VICE Reportedly Making Alabama Sorority Rush Documentary; University Says ‘Surreptitious Filming’ is ‘Deplorable’

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University of Alabama officials confirmed reports of “unauthorized recordings” of students involved in sorority recruitment Friday, amid rumors of an upcoming Vice documentary exploring Rush Week in Tuscaloosa.

“The University is aware of reports that outside parties have facilitated unauthorized recordings of our students involved in Panhellenic recruitment,” Shane Dorrill, a university spokesman. “The University unequivocally does not condone surreptitious filming or recording of students, some of whom are minors, without their consent. The University has not authorized any third-party entity to film, record, or document any recruitment activities and does not allow media inside occupied buildings such as residence halls and sorority houses.

“Further, it has been repeatedly communicated that Alabama Panhellenic Association recruitment rules prohibit potential new members from filming or recording inside any chapter houses,” he added. “To be clear, the University is not involved with this production and finds these reported activities to be deplorable, especially when targeting recent high school graduates.”

Rumors have been swirling about a potential documentary since rush, the annual recruitment for many school sororities, began at the beginning of the week. Rush culminates Sunday with “Bid Day,” when the remaining women going through the process find out which house has selected them.

A New York Times article published Friday detailed allegations by University of Alabama freshman Marina Anderson, who said she was unfairly dismissed from rushing a Panhellenic sorority after being accused of recording herself. Anderson, in the interview and in videos posted to TikTok, claimed the microphone in question was actually a hair elastic, which she had used to tie up her shirt to make it more form-fitting.

Anderson said she was dismissed from the rush process but will not be appealing her dismissal. She declined to provide further details in an interview.

Jonathan Bing, a spokesman for Vice Studios, told The Times that the company is currently making a rush documentary in Tuscaloosa, directed by Rachel Fleit, but denied rumors about hidden microphones.

Vice and HBO Max, reportedly involved in the project, have not yet returned requests for comment.

Alabama is a one-party consent state, meaning that conversations can legally be recorded as long as one participant has consented. This law applies to both audio and video recordings.

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