In RARE, we are often asked what are examples of, or what constitutes, hazing? Here is how W&M see it. Do you agree?
Student Handbook Policy on Hazing
Hazing includes acts which endanger the mental or physical health or safety of a student, or which destroy or remove public or private property, for the purpose of initiation, admission into, affiliation with or as a condition for continued membership in, a group or organization. Apathy or acquiescence in the presence of hazing are not considered neutral acts; they are violations of this policy. The express or implied consent of the victim, tradition, and intent of such acts are not valid defenses.
It is the responsibility of all student organizations to encourage an atmosphere of learning, social responsibility, and respect for human dignity and to provide positive influences and constructive development for members and aspiring members. Organizations are expected to use good judgment to determine the abilities of individual students as they relate to organizational activities and requirements. “Hazing” is an unproductive and hazardous custom that is incongruous with this responsibility and has no place in our university life, either on or off campus.
Student Activities Statement on Hazing
Hazing is defined as any action taken or situation created, intentionally, whether on or off campus, to produce mental or physical discomfort, embarrassment, harassment, or ridicule. Such activities and situations include paddling in any form; creation of excessive fatigue; physical and psychological shocks; quests, treasure hunts, scavenger hunts, road trips or any other such activities; wearing publicly, any apparel which is conspicuous and not normally in good taste; engaging in public stunts of buffoonery; morally degrading or humiliating games or activities; late work sessions which interfere with scholastic activities; and any other activities which are not consistent with the regulations and policies of the College.
Hazing shall include, but not be limited to forcing, requiring, or expecting pledges, associate members, prospective members, or members of university organizations to participate in any of the following actions or activities:
- All forms of physical activity which are used to harass or which are not part of an organized athletic context and not specifically directed toward constructive work
- Road trips (involuntary excursions)
- Confinement in any room or compartment
- Spraying, painting, or pelting with any substance
- Burying in any substance
- Nudity at any time
- Requiring or compelling activities creating unnecessary work, duties, or detention, or any that do not allow adequate time for study
- Requiring or compelling exposure to uncomfortable elements
- Verbal harassment
- Requiring or compelling the wearing, in public, of apparel which is not in good taste
- Requiring or compelling the forced consumption of any liquid (including alcohol) or solid substance
- Depriving students of sufficient sleep (six consecutive hours per day is normally considered to be a minimum)
- Burning, branding, or tattooing any part of the body, or any other activity, whether voluntary or involuntary, which may cause physical injury or endanger the life of the person being hazed
- Psychological Hazing, which is defined as any act which is likely to: (a) compromise the dignity of a member or prospective member, (b) cause embarrassment or shame to a member or prospective member, prospective member to be the object of malicious, (c) cause a member or amusement or ridicule, or emotional strain (d) cause psychological harm or substantial emotional strain
- Misleading prospective members in an effort to convince them that they will not become members, that they will be hurt during induction / initiation, or any other activity that would cause extreme mental stress
- Carrying any item (shields, paddles, bricks, hammers, etc.) That serve no constructive purpose or that are designed to punish or embarrass the carrier
- Blindfolding and parading individuals in public areas, blindfolding and transporting in a motor vehicle, or privately conducting blindfolding activities that serve no constructive purpose
- Binding or restricting any person’s arms or legs that would prohibit them from moving on their own
- Requiring or suggesting that members or prospective members obtain or possess (items for a scavenger hunt)
Organizations found to be in violation of this policy may face sanctions ranging from a warning to a loss of status as a recognized student organization. Individuals found to be in violation of this policy may face sanctions ranging from a warning to dismissal.