TikTok videos of young women at the University of Alabama showing off their outfits for sorority rush parties on campus and offering daily glimpses of the competitive recruitment process have gone viral, AL.com reports.
The videos show potential new members, called PNMs, describing the popular and sometimes expensive designer brands they’re wearing to the large number of recruitment events they’re attending. The videos are landing on people’s For You page, TikTok’s infinite scrolling homepage, all across the nation — even those who had no prior interest in the university or Greek life, NBC News reports. TikTok officials told NBC they could not figure out why the videos are landing on so many users’ pages and said the video feed is based on engagement and other factors.
There was clearly some fascination, and disgust, with sorority culture in general and sorority culture at the University of Alabama in particular. Some viewers poked fun at the potential recruits and posted videos describing their own outfits while imitating the PNMs’ Southern accents. Other TikTok users responded by providing historical context about the racist history of sorority life at the University of Alabama, including a policy that prevented Black students from joining Panhellenic sororities until eight years ago.
The popularity of sorority recruitment videos isn’t new. Rush videos have always performed well on social media, including some garnering millions of views on YouTube, according to NBC. More than 2,500 women participated in recruitment week at the University of Alabama this year, according to AL.com.