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USU Fraternity Resumes Operations After Sex Abuse Arrest

utah.gov

On March 27, a Utah State University fraternity voluntarily suspended itself and ceased operations in light of the arrest of a former chapter president on suspicion of sex abuse. Now, three weeks later, the chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha has resumed activities.

Current chapter president Alex Souvall talks about the steps the fraternity took during that three-week period.

“We had some events planned and we basically just canceled everything,” Souvall said. “Just as a brotherhood, we just handled the situation the best we could, you know. We tried to get the most information we could, and held an expulsion hearing and also did the necessary steps leading up to that.”

Souvall says the group has expelled 26-year-old Ryan Wray, who is now facing a felony sexual abuse charge after a woman accused him of inappropriately touching her at a party. He adds that the fraternity gave educational presentations on sexual abuse to all members before ending the approximately three-week suspension.

“We also had the presentation on sexual assault awareness and preventing risk and what sexual assault really means in the eyes of the law, and what you could be doing that’s wrong, that you don’t even know you’re doing is wrong,” Souvall said.

According to USU Police Department annual reports, the number of reported sexual assaults and rapes on campus have declined since 2003. However, a survey conducted by the Utah Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice suggests that many of these crimes go unreported. The survey indicated that only9.8 percent of rapes are reported to law enforcement officials.

Even with many sexual assaults going unreported, data from the Utah Department of Health shows that rape rates are higher in Utah than the national average.

Souvall says the fraternity will hold members accountable if there are incidents of sexual violence in the future.