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Mother of Jordan Hankins claims sorority hazing led to depression and anxiety before daughter’s death

Hankins was found dead on Northwestern’s campus in January 2017.

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Felicia Hankins, the mother of the late Northwestern women’s basketball player Jordan Hankins, filed a complaint Tuesday against the Northwestern Chapter of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, alleging that hazing during the pledging process led to “severe depression and anxiety” preceding her daughter’s suicide.

The complaint, which was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, alleges that various forms of hazing caused Jordan Hankins “severe anxiety and depression,” which led to her suicide in January 2017.

The complaint lists Alpha Kappa Alpha and 11 other parties as defendants. Student members and chapter advisers are listed, though Northwestern University is not.

In a statement to the Daily Northwestern Wednesday, University Spokesman Jon Yates said Northwestern is aware of the complaint.

“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,” Yates told the Daily. “The sorority involved has been and continues to be suspended from the University.”

The Daily also reported that AKA has been suspended from the University since May 2016, so the alleged hazing occurred while AKA was barred from hosting events or recruiting new members, according to Travis Martin, the director of fraternity and sorority life.

The complaint alleges various forms of hazing, including “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 complaint, 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.”

Hankins, a native of Indianapolis, was averaging 3.6 points and 1.2 rebounds in 10.5 minutes per game in 11 appearances during the 2016-2017 season. She was a career 96.9 percent free throw shooter.

You can read the full report here.