recruitment video is to get 18-year-old women excited about sorority recruitment and the entire run process in hopes that they will end up in the sorority that is the best fit for them.
Some chapters have recruitment videos of just their members doing different activies (ie. getting ready for sports games, dancing with the school mascot, showing off old cheerleading skills, laying out by the pool/lake/at the beach, etc.), while others have the same or similar ideas but also include member dialogue talking about their experiences with their chapter.
What I’ve noticed the most about all the scrutiny with Alabama’s Beta Mu chapter of Alpha Phi recruitment video, is that people are down right PISSED that it only features hot, white, blonde (for the most part) women. First of all, I want you to take a step back and think about your own personal group of friends. Think about the people you spend the most time with. Think of their morals, what their beliefs are, what they like to do in their free time, how they dress, etc. Chances are you all have plenty of things in common and that’s why you all get along so well! But that’s not to say you are different in many different ways as well! That’s the exact same way that each chapter feels, and I can only imagine that’s how Beta Mu feels as well. The reason they have such great chemisty and get along so well is, because they all have so many things in common, and I’m not talking about their hair color and race.
Second, just because you don’t have something in common with this particular chapter does NOT give you the right to judge them for what they enjoy. That being said, before you try to fight me, ask yourself these questions: Are you a recent high school graduate about to enter sorority recruitment? If no, case closed. THESE VIDEOS AREN’T FOR YOU. What about the video is offensive? Are you really only offended because the women are beautiful and having fun?
I can’t emphasize this enough, since these videos aren’t for you why do you care?! Literally, all these people arguing and fighting and saying how this Alpha Phi rush video is “tasteless”, and “classless”, and someone even stooped so low as to issue a backhanded apology?! I mean, really? Who’s the tasteless party involved?
If something wasn’t created with you in mind, it is not aimed as pleasing you, and it’s purpose is NOT to make you want to rush, why do you care? Shouldn’t we, as women, build each other up instead of tearing each other down? Society is already awful enough, shouldn’t we stick together?
I know the “right” (and I use this term lightly because I know I’m going to offend someone no matter what) thing to do would be to be politically correct, but honestly, think of it this way. I could be the most delicious peach in the world, yet there would still be someone who doesn’t like peaches. At the end of the day, people are jealous, whether they want to admit it or not because that video was harmless. Just like Keri Hilson says in Pretty Girl Rock (yes, I’m quoting Pretty Girl Rock), “Jealousy’s the ugliest trait.” Don’t hate these girls because they’re BEAUTIFUL! Not to mention there’s probably 500+ Marilyn Monroe quotes I could insert here.
I think it’s important to realize the impact that one individual’s opinion is making on not only the women of Beta Mu, but all potential sorority women. By ridiculing and verbally harassing these women all over the Internet, news and social media, we’re making Greek Life look worse than it is.
Greeks out-graduate non-Greeks 8 to 2. Since 1825, all but three U.S. presidents have been members of a fraternity. The first female senator was Greek. And while we hear, on average, of one hazing-related death story a year, we typically do not hear about the philanthropic work and community service Greeks participate in over non-Greeks, donating over 10 million hours of service and over $7M each year. Greeks also give around 75% of the money donated to universities. So don’t tell me Greek life is just binge drinking and partying. That’s a college association, not a Greek life association. Like many like to say, “Work Hard, Play Harder.”
And while we’re talking controversy, our editor always reminds us there will be haters, “and if they hate then let ‘em hate and watch the money pile up!”… Oh, What? That was Kanye West that said that? Whatever, same difference, you get the point.
There will always be haters and disbelievers. At the end of the day, you’re damned if you do and you’re damned if you don’t, so you might as well do whatever the hell you want. For starters though, let’s try and build eachother up instead of tearing eachother down. And ya know, maybe not spend so much time arguing over hair flips and slow motion skipping.
I leave the haters with this music video…
Oh, and for the love of God, IT’S PRONOUNCED ALPHA PH-EE.