A College Student's TikTok Story About Greek Life Has Gone Viral, But She Says It's "Just The Tip Of The Iceberg"
"I speak from a huge place of privilege ... 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."
A 21-year-old Florida State University student has gone viral on TikTok for sharing what she said is her story about being pushed out of a sorority.
JJ Jordan told BuzzFeed News she hopes this "opens up a much bigger conversation" about "systems of oppression." She's also shedding light on other toxic values of Greek life she said she observed.
Earlier this month, Jordan shared on TikTok an incident that she said happened in March 2018 when she was still a member of Kappa Delta. During a "standards" meeting, which was a peer-run review board, she said she was reported by a sorority sister for allegedly being seen "passed out nude in the middle of a frat house."
Jordan denies this ever happened. In 2018 during this meeting, she said she was not believed, and eventually put on probation by the Kappa Delta's national chapter.
"I was never asked if I was hurt or victimized," she says in her TikTok, which has now been watched more than 3.7 million times.
Instead, she said she was told that they had to "have a good relationship with this fraternity [and] we have to be aware with how we’re presenting with this fraternity."
"As I began to explain myself out of it, I realized I shouldn’t have to," Jordan added. "I realized it was very concerning that no one was saying, 'Are you OK?' 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 OK with that."
Kappa Delta's national headquarters told BuzzFeed News they had reached out to Jordan about her TikTok and conducted "an internal review of the incident."
"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," said Heidi Roy, the director of communications for Kappa Delta.
"Even so, we will be providing additional education on our processes for the current chapter leaders and advisors," Roy added.
Jordan soon left Kappa Delta. She said she had stayed quiet about it until recently, when she watched different national conversations about systemic oppression branch out of the Black Lives Matter movement. She decided to speak out.
"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 said.
Jordan recognizes she is speaking from a "huge place of privilege."
"I grew up in a financially stable white family with both parents," she said. "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."
She's also addressed in a separate TikTok a few critical comments she's received from people saying that "Greek life isn't the thing to be standing up for."
"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," she said.
Jordan said she was "nervous" to speak out because she "didn't want to take away from the Black Lives Matter movement."
"But 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," she 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."
When asked what role, if any, that Kappa Delta sees itself playing in these oppressive social institutions, Roy provided the following statement on behalf of the national chapter:
"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."