Know the Basics of Hazing on College Campuses
What Hazing Looks Like
Hazing is any action taken or any situation created intentionally that causes embarrassment, harassment or ridicule and risks emotional and/or physical harm to members of a group or team, whether new or not, regardless of the person’s willingness to participate.
Some definitions of hazing vary but all have common factors:
- Power differential between those in a group and those who want to join a group, or between senior and junior members of a group
- Intentional initiation rite, practice or ‘tradition’ involved
- Willingness to participate does not absolve responsibility for either party
Note: Willing to participate does NOT absolve responsibility for either party!
Examples of Hazing
- Forced activities for new recruits to ‘prove’ their worth to join
- Forced or required consumption of alcohol
- Requirement to eat spicy foods, other substances
- Requirement to endure hardships such as staying awake, menial tasks, physical labor, running while blindfolded, etc.
- Humiliation of new or potential members
- Isolation of new or potential members
- Beatings, paddling, or other physical acts against new or potential members
- Requirements for new or potential members to do things established members are not required to do
- Illegal activities such as requirement to steal local items as part of a scavenger hunt
Did You Know?
- Hazing occurs in sports teams, clubs, Greek life, cheerleading, honor societies and more.
- Hazing is often about power and control. Hazing does not build unity.
- More than half of students in colleges and universities involved in clubs, sports teams, and organizations have experience hazing.
- A significant number of hazing incidents and deaths involve alcohol consumption.
- Students are more likely to be hazed if they knew an adult who was hazed.
- Hazing occurs in middle schools, high schools and colleges.
- Both male and female students report a high level of hazing.
- Two in five students say they are aware of hazing taking place on their campus.
Is this Hazing?
- Would I feel comfortable participating in this activity if my parents were watching?
- Would we get in trouble if a school or college administrator walked by and saw us?
- Am I being asked to keep these activities a secret?
- Am I doing anything illegal?
- Does participation in this activity violate my values or those of this organization?
- Is this causing emotional or physical distress or stress to myself or to others?
- Am I going to be able to get a job if I have to put a criminal arrest on my application?