OPINION | Fizz intensifies sorority recruitment toxicity

Mohini Yadav, Contributing Writer

(Ryan Rainbolt)

It’s a Saturday morning and dozens of girls are lining up on Broadway Street. Even behind the makeup and long, flowy dresses each girl wears, the feeling of excitement is palpable. It’s preference day, “pref day” for short, and in 12 short hours the girls will find out which sorority house will be theirs. 

Many of the girls may have spent their mornings scrolling through Fizz the controversial university app where anonymous users can brutally rank sororities based on popularity, looks, parties and every other stereotype in Tulane University Greek life.  

The introduction of technology has transformed all aspects of college life   especially Greek life on campus. Apps like Fizz allow anonymous users to post obscene comments about sororities, girls and appearances with the utmost confidentiality. The only requirement to access the Tulane Fizz page is a tulane.edu email address, but all the users can remain anonymous.

Posts on Fizz about sororities often rank them by their “popularity,” attaching to each organization a stereotype about its members, house or overall perceived reputation on campus. The ruthless posts on Fizz feed into the stereotypes that sororities have tried so hard to fight, further transforming rush into a toxic process. Potential new members relentlessly vie for the “top house” they heard about on Fizz, possibly dropping the entire recruitment process if they fail. 

Despite the toxic culture Fizz can create due to users overgeneralization and stereotyping of sororities, it is also crucial to address the ways in which this anonymous platform can force Greek life to address racism and discrimination that may be occuring in the organizations.

On the days leading up to the philanthropy round of recruitment an event where potential new members are further informed about a sorority’s values anonymous users posted links on Fizz to an anti-Semitic article, titled “Ye Did Nothing Wrong.” The article was written by a member of the Kappa Alpha Theta chapter at Tulane and posted on a website called “College Dissident,” self-identified as a platform for “students who have had their voices silenced by the establishment.” 

The article contained anti-Semitic opinions and defended rapper Ye’s discriminatory statements. Also on Fizz, the writer was outed as a Tulane student and member of sorority life on campus. 

Soon, hundreds of Fizz users posted and demanded the removal of this individual from the sorority and for the sorority to acknowledge the antisemitic remarks made by one of its members. By the next day, the outrage resulted in the sorority suspending the writer of the article and releasing a public statement on Instagram condemning her remarks. 

The scandal revealed to potential new members that there was discrimination and racism alive within these old institutions. The outrage against these remarks, which were created on Fizz, forced the sorority to acknowledge the antisemitic beliefs of one of its members. 

Fizz is an example of how campus social media can work both for the better and for the worse. Its anonymous posting and upvote features allow it to transform the sorority recruitment into a toxic process based on stereotypes.

On the other hand, anonymity also allows for honest conversations and publicizes injustices that may occur in Greek life. Fizz has the power to greatly affect Greek life and recruitment at Tulane — although the outcome of that power lies in the student body and the anonymous writers behind each post.

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