The mother of Northwestern basketball player Jordan Hankins, who committed suicide by hanging in her dorm room in 2017, is suing the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority for allegedly hazing her daughter.
Felicia Hankins, Jordan’s mother says that hazing on the Illinois campus of the prestigious university contributed to her daughter’s depression and ultimately her suicide.
The lawsuit doesn’t specifically outline what kind of abuse but states: Jordan Hankins was “subjected to hazing, including physical and mental harm,” Yahoo reports.
“While post-initiation pledging, Jordan 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,” the suit states.
Hankins is reportedly suing Alpha Kappa Alpha and two of their chapters and has also named nine individuals in leadership positions.
Jordan was a 19-year-old sophomore at Northwestern University. She was found dead in her dorm room in 2017.
Felicia Hankins’ attorney Brandon Vaughn released a statement on the family’s behalf.
“Jordan Hankins was at the prime of her life and seeking to join an organization she believed was dedicated to sisterhood and personal and professional development. Instead, as a condition of her membership, it is alleged she was subjected to severe physical and mental abuse by members of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority,” the statement reads.
The suit states that “Jordan Hankins communicated to members of AKA sorority, including individually named defendants, that the hazing was triggering her PTSD, causing severe anxiety and depression and that she was having suicidal thoughts.”
The lawsuit accuses the defendants of multiple counts of negligent supervision and negligent entrustment and makes several wrongful death claims.
According to Jordan Hankins’ bio on the Northwestern Athletics website, she was a member of her Indianapolis high school’s National Honor Society and had planned to study biological sciences in college.
A spokesman for Northwestern University, which is not a defendant in the lawsuit, said in a statement, “Northwestern remains deeply saddened by the death of Jordan Hankins two years ago, and we continue to send our kindest thoughts and condolences to her friends and family.”
Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority is also currently suspended from Northwestern University, according to the statement.
According to Fox 2 News, police did investigate Hankins’ death in 2017 but the investigation did not lead to criminal charges.