College Student Reveals That Alabama Sorority Charged Her $4,000 After She Left Campus To Be With Her Cancer-Stricken Father

"Sisterhood? Am I right?!"

former alamaba rush sorority sister @itskatellis / TikTok

After #BamaRush took the Internet by storm in 2021, many college students began sharing their own experiences rushing the University of Alabama sororities. Some of the strict expectations took people by surprise, including how pledges were required to get letters of recommendation to rush, maintain a certain GPA, and pay fees if they missed any important events. 

One young woman who was part of a sorority at Alabama revealed the outrageous reason she was charged $4,000 after she was unable to make it to a campus event when a family emergency came up. 


The student detailed her off-putting experience in a University of Alabama sorority.

Greek life is a significant part of life on the University of Alabama campus. There are approximately 12,000 students involved in Greek life, around 36% of the undergraduate student body, per the University. Unfortunately, a limited number of pledges make the cut, and even after they are accepted into the sorority, some discover that being part of a sisterhood does not live up to the expectations. 

Alabama student Katherine Ellis learned this after joining a sorority during her freshman year. 

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“Imagine joining a sorority at Alabama and thinking that it’s gonna be the best thing ever, but then your dad gets cancer and they try to fine you thousands of dollars because of it?” she claimed, delving into the harsh reality of becoming part of an Alabama sorority in a TikTok video that has been viewed over 3 million times.



“When you want to rush Alabama, you have to decide you want to rush months before and then go through this whole registration process,” Ellis says in the video. “The registration is an application that takes a long time to do. You have to submit photos of yourselves, you have to submit your resume [and] letters of recommendation. I didn’t know I needed f–king letters of recommendation to hang out with a bunch of girls and go to parties.” 

Ellis also learned that students would not be accepted into a sorority if they had a GPA that was below 3.0. She spent months doing heavy research and talking with people who were familiar with Greek life to increase her chances of getting in. 


She wound up getting accepted into one sorority that she did not specify by name. Although she was overwhelmed by all of the requirements and money she had to spend just to be a part of a sisterhood, Ellis encouraged herself to give it a try for at least her first semester to see if she would enjoy it. 

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Ellis explained that the sorority fined her $4,000 for leaving campus to visit her dad while he was undergoing cancer surgery. 

In the weeks leading up to the university’s Homecoming event, Ellis and her sisters were tasked with “pomping” poster boards. 

“Pomping is taking little two by two pieces of tissue paper, putting them into teeny tiny little balls, and gluing thousands of them to make portraits,” Ellis explained, sharing a photo of posters that had been created using “pomping” for campus events. “For the two weeks leading up to homecoming, we were required to be at the sorority house for eight hours a day, ‘pomping’ it up,” she said. 


university of alabama sorority sister finedPhoto: @itskatellis / TikTok 

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Ellis claimed that the older sisters would take away the little sisters’ cell phones and their university ID cards while they were at the house so that they wouldn’t get distracted or attempt to leave the house. 


“If you’re caught not actively ‘pomping,’ the hour didn’t count,” she said. “And for every hour you miss, you owe them $100.” 

During the two weeks leading up to homecoming, Ellis received the devastating news that her father, who lived across the country, was diagnosed with cancer and had to undergo surgery. Therefore, she had to fly home and missed a week of “pomping.”

Unfortunately, Ellis’ sisters were not as compassionate about the situation as she hoped they would be. “I missed a week and they fined me $4,000,” she shares. 

Needless to say, Ellis dropped the sorority. 

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TikTok users were appalled by the sorority’s treatment of Ellis. 

“Sounds insane. Bama is way too intense,” one user commented. “That’s ridiculous! So sorry about your Dad,” another user wrote. 

Other users shared their own sorority horror stories that were similar to Ellis.’

“I got fined for missing an event because I was in the ER,” one user revealed. “My daughter was in the sorority. She missed meetings due to surgery and was fined,” another user added. 


On May 23, HBO Max released a documentary about the controversies surrounding the rushing process at Alabama in 2022 titled “Bama Rush: Acceptance Is Everything.” It highlights the distress pledges undergo just to be part of a sisterhood, something that Ellis can relate to all too well. 

Thankfully, Ellis shared in the comments section that her father is now four years cancer-free!

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Megan Quinn is a writer at YourTango who covers entertainment and news, self, love, and relationships.