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#BamaRush has been all over TikTok once again, but will the recent documentary be able to expose some of its darker secrets? Read on for more. © Provided by Are Media Pty Ltd #BamaRush has been all over TikTok once again, but will the recent documentary be able to expose some of its darker secrets? Read on for more.

Choreographed dance moves, brightly-coloured outfits and decorated dorm rooms are just a few key indicators that you might be on #RushTok. The entire phenomenon has drawn in viewers from all over the world, even if they have no idea what is it they're actually watching.

If you've seen enough of them, eventually these videos blur into one, homogenous stream of blonde, tanned girls with an American twang. They're describing their hectic social schedules, showing you what's in their bag or detailing their outfit of the day. While people's individual experiences vary dramatically, the run sheet is pretty much the same across the board.

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The first day is convocation (the big introduction), philanthropy day (visiting a bunch of sororities to learn about their charitable causes), sisterhood day (meeting with members of different sororities to decide which ones you like), preference day (chatting with members of the two sororities you like best), and bid day (the one where you find out which, if any, sorority has offered you membership).

If it sounds kind of exhausting, it's because it is. By the end, some girls find out that all their efforts have been in vain, and they haven't been selected for any sororities at all. But, that's the risk they take when making the decision to rush in the first place.

So, what exactly is the point of all this? Well, if you're looking for intel on the TikTok craze with 1.2 billion views and counting, you've come to the right place.

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With a newly-announced documentary said to be detailing entire Rushing experience at the University of Alabama, this certainly isn't the last we'll see or hear of the entire ordeal. In the leadup to its release, lets familiarise ourselves with the complex ins and outs of Greek life.

What is Bama Rush?

The term 'rush' is slang for sorority recruitment week, which is when girls familiarize themselves with the different sororities on their college campus and attempt to join them. The term 'Bama Rush' is specific to sorority recruitment week at the University of Alabama, where the whole 'rushing' process has become extremely hyped and documented on social media.

As one woman named Pamela explains in her video, a lot of institutions still exist in America whose overarching goal is to "help people who are already white, privileged and wealthy." One of which, she claims, are sororities.

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Referred to as a 'social organisation'', Pamela explains that you can do a wide range of different things within a sorority, from charity work to networking. Interestingly, she claims that the University of Alabama has historically ranked quite low in terms of quality and education, but they have always ranked highly in, you guessed it, prestige of sororities.

Within the sororities, Pamela claims there are two different classes of distinction — old row (old money) and new row (new money). According to Greek Rank, "Old Row houses are a subset of the better, bigger houses on campus," but this opinion has been quite contentious, with some arguing that there's virtually no difference between the two, except the label.

"The most prestigious old row sororities are the ones everyone wants," she explained. "Every sorority wants the prettiest girls with the highest GPAs, the most money, the highest home value and the most connections," she said.

The application process to get into a sorority is the week-long event known as Rush. Over the course of the week, girls are invited back to fewer and fewer houses, until Bid Day, which is a big event where the girls find out which sorority they got into. But don't worry, the unsuccessful girls are warned in advance if they haven't been accepted anywhere.

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Another TikTok user named Meili refers to the entire process as 'girl flirting' which she used to explain the process behind meeting other pledges and hoping to woo the current sorority house members in a bid to gain acceptance.

Meili explained that each day of the week has a theme like disco or candy land, with the girls dressing in costumes that reflect the theme. This explains why TikTok has been exploding with colour and glitter during the festivities.

is #bamarush problematic?

Since their inception, sororities have been accused of being elitist institutions with undercurrents of classism and racism. The University of Alabama only desegregated their sororities and fraternities in 2013, meaning it's only been a few years of supposedly championing more racially inclusive houses.

Then, comes the money side of things. Greek life comes at a very high cost ($5,000 a semester to be exact), so it's certainly for everyone, and with various power dynamics at play, even girls who can afford to be there sometimes find that in the end, they don't want to be.

With #RushTok continuing to trend, one user encouraged people to share the reasons why they decided to leave their sorority.

"I didn't drop but went alumna early after a sister died & almost our entire chapter skipped her funeral for a frat party." read the top comment.

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"Wouldn't let me out of my lease when my mom had to have open heart surgery. Philanthropy was women's heart health," wrote another.

"Fined bc I couldn't attend events bc I had to work full time bc I had to pay for the sorority and rent," added a third.

While the comments didn't list which Universities they attended, it's becoming evident that these issues are rife in these institutions across the country.

Last year, Makayla Culpepper rose to prominence, documenting her Rush experience on TikTok. Despite gaining some level of fame and notoriety on the platform, she was denied acceptance to all her nominated sororities and would not be receiving a bid. Her experience started a series of anti-Alabama rush videos, with people expressing their disappointment through the hashtag #justiceformakayla.

Some were quick to suggest that her sorority shunning was racially motivated, while others claimed it was due to a video in which she appears to be drunk (an offense that most sororities have a no-tolerance policy for) and allegations of bullying.

what is the bama rush documentary?

As reported by Variety, the entire Bama Rush experience is getting the documentary treatment from Vice Studios and HBO Max. The project is currently in production in Tuscaloosa, following the conclusion of Rush Week at Alabama University.

The documentary has apparently been in the works since last year, when #BamaRush exploded on TikTok. Arecent graduate of the University of Alabama and member of its Alpha Phi sorority, told the Times she was approached last November to gauge interest in her involvement, but she ultimately declined the offer.

TikTok has also been awash with rumours that hidden microphones have been used during this year's Rush Week, to secretly record conversations had among pledges and members. However, Jonathan Bing, a spokesman for Vice Studios, denied these the rumours, claiming that they have not authorised the use of any recording devices.

Still, the doco may have difficulty getting current members to speak, with many allegedly worried about jeopardising their futures within a sorority if they say too much about the ins and outs of Greek life.

"It was like a joke at first because everyone was like, if you post, you'll become famous," a current student at the University of Alabama told the Times about her decision to post her experience on TikTok. "Then reporters actually started to come and then we were told to not talk to them."

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