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Bama Rush: Inside College of Alabama’s wild and ‘cutthroat’ sorority recruitment course of

“Bama Rush” reveals the intense measures younger girls take to enter sorority life on the College of Alabama — a provocative social experiment some say is the blueprint for Greek life at campuses nationwide.

“It was undoubtedly scary, however I felt it was vital to be weak and present different ladies that they’ll open up and that they don’t seem to be alone on this,” Isabelle Eacrett, a 19-year-old Alabama scholar and sorority member featured within the movie, informed Fox Information Digital.

The College of Alabama is the highest recruitment faculty within the nation, with potential sorority members going as far as to rent recruitment specialists to assist them get into sure homes.

Rush guide Trisha Addicks, who’s featured within the new HBO Max documentary, described the push course of at Alabama as “cutthroat.”

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Young women during sorority recruitment at The University of Alabama

The College of Alabama is the highest recruitment faculty within the nation, with potential sorority members going as far as to rent recruitment specialists to assist them get into sure homes. (“Bama Rush”/ HBO Max)

“It is simply uniquely Alabama,” she stated.

Potential new members (PNMs) undergo an intensive, four-round recruitment course of, which incorporates interviews and social capabilities, earlier than they select a sorority and vice versa. Some college students opted out of Greek life due to the price alone.

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The typical annual price of speeding for brand spanking new sorority members at Alabama is greater than $8,000, in response to the documentary. Tuition for in-state college students is lower than $12,000 yearly, and about $30,000 yearly for out-of-state college students.

(from left) Isabelle, incoming Freshman at The University of Alabama, and her Rush consultant Sloan Anderson

“It was undoubtedly scary, however I felt it was vital to be weak and present different ladies that they’ll open up and that they don’t seem to be alone on this,” Isabelle Eacrett, a 19-year-old Alabama scholar and sorority member, informed Fox Information Digital. (“Bama Rush”/ HBO Max)

In spite of everything 4 rounds of the push course of, PNMs who don’t match a sorority’s expectations might get “dropped,” which means they’ve to show to their second, third and even final decisions.

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The documentary, which options 4 college students’ “rush week” experiences, comes after “#Bamarush” movies went viral on TikTok final 12 months as college students posted movies of their outfits and “rush” recommendation that generated billions of views on the video-sharing app .

Nevertheless, Eacrett says the movie is about greater than what college students painting on TikTok. “I consider sorority life is greater than what individuals suppose. … It has much less to do with outfits and appearances and extra so to do together with your journey as an individual.”

“Lots of people do not acknowledge how sensible these ladies are and the way vital lecturers are in Greek life, particularly within the South. It has quite a bit to do together with your acts of service, philanthropy and sisterhood, clearly.”

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The documentary additionally highlights an aura and custom surrounding Alabama’s Greek life system. A “secret” society made up of sure sororities and fraternities on campus referred to as The Machine, for instance, apparently controls high-level choices on the some-38,000-student faculty.

Some girls featured within the movie talk about an absence of individuality within the rush course of, saying PNMs ought to stand out, however solely to an extent. They need to be distinctive however not fully totally different from the opposite girls they’re in search of to affix.

Holliday, student at The University of Alabama

The documentary highlights an aura and custom surrounding Alabama’s Greek life system. (“Bama Rush”/ HBO Max)

Writer Elizabeth Boyd described the method as “a proving floor of aggressive femininity and the up to date efficiency of the Southern belle.”

One scholar featured within the documentary, Shelby Rose, stopped filming with HBO half means by. She stated HBO approached her when she was a senior in highschool coming into her freshman 12 months at Alabama, and he or she thought the documentary was going to be totally different from what it finally ended up changing into.

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“I really like each single sorority at UA, and I’ve nothing however constructive issues to say in regards to the campus and the sororities,” she stated in a TikTok explaining her determination to cease filming. “So, since I did cease filming, like, proper earlier than rush week, and I really feel as blindsided and confused as everybody else. … I don’t agree with any of the unfavorable issues stated in regards to the College of Alabama, campus as an entire and the UA Panhellenic Affiliation.”

She stated she has “misplaced belief” within the movie’s creators as a result of “it was portrayed in a really totally different means” to her when she signed on to be featured in it.

Eacrett, henceforth, says he was pleased with how the documentary turned out.

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“Lots of people did not perceive what the documentary was going to be. I believe individuals anticipated it to be some publicity or exposing the secrets and techniques of sorority life, and if anybody hasn’t seen the documentary, I encourage them to delve in with the concept that that is greater than that,” she stated. “It is a story of younger girls, and I hope individuals acquire perception on what it is actually prefer to be a younger lady at our age, with social media, with strain coming from all instructions.”

She added that she thought “lots of people needed was some hard-hitting piece on the secrets and techniques.” What they acquired as an alternative was a film meant to “uplift ladies and to point out what they’re actually going by.”

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