Hazing News

Sigma Chi searched during spring break: Omaha World-Herald

UNL Police searches Sigma Chi fraternity house for evidence of hazing

LINCOLN — University of Nebraska-Lincoln police on Wednesday searched the Sigma Chi fraternity house for evidence relating to allegations of hazing.

UNL spokeswoman Kelly Bartling confirmed the search and an ongoing investigation, but could not provide further details, including when the possible hazing may have occurred. She said no one has been hospitalized in connection to the alleged activity.

She urged anyone with information relating to hazing incidents or allegations to contact UNL police.

UNL is on spring break this week and no students currently are staying at the Sigma Chi house, Bartling said.

The fraternity’s top student officer, Francis Acott, a junior marketing major from Northfield, Ill., said he is out of town during spring break and could offer no information about what is occurring on campus.

“We’re taking the allegations very seriously and working on getting all the facts,” he said. “We plan to work with the University of Nebraska and the national fraternity and will proceed accordingly.”

Hazing is a criminal offense under Nebraska law, which defines it as “any activity by which a person intentionally or recklessly endangers the physical or mental health or safety of an individual for the purpose of initiation into, admission into, affiliation with, or continued membership” with a college student organization.

Hazing is a misdemeanor, carrying a maximum penalty of six months in jail and a $1,000 fine. Organizations whose members commit hazing can be fined up to $10,000.

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-- and in his weekly column "Far from Randolph" in the Winchester Star-Gazette of Randolph County, Indiana.

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