Some anthropologists might compare sororities to cults. They involve strange chants, private ceremonies, induction rituals, weird insignia, and hand motions. Members obsess over a doctrine — sororities call theirs "standards" — and create a false sense of family by calling members "sisters" and assigning a “big sister" to each new recruit.
To lure naive freshmen into the sorority ranks, flashy recruitment videos are key. Sorority chapters are known to spend thousands of dollars hiring well-known directors. Usually shot with filters, recruitment videos focus on blowing kisses, glitter, and bubbles at the camera. They tend to overlook books and the library and evidence that sorority members are sexually assaulted at a higher rate than nonmembers. Not so publicized are the themed “no pants” and "Anything but Clothes" parties, in which girls are pressured to wear duct tape and bubble wrap as lingerie. Sororities are also a hotbed of homogeneity; they accept minorities and women of color at lower rates than the school’s population.
Last week, the University of Miami’s Delta Gamma chapter announced the release of its 2016 recruitment video in a news release that was sent to New Times. Yes, a news release. The four-minute video is clearly absurd, but set in a state where students can survive year-round in bikinis and are never more than 60 miles from the ocean, it’s not alone.
So, here’s a list of the eight most absurd sorority recruitment videos shot in Florida in the past year:
8. Florida Atlantic University's Alpha Xi Delta
The video opens with a throng of Caucasian women chanting, like at a pep rally. Florida Atlantic University's Alpha Xi Deltas can be a little repetitive by plunging into three different bodies of water — a pond, a pool, and the ocean — but they set themselves apart in the sorority recruitment video league by looking longingly into telescopes aimed at mansions. They also pool their money to invest in a drone to shoot them sprinting on the beach like a herd of runaway brides.
7. Florida International University's Alpha Xi Delta
Florida International University's Alpha Xi Deltas really set the bar high with that opening. It's so well-shot that it looks like it could have come from a music video directed by Gil Green. Cue the club music, gold glitter, random pineapples, and bougie bohemian style. Ah, FIU's Alpha Xi Deltas, you almost tricked us! Almost.
6. University of Central Florida's Zeta Tau Alpha
In an old house in Orlando, that was not covered in vines
Lived 12 little Zetas in two straight lines
In two straight lines they broke their bread
and brushed their teeth and... listened to club music and put on makeup and went roller-skating and played volleyball in bikinis.
5. University of South Florida's Kappa Delta
As with any epic sorority recruitment video, the women at the University of South Florida's Kappa Delta chapter know there must be bubbles or glitter. These Kappa Deltas give their audience both. In fact, the Kappa Deltas take it one step further by featuring a golden glitter shower. Watch enough of these videos and they seem to blend together, critics might say. But the Kappa Deltas knew that setting their video in an eerie, pitch-black space would set theirs apart. Now it looks like they're sister wives locked away forever in the dungeon of Elle Wood's sorority house. But it's OK — they're holding hands and dancing in slow motion.
4. Florida State University's Alpha Chi Omega
Florida State University's Alpha Chi Omegas are savvy. They knew that if they shot their video with enough pastel-colored balloons, rainbow sprinkles, and Mason jars, they could sell their stills to Pinterest. It's a great way to offset costs. We hear memorable recruitment videos can be pricey.
3. University of Florida's Delta Zeta
Help! University of Florida's Delta Zetas are lost in the woods! There is only a handful of women left, and it seems that the blonder, whiter members have eaten the rest in order of decreasing melanin content. Phewww, they have sparklers and an idyllic filter.
2. Florida State University's Zeta Tau Alpha
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In relation to the other sorority recruitment videos, Florida State University's Zeta Tau Alpha recruitment video is a feature film. Albeit a feature film that looks like an Abercrombie and Fitch-meets-Urban Outfitters commercial. Running at almost five minutes, it features monogrammed beach towels and a blond member wearing a bindi (0:49). But in a house full of predominantly white women, you have to commend this resourceful Zeta for scouring Etsy for one.
1. University of Florida's Alpha Chi Omega
The soundtrack to the University of Florida's Alpha Chi Omega is what makes it the most memorable. Sure, women still jump into fountains, blow glitter, and prance around in a random prairie like the previous seven videos. But it's the dramatic dubstep that gives these women an edge. It ends with the intense silhouettes of members strutting off the football field (0:51). Please don't take my lunch money.