TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — It’s been a week since “Bama Rush,” a documentary that threatened to expose Greek Life recruitment at the University of Alabama, was released.
Hailey Holliday wanted a chance to make friends at the University of Alabama. So, after scrolling through hundreds of TikToks with the caption #BamaRush, she decided that joining a sorority on campus would be her best bet at a new start.
Holliday was one of the four girls featured in the Max documentary and, in her first public interview since the documentary’s release, she spoke about her experiences while filming.
She remembers the day Vice reached out to her about being a part of “Bama Rush.” Despite initially thinking the email was a scam, little did she know what was in store for her.
“I thought it was fake. I did think it was fake and then I had like a DM and they were like ‘Hey, you know, this isn’t fake’ and I was like excited. I was like ‘Yes, this is fun, let’s do it!'” she said.
Holliday says the documentary started filming around October 2021 after she had finished recruitment and was beginning the new member process in her sorority.
“Filming felt like a fever dream. I actually didn’t even believe it was a real thing until I watched the documentary,” Holliday said. “I watched it three times before I remembered ‘Oh yeah, this is posted for everybody.'”
Holliday also says the filmmaking experience built a strong friendship between her and director Rachel Fleit.
“Rachel and her crew were amazing to work with,” Holliday said “I would film with them every day if I could. We were like a family.”
Holliday was told to keep the project under wraps, which was difficult to explain while living on campus and especially around other sorority members.
“When people asked me what I was filming for I’d be like ‘Oh I’m making TikToks’ because I blew up on TikTok and it was just a big deal,” Holliday said. “But I don’t know how anybody fell for that with a whole camera crew following me.”
Holliday has since dropped out of both her sorority and UA, as she says both Greek Life and the home of the Crimson Tide “are just not for everybody.” She’s currently attending Coastal Alabama Community College to be closer to her hometown in Orange Beach and continue competing in pageants, with plans to run for Miss Coastal Alabama in the fall.
Her advice for girls who are considering rushing is to keep an open mind and to do a lot of research to decide if it’s the right path for them.
“Rush is scary. It’s the scariest process of your entire life,” Holliday said. “I compete in pageants and I was more scared of rush than I was to go get on stage in a bikini.”
Holliday says if she could change anything within Greek Life, it would be to make it more inclusive.
“I did have a friend through the whole filming process who was mixed and she did feel not included in some things,” Holliday said. “I really want everyone to feel included, I grew up in a mixed household. I love to feel included [and] make other people feel included.”
She says that while sorority recruitment and the Alabama campus were not for her, Holliday would go through it all again if she could as it was a crucial part of her coming of age.
“Coming to Tuscaloosa and finding myself on this adventure of like coming into a woman,” she said. “My whole takeaway is just you grow, you change, people change, people grow. We’re not the same [person] that we were in high school.”
The “Bama Rush” documentary is available exclusively on Max.