Sorority hazing led to Northwestern student’s suicide, lawsuit claims

January 11, 2019

By: Dakin Andone, CNN

(CNN)A Northwestern University basketball player killed herself because of severe hazing she endured while pledging to the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority in the fall of 2016, according to a federal lawsuit filed by her mother this week.

The lawsuit, filed in US District Court in Illinois, claims sophomore Jordan Hankins killed herself 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.
On January 9, 2017, Hankins was found dead in her dorm room.
The national sorority is named in the lawsuit alongside its undergraduate and graduate chapters at Northwestern, in addition to the former regional director of the sorority and multiple individual members.

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