Mother of Northwestern basketball player who died by suicide blames sorority's alleged hazing rituals for causing her daughter 'severe anxiety and depression'

  • Former Northwestern University basketball player Jordan Hankins died by suicide in January 2017, when she was 19 years old.
  • Her mother, Felicia Hankins, is now suing the sorority Alpha Kappa Alpha and nine of its members.
  • Felicia Hankins claims the sorority’s alleged hazing led her daughter to take her own life.

The mother of a former Northwestern University student who died by suicide is suing a sorority at the school, claiming its hazing caused her daughter “severe anxiety and depression.”

Jordan Hankins died in January 2017, when she was 19 years old.

In a lawsuit filed against sorority Alpha Kappa Alpha and nine of its members, Jordan’s mother, Felicia Hankins, claims her daughter was hazed following her initiation, according to court documents.

In the lawsuit, Felicia Hankins accuses the sorority and its members of being responsible for Jordan’s death.

The suit claims Jordan was “subjected to physical abuse including paddling… financial exploitation… sleep deprivation… and other forms of hazing intended to humiliate and demean her,” after she joined the sorority.


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Alpha Kappa Alpha was suspended from campus in May 2017.

Jordan had a full ride to Northwestern on a basketball scholarship, and in her sophomore year to decided to join Alpha Kappa Alpha as a way to serve others through philanthropy.

Seven weeks after she became an official member of the sorority, she died by suicide in her dorm room.

Court documents claim the sorority’s hazing “was triggering her PTSD, causing severe anxiety and depression and that she was having suicidal thoughts.”

It is unclear what Jordan’s PTSD stemmed from, but court documents say she expressed concern over it returning to her sorority sisters.

Alpha Kappa Alpha told CBS News that it has a zero-tolerance policy for hazing, and that it routinely educates members about the repercussions of hazing.

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