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Hazing charges avoided

Fraternity member to write paper on hazing, pay fines after incident
By From Wire Services

STILLWATER (AP) — An Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity member will have to write a paper on hazing and pay restitution after pleading no contest to a misdemeanor charge of hazing.

Lyall Cobb Storandt, 22, entered his plea on Friday in connection with the beating of a 20-year-old pledge at Oklahoma State University earlier this year.

OSU banned the fraternity after Storandt and five other members were charged in Payne County District Court in March with hazing a Tulsa pledge between Jan. 23 and Feb. 11.

They allegedly beat him repeatedly with paddles and forced him to do activities such as calisthenics. The student subsequently withdrew from the university.
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Storandt, of Oklahoma City, will have to pen a five-page paper on hazing, perform 50 hours of community service and pay $625 in restitution, in accordance with a plea bargain recommended by Payne County Assistant District Attorney Tyson Branyan.

Storandt will not have a criminal record if he completes the conditions of his probation.

Another fraternity member, 21-year-old Mitchel Anthony McCowan of Stillwater, asked for a trial, which Special District Judge Michael Stano set for February.

Pretrial hearings were scheduled for the other four defendants.

Michael Dexter Combs, 21, a junior from Edmond, will return to court Dec. 18; Corrion Quentrelle Cox, 23, a senior from Oklahoma City; Joshua David Goree, 23, a senior from Bartlesville, and Jason Donel Taylor, 23, from Tulsa, were scheduled for Dec. 20 hearings.

A hazing charge carries a maximum penalty of 90 days in jail and a $500 fine, on conviction.

OSU originally banned the fraternity for at least 15 years. But that suspension was modified in March to “at least five years,” university spokesman Gary Shutt said.

“The suspension may be extended beyond the five-year period if any of the fraternity members involved in the hazing incident is still enrolled at OSU,” Shutt said.

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. In April of 2024, the Alaska Press Club awarded him first place in the Best Columnist division and Best Humorist, second place.

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--http://realalaskadaily.com and in his weekly column "Far from Randolph" in the Winchester Star-Gazette of Randolph County, Indiana.

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