After JJ Jordan posted a video calling out the bigotry of sororities, she went viral. Her former sorority Kappa Delta responded with nothing but rhetoric.
For decades now, some of us have had an inkling about how elitist fraternities and sororities actually are. Many of them come with expensive participation fees and incredibly narrow recruitment policies. Only a few brothers and sisters speak out about the bigotry and trauma they experience. Now, a former sorority member has finally come forward.
JJ Jordan, who goes by the username loljj_ on TikTok, shared a video about the terrible time she had while being a member of Kappa Delta at Florida State University. While at a "standards" meeting, she was reported by a fellow sorority sister for allegedly passing out naked in the middle of a frat house. Instead of asking her for her side of the story, the peer-run review board sanctioned her in order to "maintain their relationship" with the fraternity.
The incident in question, Jordan claimed, never happened. Despite this, the review board did not care about her safety or believe her. She states in her video, "I was never asked if I was hurt or victimized." Kappa Delta placed her on probation so as to "have a good relationship with this fraternity." She was told that sisters "have to be aware [of] how [they are] presenting with this fraternity."
"As I began to explain myself out of it, I realized I shouldn’t have to," she explains. "I realized it was very concerning that no one was saying, 'Are you okay?' No matter how much truth or falsity there was to the statement... No one asked the older sister, 'Why would you leave anyone in a fraternity house alone?' That really became an issue with me. I really was not okay with that."
Reportedly, Kappa Delta reached out to Jordan regarding her TikTok video—which now has more than 3.7 million views—and conducted "an internal review of the incident."
Heidi Roy, the director of communications for Kappa Delta, shared in a statement, "Based on the information we had readily available, we determined that our chapter adhered closely to the established Standards process, which is similar to the protocol followed by many other National Panhellenic Conference sororities. Even so, we will be providing additional education on our processes for the current chapter leaders and advisors." Nonetheless, this is not enough. For Jordan and other young women like her, Greek Life can be deeply traumatizing.
The ex-sorority member said, "Sororities and fraternities are a huge system of oppression. It perpetuates elitism and classism and systemic racism. I think that it became time to start dismantling that system as well." She noted that she, too, was speaking from "a huge place of privilege."
"I grew up in a financially stable White family with both parents," Jordan explained. "And if I was targeted and victimized in this way, that is just the tip of the iceberg for other queer women, or for women of color." Now, she hopes her viral TikTok video spurs some change. She stated, "I hope this opens up a much bigger conversation, especially in listening to Black and Latinx women who’ve gone through the sorority process. The amount that intersectionality plays in a system like a sorority is so huge."
Though she was hesitant about uploading the video as she didn't want to detract from the Black Lives Matter movement, she realized that intersectionality plays a big role in Greek Life. "I didn't consider the intersectionality. The bigger conversation of the Black Lives Matter movement is we need to dismantle systems of oppression in classism and integrated racism," Jordan said. "When we talk about dismantling systems that perpetuate these things, sororities and fraternities fit the bill. It has to be a part of the conversation."
Roy, when asked about what role Kappa Delta may play in this dismantling, served only a boilerplate, textbook response: "We recognize that sororities and college campuses across the country have continued work to do to foster an environment where students feel safe and are treated with respect. As an organization designed to empower women and build their confidence, we take seriously our role in ensuring this kind of culture exists in each chapter. We strive for all members to feel accepted, supported, and protected by their sisters."