Hazing News

A Sigma Alpha Kappa hazing death in 2016: Now six Ferrum State fraternity members are charged

Here is the link to the latest hazing death back in April

WKBN report: According to search warrants, Michael Walker of Cumberland, Virginia was found unresponsive on a porch on April 17th, 2016 after witnesses say he had been heavily drinking all that day.

A second search warrant shows that police seized the phone of 23-year-old Michael Rucinski after he admitted to police that he had taken pictures of Walker apparently passed out from drinking.

“Michael Rucinski showed this officer (Timothy B. Taylor, Investigator for the Franklin county Sheriff’s Department) and Sgt. J. P. Nolen a photograph on his cell phone of Michael Walker laying (sic) on a porch apparently passed out from drinking. According to Rucinski, the photograph along with text messages related to this incident were sent to several other people,” the search warrant stated.

Rucinski and Nicholas Hoxter are charged with hazing and providing alcohol to a person under the age of 21.

Four others, Trevin Clark, David Creedon, Adali Cano and Michael Satterwhite are charged with hazing.

All are students at Ferrum College and members of local fraternity Sigma Alpha Kappa Fraternity.

By Hank Nuwer

Journalist Hank Nuwer is the Alaska author of Hazing: Destroying Young Lives; Broken Pledges: The Deadly Rite of Hazing, High School Hazing, Wrongs of Passage and The Hazing Reader. He has written articles or columns on hazing for the Sunday Times of India, Toronto Globe & Mail, Harper's Magazine, Orlando Sentinel, The Chronicle of Higher Education and the New York Times Sunday Magazine. His current book is Hazing: Destroying Young Lives from Indiana University Press. He is married to Malgorzata Wroblewska Nuwer of Warsaw, Poland and Fairbanks, Alaska. Nuwer is a former columnist for the Greenville (Ohio)Early Bird and former managing editor of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner in Alaska.
Nuwer was named the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists columnist of the year in 2021 for his “After Darke” column in the Early Bird. He also won third place for the column in 2022 from the Indiana chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. He and his wife Gosia, recently of Union City, Ind., have owned 20 acres in Alaska for many years. “The move is a sort-of coming home for us,” said Nuwer. As a journalist, he’s written about the Alaskan Iditarod sled-dog race and other Alaska topics. Read his musings in his blog at Real Alaska Daily-- and in his weekly column "Far from Randolph" in the Winchester Star-Gazette of Randolph County, Indiana.

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