Hazing Prevention + Resources

While headlines might indicate that hazing is exclusively a fraternity and sorority problem, recent research shows that hazing is a growing societal problem that can occur outside of the college experience in high schools, churches, athletic teams, marching bands, military organizations, and professional clubs. Individuals are often unsure what constitutes hazing or how to address it. Becoming educated and aware is the first step.

How is hazing defined? 

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. At its core, hazing is about an abuse of power. Hazing does not build unity. Often new members feel that enduring these activities is expected so they can earn their place in the group. However, group development should involve learning about the group, not earning membership.

Hazing Laws in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Hazing Law [P.S.] § 2801. Definitions:

The following words and phrases when used in this act shall have the meanings given to them in this section unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

"HAZING." Any action or situation which recklessly or intentionally endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a student or which willfully destroys or removes public or private property for the purpose of initiation or admission into or affiliation with, or as a condition for continued membership in, any organization operating under the sanction of or recognized as an organization by an institution of higher education. The term shall include, but not be limited to, any brutality of a physical nature, such as whipping, beating, branding, forced calisthenics, exposure to the elements, forced consumption of any food, liquor, drug or other substance, or any other forced physical activity which could adversely affect the physical health and safety of the individual, and shall include any activity which would subject the individual to extreme mental stress, such as sleep deprivation, forced exclusion from social contact, forced conduct which could result in extreme embarrassment, or any other forced activity which could adversely affect the mental health or dignity of the individual, or any willful destruction or removal of public or private property. For purposes of this definition, any activity as described in this definition upon which the initiation or admission into or affiliation with or continued membership in an organization is directly or indirectly conditioned shall be presumed to be "forced" activity, the willingness of an individual to participate in such activity notwithstanding.

"INSTITUTION OF HIGHER EDUCATION"  or "INSTITUTION." An institution located within this Commonwealth authorized to grant an associate or higher academic degree.

"ORGANIZATION."  Any of the following:

  1. A fraternity, sorority, association, corporation, order, society, corps, club or service, social or similar group, whose members are primarily MINORS, students or alumni of the organization, AN INSTITUTION OR SECONDARY SCHOOL.
  2.  A national or international organization with which a fraternity or sorority or other organization as enumerated under paragraph (1) is affiliated.

[P.S.] § 2802. Hazing prohibited 

  1. Offense defined.--A person commits the offense of hazing if the person intentionally, knowingly or recklessly, for the purpose of initiating, admitting or affiliating a minor or student into or with an organization, or for the purpose of continuing or enhancing a minor or student's membership or status in an organization, causes, COERCES OR FORCES a minor or student to do any of the following:
    1. Violate Federal or State CRIMINAL law.
    2. Consume any food, liquid, alcoholic liquid, drug or other substance which subjects the minor or student to a risk of emotional or physical harm.
    3. Endure brutality of a physical nature, including whipping, beating, branding, calisthenics or exposure to the elements.
    4. Endure brutality of a mental nature, including activity adversely affecting the mental health or dignity of the individual, sleep deprivation, exclusion from social contact or conduct that could result in extreme embarrassment.
    5. Endure brutality of a sexual nature.
    6. Endure any other activity that creates a reasonable likelihood of bodily injury to the minor or student.
  2. Grading.--
    1. Except as provided under paragraph (2), hazing is a summary offense.
    2. Hazing shall be a misdemeanor of the third degree if it results in or creates a reasonable likelihood of bodily injury to the minor or student.
  3. Limitation.--Hazing shall not include reasonable and customary athletic, law enforcement or military training, contests, competitions or events.

[P.S.] § 2803. Aggravated Hazing prohibited

  1. Offense defined.--A person commits the offense of aggravated hazing if the person commits a violation of section 2802 (relating to hazing) that results in serious bodily injury or death to the minor or student. And:
    1. The person acts with reckless indifference to the health and safety of the minor or student; or
    2. The person causes, coerces or forces the consumption of an alcoholic liquid or drug by the minor or student.
  2. Grading.--Aggravated hazing shall be a felony of the third degree.

[P.S.] § 2804. Organizational Hazing prohibited

  1. Offense defined.--An organization THAT intentionally, knowingly or recklessly promotes or facilitates a violation of section 2802 (relating to hazing) or 2803 (relating to aggravated hazing).
    1. Commits the offense of organizational hazing and shall be subject to any of the following penalties:
      1. A fine of not more than $5,000, for each violation of section 2802.
      2. A fine of not more than $15,000, for each violation of section 2803.
  2. Penalties.--In addition to any other sentence imposed, if an organization commits the offense of organizational hazing, the organization shall be subject to such other relief, as the court deems equitable


[P.S.] § 5354. Enforcement by institution

(A) ANTIHAZING POLICY.

  1. Each institution and each governing board of a secondary school shall adopt a written policy against hazing and, pursuant to that policy, shall adopt rules prohibiting students or other persons associated with an organization operating under the sanction of or recognized as an organization by the institution or secondary school from engaging in hazing or an offense under this chapter.
  2. Each institution shall provide a copy of the policy, including the institution's rules, penalties and program of enforcement to each organization within the institution. Each secondary school shall ensure that students are informed of the secondary school's policy, including the secondary school's rules, penalties, and program of enforcement.
  3. Each institution and secondary school shall post the policy on the institution's or the secondary school's publicly accessible Internet website.

(B) ENFORCEMENT AND PENALTIES.

  1. Each institution and each governing board of a secondary school shall provide a program for the enforcement of the policy required under subsection (a) and shall adopt appropriate penalties for violations of the policy to be administered by the individual or agency at the institution or secondary school responsible for the sanctioning or recognition of the organizations covered by the policy.
  2. Penalties under paragraph (1) may include any of the following:
    1. The imposition of fines.
    2. The withholding of diplomas or transcripts pending compliance with the rules or payment of fines.
    3. The rescission of permission for the organization to operate on campus or school property or to otherwise operate under the sanction or recognition of the institution or secondary school.
    4. The imposition of probation, suspension, dismissal or expulsion.
  3. A penalty imposed under this section shall be in addition to a penalty imposed for violation of an offense under this chapter or the criminal laws of this Commonwealth or for violation of any other institutional or secondary school rule to which the violator may be subject.
  4. A policy adopted under this section shall apply to each act conducted on or off campus or school property if the acts are deemed to constitute hazing or any offense under this chapter.

(C) SAFE HARBOR

  1. Immunity for the individual seeking medical attention for another.--An individual shall not be prosecuted for an offense under this chapter if the individual can establish all of the following:
    1. A law enforcement officer first became aware of the individual's violation of this chapter because the individual placed a 911 call or contacted campus security, police or emergency services, based on A reasonable belief THAT another individual was in need of immediate medical attention to prevent death or serious bodily injury.
    2. The individual reasonably believed the individual was the first individual to make a 911 call or contact campus security, police or emergency services and report that an individual needed immediate medical attention to prevent death or serious bodily injury.
    3. The individual provided the individual's own name to the 911 operator or equivalent campus security officer, police or emergency services personnel.
    4. The individual remained with the individual needing medical assistance until a campus security officer, police or emergency services personnel arrived and the need for the individual's presence had ended.
  2. DERIVATIVE IMMUNITY FOR THE INDIVIDUAL needing medical attention. An individual needing medical attention  SHALL BE IMMUNE UNDER THIS SECTION FROM PROSECUTION for an offense under this chapter or ONLY if another individual against whom probable cause exists to charge an offense under this chapter or reported the incident and remained with the individual needing medical attention and the other individual qualifies for a safe harbor under this section.

Hazing at Temple University

Student Code of Conduct, Article III, Section C.12 

Hazing or any act that endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a person, embarrasses, frightens, or degrades a person or that destroys or removes public or private property, for the purpose of initiation, admission into, or affiliation with, or as a condition for continued membership, in a group, organization or team. The express or implied consent of the victim will not be a defense. Except for the victim, apathy or acquiescence in the presence of hazing by any Student is not a neutral act; it is a violation of this rule

Any Student or student organization found responsible for hazing is subject to the disciplinary sanctions outlined in the Student Code of Conduct, Article IV, D. 

Identifying Hazing

Are you able to easily identify the educational purpose of the organizational activity? If the answer is no, then stop doing that activity. 

What to Watch for

Some signs of hazing might include sleep deprivation, sudden decline in grades or coursework, isolation from previous social groups, sudden change in normal attire or character, physical, emotional, and/or mental instability.

Reporting Hazing

If hazing is occurring, it must be reported. All reported incidents of hazing will be investigated given available and credible information. All individuals involved in hazing activities are subject to both criminal and/or university judicial proceedings.

A hazing incident may be reported by anyone; a person who the activity directly affected, a person who was involved in the incident; faculty/staff, parents, friends, or community members. If you have witnessed or have knowledge of a possible hazing incident, please report the incident.

Temple University's ability to investigate reported incidents, enforce the university’s expectations, and protect future students depends on the accuracy and specificity of the information provided. You are encouraged to provide as much specific detail as possible so that appropriate action can be taken to address the reported behavior. You have the option to submit a report anonymously, though officials may find it difficult to complete their investigation without knowing the source of the report.

Department Phone Email
Student Activities (215) 204-7131 studentactivities@temple.edu
Campus Safety Services (215) 204-7900  
Student Conduct & Community Standards (215) 204-6556  
Tuttleman Counseling Services (215) 204-7276  

Preventing Hazing

  • Awareness: Stay updated on hazing prevention publications and research from resources like StopHazing.org, HazingPrevention.org, and Hazing In View: College Students at Risk

  • Leadership: Encourage new advisors, coaches, parents to engage in National Hazing Prevention Week programming and hazing prevention workshops offered throughout the academic year

  • Develop alternatives: Plan activities that do not haze within clubs and organizations such as those provided by our colleagues at FSU

  • Intervene: Be an active bystander, address hazing situations or situations you think may be hazing 

  • Report: Report hazing to any of the aforementioned resources 

 

Content for this page was adapted from the following resources: 

Furman University "Hazing Information" 

HazingPrevention.Org 2018 Resource & Planning Guide College Edition

Florida State University "Information for Members of General Student Organizations at FSU"