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.] § 5352. 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." Any public or private institution within this Commonwealth authorized to grant an associate degree or higher academic degree.

[P.S.] § 5353. Hazing prohibited 

Any person who causes or participates in hazing commits a misdemeanor of the third degree.

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

(A) ANTIHAZING POLICY.
Each institution shall adopt a written antihazing policy and, pursuant to that policy, shall adopt rules prohibiting students or other persons associated with any organization operating under the sanction of or recognized as an organization by the institution from engaging in any activity which can be described as hazing.

(B) ENFORCEMENT AND PENALTIES.

  1. Each institution shall provide a program for the enforcement of such rules and shall adopt appropriate penalties for violations of such rules to be administered by the person or agency at the institution responsible for the sanctioning or recognition of such organizations.
  2. Such penalties may include the imposition of fines, the withholding of diplomas or transcripts pending compliance with the rules or pending payment of fines and the imposition of probation, suspension or dismissal.
  3. In the case of an organization which authorizes hazing in blatant disregard of such rules, penalties may also include rescission of permission for that organization to operate on campus property or to otherwise operate under the sanction or recognition of the institution.
  4. All penalties imposed under the authority of this section shall be in addition to any penalty imposed for violation of section 3 or any of the criminal laws of this State or for violation of any other institutional rule to which the violator may be subject.
  5. Rules adopted pursuant hereto shall apply to acts conducted on or off campus whenever such acts are deemed to constitute hazing.

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, suddent 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"