Hazing News

Sigma Chi update from Utah State

Hazing, Sexual Assault and the Future of Fraternities


On Feb. 3, 2016, Jason Brian Relopez, a former Utah State University student and Sigma Chi fraternity member, plead guilty to raping two female USU students. As the Deseret News reported, Relopez was also charged with aggravated kidnapping, but the charge was dropped before the trial.

Both women who were sexually assaulted by Relopez met him through the university’s Greek system. When a 19-year-old woman went to a party at Sigma Chi’s fraternity house in July, 2015, Relopez slapped her and subjected her to sexual abuse she couldn’t object to without putting herself at risk, the woman testified in a hearing. Another woman, 20, was kissing Relopez at her house in October, 2014 when he held her down and raped her.

Four months earlier, another USU student involved in Greek life plead guilty to forcible sexual abuse. Ryan Wray, former president of Pi Kappa Alpha, was designated to assist intoxicated women at a party at the fraternity house, according to the Deseret News, but when a drunk woman passed out at the party, she awoke to find Wray touching her.

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 new book is Hazing: Destroying Young Lives from Indiana University Press. He is married to Malgorzata Wroblewska Nuwer of Warsaw, Poland and Fairbanks, Alaska. Nuwer, former columnist for the Greenville (Ohio)Early Bird, finished a stint as managing editor of the Celina Daily Standard to accept a new position as 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--

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