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Greek recruitment video goes viral

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Greek recruitment video goes viral

Stephen Walker

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Last week, the greek community at the University of Alabama made national and international headlines in what turned out to be a record-setting week for greek life at the University.

In addition to setting a new record for the largest sorority rush in United States history, the University of Alabama Panhellenic Association can also likely claim the record for most widely viewed recruitment video in recruitment history.

The video, which was posted on the UA Panhellenic Association’s YouTube channel, features ten sorority members, wearing white tank tops, colorful sunglasses and trucker’s hats, parading around campus while singing about rush week to the tune of Chris Brown’s “Look at Me Now” and Rebecca Black’s “Friday.”

Almost overnight, the clip went viral and became an Internet sensation viewed by millions of YouTube users.

The Huffington Post, CBS42 news, CNN’s AC360, PerezHilton.com, London’s Daily Mail, and many other websites, television shows and news outlets featured the clip.

Gentry McCreary, director of greek affairs at the University, said he believes the clip went viral because many people misunderstood the purpose behind the video.

“The video was intended to be a funny way to welcome the 1,742 prospective new sorority members to UA and the recruitment process,” McCreary said. “It was meant to be funny, and it was. I suspect it was so popular because some people thought the video was intended to be taken seriously, which was never its intent.”

Comments on the YouTube page reflect every opinion of the clip from amusement to utter horror.

“Mark Ingram just gave back his Heisman in exchange for this to be taken down,” posted YouTube user Seminole11288.

Others expressed support for the video, acknowledging the video was not intended to be a vocal masterpiece.

“Some of you need to look up ‘parody’ in the dictionary apparently,” said YouTube user BamRamJam. “This video was done as a joke for rush week… to lighten the mood. It was done in fun, and was intentionally meant to be awful.”

Students also had very diverse opinions of the clip.

“The video was such a hit because it is ridiculously funny, but at the same time rather embarrassing to the greek community,” said Jenny Thrasher, a freshman majoring in economics. “The purpose of the video was to get people to go greek, but I think it did the complete opposite.”

Other students didn’t think the clip would do any damage to the greek community’s reputation but still were not impressed by the video.

“I found it to be rather annoying,” said Molly Thompson, a soon-to-be graduate student. “It’s hard to say anything about it, other than now I have to find a way to get that song out of my head.”

Still, some students were amused by the video and expressed disbelief at how much criticism it has endured.

“Look, if you don’t like it, then don’t watch it,” said Jonathan Faucett, a sophomore majoring in mathematics. “Obviously, they were doing it to be funny. To me, they accomplished exactly what they set out to do. Quit hating, people.”

The large amount of criticism from viewers prompted CNN news anchor Anderson Cooper to feature the clip on his cable news show, AC360. Critics of the clip, referred to by Cooper as “Alabama Slammers,” earned a spot on Cooper’s Aug. 16 “RidicuList” segment.

“Alabama Slammers, they are the people who are slamming what I happen to think is a fantastic video featuring sorority girls from the University of Alabama rapping,” Cooper said last week on AC360. “People are making all kinds of snarky comments online about this video and about sororities in general… Leave them alone.”

Although the clip brought national attention to UA sororities, McCreary said he doesn’t believe it had any effect on the record number of students who rushed sororities this year.

“UA has the largest recruitment in the nation because we have one of the healthiest and most vibrant greek communities in the United States, and an increasingly large percentage of UA students are choosing to become part of that community each year,” he said. “Our fraternity and sorority members excel in the classroom, and our greek organizations provide valuable leadership, networking and social opportunities for their members.”

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Greek recruitment video goes viral