If you’re on TikTok, chances are you’ve come across the now infamous hashtag, #BamaTok. As soon as you click on it, you’re looking at an onslaught of videos where pledges and established sorors of the University of Alabama prepare for their Rush Week, a time where sororities recruit students to their respective Greek letter organizations.
The conversation surrounding this topic of cost has been trending in addition to the presence of the hashtag for weeks. With that, iit shows no signs of slowing down, as it extended its impact from not only social media but in society as a whole. Outlets like Teen Vogue, The Cut, and even the New York Times have been tailing this topic for the past few weeks.
In usual TikTok fashion, users have been notorious for commenting under these posts and sometimes taking it one step further by providing some researched commentary on the topic. Take Youtube Channel “HauteLeMode” for example, he analyses the fashion trends that we see on social media. In this specific video, he highlights the fashion faux pauxs of Alabama’s sorority girls.
In his comments, it ranges from comments praising the idyllic lifestyle portrayed through these videos as well as the expected mockery of the southern school’s tradition, which is often subject to backlash due to the sororities’ history of the lack of diversity and elitism. It got me thinking about what it might take to enter into this world. So I decided to do some research to look at the “lavish” lifestyles of these Bama students and how integral it is to the status of being a student there.
After doing some digging, I found out more about the University of Alabama's rush process, which, no surprise here, has been extremely vital to the campus culture. Similarly, fraternities have been notorious for bad behavior, amongst other things, but Alabama specifically is above the others. With the school’s eighteen Panhellenic sororities and 7,600 active members, annually, each organization attracts what is assumed to be the best women on campus to their organizations.
If you go to the official website of the Panhellenic Association at Alabama, you’ll find a page full of information on how you can remain eligible to rush such as GPA requirements and, if you’re a freshman, being in good standing even before you enter the university. With a wide range of rush options comes a wide range of GPA requirements with some significantly higher than others. The cost to be a part of such a group might also play a factor into who can be a part of it or not. Back in 2016, Al.com published an article detailing what to expect when rushing and joining sorority. At the time, the article mentioned that registration fees ranged from $150-$200, which is already a significant chunk of change. Try looking up the amount now in 2021. You’ll see a shiny non-refundable $350 price tag to register for a sorority.
I don’t know about you but I definitely don’t have that much money sitting in my bank account. (I’m placing the blame on Grubhub for all of the lazy days I had this summer). Aside from that though, I also note that housing arrangements are a part of the deal, which costs a couple thousand dollars.
I figured that most girls who rush understand what the stigma would be in joining such a highly-rated sorority, but it also makes me wonder if the bump in status is worth it, especially in college. When it comes to this wide-spread media coverage, it also means that the girls are expecting to receive comments and questions about the ethics behind recruitment as well as the more dangerous side of greek life, hazing. When it comes to #BamaTok though, there’s more than enough content to judge for yourself. As of now, I think it’s safe to say that my bank account isn’t big enough to fulfill the requirements for this group of gals and I think that’s ok.