The recruiting video for a University of Alabama sorority has received harsh criticism for its lack of diversity as well as its objectification of women, The New York Times reported on Tuesday.
The video of the Alpha Phi chapter at UA has since been removed from the sorority’s YouTube channel.
The video features hoards of chapter members jumping up and down, dancing, smiling, and blowing kisses for the camera. It was produced in an effort to entice other young women into joining the sorority.
Alabama news website Al.com featured an op-ed by writer A.L. Bailey that denounced the video for being, “all so racially and aesthetically homogeneous and forced, so hyper-feminine, so reductive and objectifying, so Stepford Wives: College Edition,” the Times reported.
Sororities at UA have a well-documented history of racial segregation. In 2013, The Crimson White, the university’s student paper, published a shocking report that only one black student had ever pledged a Panhellenic sorority through the formal recruiting process in the 50 years since the school had integrated.
Some sorority members told the Crimson White that the lack of diversity in the sororities at AU was a calculated decision to exclude women of colour from their ranks.
A member from Tri Delta, who asked to remain anonymous, told the Crimson White the story of a black student with “excellent scores,” an influential family, and “awesome resume” who was removed from the process because of her race.
“Not a lot of rushees get awesome scores .. Sometimes sisters [of active members] don’t get that. [She] got excellent scores. The only thing that kept her back was the colour of her skin in Tri Delt. She would have been a dog fight between all the sororities if she were white,” the Tri Delta member told the Crimson White.
Since the Crimson White’s report in 2013, diversity has increased in predominantly white sororities at UA. There were zero minority women in predominantly white sororities in 2013, and there are currently 214, Abbey Crain, one of the authors of the report, told the Times.
That hasn’t stopped the derision from viewers who have questioned the goal of the video. Bailey’s op-ed continued to push on the need for such a video.
“Are they recruiting a diverse and talented group of young women embarking on a college education?” Bailey asked in her op-ed.
“Upon first or even fifth glance, probably not. Hormonal college-aged guys? Most assuredly yes. Older, male YouTube creepers? A resounding yes.”
We reached out to the sorority for comment and will update this post if we hear back. The University of Alabama condemned the video in a statement to the New York Times.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.