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Mother of Northwestern University Student Says Daughter Committed Suicide After Severe Hazing From Sorority

A Northwestern University basketball player has committed suicide after enduring severe pledging from members of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

The mother of sophomore Jordan Hankins filed a federal lawsuit this week following her daughter’s 2017 death after she reportedly was hazed by sorority members. The lawsuit, which was filed in the U.S. District Court in Illinois, claims Jordan took her life in her dorm room in January 2017 because of hazing practices that “negatively affected (her) physical, mental, and emotional health.”

Hankins “was subjected to physical abuse including paddling, verbal abuse, mental abuse, financial exploitation, sleep deprivation, items being thrown and dumped on her, and other forms of hazing intended to humiliate and demean her,” according to the suit. Hankins told AKA members the hazing was triggering her post-traumatic stress disorder, “causing severe anxiety and depression and that she was having suicidal thoughts,” the lawsuit alleges. Jordan was found lifeless in her dorm on January 9, 2017.

The sorority itself was named in the lawsuit, along with its Northwestern undergraduate and graduate chapters, in addition to the former regional director of the sorority and multiple individual members. Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. is founded on scholarship and sisterhood, and promotes non-hazing/violence. Alpha Kappa Alpha is rooted in a rich heritage of civil rights, woman empowerment and advancements in education.

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