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Alabama's Alpha Phi Seriously Lacks Diversity

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These views reflect the opinion of the author.

Recently, the Alpha Phi sorority at the University of Alabama released their 2015 recruitment video. From that video alone, I would not be convinced to even think about joining that sorority.

The video featured what A. L. Bailey, of AL.com, called “racially and aesthetically homogenous” girls clad in matching clothing and bikinis dancing around, blowing glitter and otherwise living up to any other typical stereotype of a large sorority house at a Southern school.

Don’t get me wrong—there isn’t anything wrong with girls wearing bikinis in an online video or embracing their femininity. The issue lies in the general similarities between every girl in that video. The video does not feature anything other than white members of the sorority, most of them with matching beach blonde hair, matching skinny body types and similar faces.

That is not the reality of college, or sorority, life. Universities are filled with diversity, as are their respective Greek life organizations. According to the University of Alabama’s website, approximately 12 percent of their student population is of African American heritage, and 3 percent of the community is Hispanic. While sororities are meant for making lasting relationships with a diverse group of women, Alpha Phi only featured homogenous-looking women, which does not advertise anything positive to me.

According to USA TODAY, Griffin Meyer, the UA student filmmaker that shot the video, claimed that the shoot was, "not very organized and there was a lot of improvisation that led to shots with similar looking girls.” In addition, Meyer added, “There is no drinking, no drugs, no nudity. It’s kind of sad girls can’t play fake football or be in a bikini without the judgement of the entire Internet.”

The second part of Meyer’s statement has its merits. The women of Alpha Phi weren’t obscene or inappropriate in the recruitment video. They should be able to embrace a feminine point of view if they want to without people feeling a need to pass an unfair judgment. However, “improvisation” is no excuse for a lack of diversity in a publicized and well-circulated video.

Alabama is about 30 percent African American, 2 percent Asian, and 4 percent Hispanic. This video, stemming from the state’s flagship university, did not reflect Alabama’s true demographics as it should have. Alpha Phi could have and should have included far more diversity in their recruitment video. The video advertises an unreal reality where all of the girls in a sorority act and look exactly alike, which is a dangerous and false advertisement for Alpha Phi.


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