Greek Life Gone Viral

The Assignment with Audie Cornish

Sept. 14, 2023

In recent years, Greek life faced a crisis as the pandemic cast a shadow on recruitment, and the “abolish Greek life” movement grew across campuses. But then came #RushTok —  a flurry of TikToks documenting the sorority recruitment process among university campuses, especially in the South. One tag, in particular, soared to remarkable heights: #BamaRush. It chronicled the rush process at the University of Alabama and has garnered an astonishing 3 billion TikTok views (and counting).  

This week we speak to writer, journalist, and former sorority sister Anne Helen Petersen, who  has been documenting the phenomenon. Why are the videos dominating our feeds? And what does RushTok’s popularity say about its stars... and its biggest stans? 

Anne Helen Petersen is a writer and journalist whose writing has appeared in BuzzFeed News, The New York Times, Vox, The Atlantic, and more. Her books include Out of the Office: The Big Problem and Bigger Promise of Working From Home and Can’t Even: How Millennials Became the Burnout Generation. She writes a Substack newsletter called Culture Study.  

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit

This episode is from The Assignment with Audie Cornish whose proprietor has full ownership and responsibility on its contents and artworks. It was shared using Castamatic, a podcast app for iPhone and iPad.