Daily Mail, August 17, 2015
A University of Alabama sorority has taken down a recruitment video from YouTube after critics said it was racially-homogeneous and lacked diversity.
Alpha Phi, who are based at the Tuscaloosa campus, uploaded the footage ahead of rush week and was viewed more than 500,000 times.
However the group have decided to pull the footage. They also deleted their Facebook and Tumblr accounts while increasing privacy settings on their Instagram.
The decision came as 2,500 female students arrived on campus to sign up for their sororities, the largest number in the university’s history.
They were designated into their sororities after taking part in rush week events.
Many posed for pictures celebrating being placed into Alpha Phi and then posted them on Instagram.
Alabama Alpha Phi and the international sorority have yet to respond to comments from the Daily Mail Online.
The group have been accused them of selling themselves on looks alone while one writer has said they are doing more damage to women than presidential candidate Donald Trump.
The very glossy and professional film includes the group of 72, mostly-white, members partying and attending events inside their sprawling sorority house.
There are also moments when bikini-clad sisters are seen swimming in a lake.
In an opinion piece for AL.com, writer A.L. Bailey said the video is worse for women than Trump, referring to comments he made to Fox New’s Megyn Kelly during the Republican debate two weeks ago.
She wrote: ‘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.
‘To the incoming PNMs, this video has a clear sales pitch: beauty, sexuality, and a specific look above all.
‘They’re selling themselves on looks alone, as a commodity. Sadly, commodities don’t tend to command much respect.’
The divisive piece sparked an impassioned response from readers who were horrified at the content.
Shell Seeker 7 said: ‘Just watched the video, as a Mother with three grandaughter’s in college trying to get through college on their own, no sorority, this Alabama video is pathetic, and shameful , college is about education, not football and parties.
‘I’m sure the kid’s returning to class feel just a little bit lower having watched this ridiculous, sexual, ad for college, have a day picnic if you want fun for everyone and include all the students. . . . pathetic.
Another said: ‘I thought it would not be that bad. I was wrong. If my daughter was in something like this she’d be in another school tomorrow. Who are they recruiting? Ex porn starlets?
One reader also commented: ‘Bad look for the University of Alabama in light of the issue of diversity of the Greek system. Not enough thought was put into production of this video. The sorority did not think that they are not only representing themselves, but the University as a whole!’
On their website, Alpha Phi’s description reads: ‘Our sisterhood and our love for one another has consistently bound us into an everlasting love and friendship.
‘Alpha Phi prides on our motto, “union hand in hand”. We are a body of strong, motivated, and resilient young women who are tied together as a family and ultimately hold truth to our hearts and values as Alpha Phi’s.’
Founded in 1872, Alpha Phi is the fourth oldest national women’s sorority, and was the first women’s society to use Greek letters as an emblem.
Some have condemned Bailey, the writer of the op-ed, for being a hyopcrite as she runs a fashion and lifestyle blog.