Why is Alabama Rush trending on TikTok? Inside the dangers of sorority hazing

What is Alabama Rush? TikTok is going wild over it, but is Greek life what it claims to be?

TUSCALOOSA, AL - SEPTEMBER 22: Sloan Y. Bashinsky Sr. Computer Center on the campus of the University of Alabama before a game between the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Texas A&M Aggies at Bryant-Denny Stadium on September 22, 2018 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. The Crimson Tide defeated the Aggies 45-23. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
(Image credit: Getty Images)

One college campus is certainly busy. Alabama Rush, TikTok's newest viral obsession, has spread like wildfire across social media feeds. Regardless of age or location, it seems everyone is getting a sneak peek into the sorority-sister wannabes in the American south who are attempting to make a good first impression for their chance to be accepted into a social fraternity.

While "rush" at the University of Alabama might have come to an end—decisions about sorority placement were made on August 15th—people are still not quite over the collegiate phenomenon. While the TikTok-inspired group No More Lonely Friends attempts to bring communities together, it seems like #BamaRush is a way to separate people from one another. 

Let's dive into the new social media trend. 

Why is Alabama Rush TikTok famous?

With the Alabama Rush viral videos, social media users are getting a sneak peek at roughly 2,000 freshmen at the University of Alabama who are vying for a spot in the school's sororities. Typically, the young women share what they're doing and what they're wearing to the recruitment events. They're referred to as “potential new members,” a.k.a. PNMs. (Honestly, it seems like an awful lot of unnecessary work.)

We also get a sneak peek at upperclassmen who are adding their two cents to the TikTok trend by weighing in with videos about their favorite memories or own rush experiences. Then, sadly, we are also encountering PNMs who were not fortunate enough to find a spot, which is essentially "you can't sit with us" on a collegiate level.

Some claim that their sorority will not only affect women's four years of college but how their friendships and professional lives will unfold. It seems pretty drastic, considering these young women just arrived at a new location and are just about to start a new chapter of their lives. 

@averi100 (opens in new tab)

Sweeter than candy🤑🍭 #rushbamazeta #ZLAMMMM

♬ Goodies (feat. Petey Pablo) - Ciara (opens in new tab)

What is Greek life in college and what are the benefits?

According to BestColleges (opens in new tab), a resource for incoming students at colleges and universities across the US, Greek life enables participants to find friendships, learn leadership skills and give back to the community. 

"At their core, fraternities and sororities provide academic support and help young college students develop social and leadership skills," the site states. 

However, sometimes the cons outweigh the pros. 

What are the cons of Greek life?

Joining a sorority isn't all it is cracked up to be, depending on the school and the experience. Not only will students have to participate in grueling activities to prove their "worth" and willingness to be a member of the organization, but they're also not terribly focused on what they're supposed to be—academics and giving back. 

Vox (opens in new tab) touched on the fact that sororities have endured racist, classist pasts that are not necessarily over. Additionally, women in sororities are 74% more likely to experience rape than other college women, according to a horrifying study from Oklahoma State University (opens in new tab).  Considering these organizations have rerouted from their original intentions so drastically, it's rather worrisome. 

@claraholleman (opens in new tab)

#bamarush #bama #ua #sororityrecruitment

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Viral TikTok clips aside, college is the time to explore friendships and passions. Whether or not you're looking to follow the #BamaRush trend and find a sorority of your own, there are universal rules: have fun, but most importantly be safe and be kind!

Danielle Valente

Danielle is a writer for woman&home and My Imperfect Life, covering all-things news, lifestyle and entertainment. 

The heart of her time at Future has been devoted to My Imperfect Life, where she's been attuned to the cosmos, new TV shows and relationship trends.  

Before her time at Future, Danielle was the editor of Time Out New York Kids and a news editor at Elite Daily. Her work has also appeared in Domino, Chowhound, amNewYork and Newsday, among other outlets. 

When Danielle is not working, you can usually find her reading a book, coffee at hand, or attempting a new recipe. (Recommendations always welcome!)