Letting Recruitment Videos Speak For Themselves
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Politics and Activism

Letting Recruitment Videos Speak For Themselves

Quiet on the set.

Letting Recruitment Videos Speak For Themselves
Knox News

So much has been said and written about the Alabama Alpha Phi recruitment video that most of us are over it. People who saw nothing wrong with the video are tired of hearing and reading complaints, while people who saw the video as problematic probably want to put what they've seen behind them. Nonetheless, the hubbub about the video got me thinking about the nature of recruitment videos in general.

No matter how much we try to fight it, a recruitment video boils down to little more than a commercial. A sorority is partly a business, and a recruitment video is a project created by its marketing department to advertise the benefits of membership. Additionally, since membership in a sorority is about "mutual selection," meaning that organizations and members must choose each other, the organization also uses its recruitment video to showcase what it feels it is all about, in other words: to articulate its values.

In efforts by almost everyone to make the Greek community a more friendly place, the word "values" has often been used to call to mind certain intangible, profound qualities or principles. Honesty and purity of heart come to mind. However, one can value almost anything. If the personalities of members of an organization are largely compatible (as they should be), then the members will probably reach a general consensus as to what they feel is important in life, important to them, and important for others to know about their organization.

The result of this two-parts promotion, one-part showcase recipe is a recruitment video that hopefully draws interest from people who will agree with current members about what is important, beautiful, excellent, and worthy of our time.

Therefore, I must humbly encourage that we not suggest to organizations how they should portray and promote themselves. The reason why is simple: instructing people on how to portray themselves robs us of a chance to see what they would decide to do on their own, and what organizations decide without our help is far more telling. Even if the organization regrets any part of that video, each element was added on purpose, and what is absent is as telling as what is present.

Perhaps you found Alabama Alpha Phi's video upsetting.

Perhaps you felt the video was an entertaining, well-crafted piece of marketing.

Perhaps, like me, you thought the the video was nothing but harmless fun, but not of the kind in which you'd like to be involved, and you appreciated the heads up.

Forcing a chapter to alter the content of its recruitment video does not change the membership status of all of the people who thought the original video was a good idea. With that in mind, I'd much rather have people tell me about their own organization in their own words.

In these days of gentle wording and political correctness, a raw, candid disclosure of what one likes and values is rare. I don't think we should be quick to stomp this out. It seems to me that we learn much more when we listen.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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