Photo of Rachel Bowling at the Alpha Xi Delta sorority house on August 29, 2022.
A TikTok video filmed by University of South Carolina sorority Alpha Xi Delta has gone viral amid the national #RushTok trend.
Alpha Xi Delta’s video currently has 8 million views on the social media app, TikTok. Members of the chapter stood frozen in place, mimicking a sorority recruitment event, participating in a trend called the “Mannequin Challenge,” first popularized online in 2016.
“Honestly, we did it in one take,” Rachel Bowling said. Bowling runs the chapter’s TikTok account and said the viral video was filmed the week before recruitment.
“We didn’t really have a lot of time,” Bowling said. “I was like, ‘I’m not doing this again so, everybody just freeze.’”
#RushTok videos have gained popularity in recent years as women going through sorority recruitment document their experiences on TikTok, according to USC’s Social Media Insights Lab. It’s not a contest, but many users hope to connect with viewers and go viral.
Making TikToks and trying to make them go viral has added a little fun to the long days of recruitment preparation, Bowling said.
Meredyth Griffith, the New Member Orientation Director of Alpha Xi Delta, was featured in the TikTok. The viral video has gotten the sorority attention from students across campus, she said.
Griffith said she saw a girl pointing at the sorority’s house and heard her say to her mother, “That’s where they filmed that one TikTok.”
For Griffith, the most difficult part of posing for Bowling’s video was not laughing when making eye contact with friends.
“As soon as she would walk past us with the camera we could breathe,” Griffith said.
Griffith said #RushTok allows sororities to see how other chapters across the country go through recruitment, whether at a small college or a large university.
Chapter President Amanda Pometti came up with the idea for the TikTok after seeing another sorority post its Mannequin Challenge video from 2016.
“It felt like a collaborative effort from everyone,” Pometti said.
Pometti said it was nice to see other USC sororities, as well as other Alpha Xi Delta chapters, commenting on the video.
“It’s nice to see how a small moment on the internet can just unite everyone and let everyone see a little bit of our chapter,” Pometti said.
ABOUT THE JOURNALISTS
Elsberry is a senior journalism major and outreach director for the student-run Daily Gamecock. She minors in criminal justice and retail because she can’t choose between covering crime or fashion. Elsberry has written about repurposed cigarette vending machines and the importance of investing in local infrastructure. In her free time, she crochets, paints and makes her own jewelry.
Wallace is a journalism major at the University of South Carolina minoring in English. The Charleston native recently covered a drag queen bingo event as part of her interest in diverse communities. An Italian from Boston at heart, Wallace is drawn to tales of loved ones uniting in times of tribulation. She is enthusiastic about creative writing, long-form features, documentaries and Tony Soprano.