A person commits an offense under the hazing law if that person:
- engages in hazing;
- solicits, encourages, directs, aids or attempts to aid another in engaging in hazing;
- intentionally, knowingly or recklessly permits hazing to occur; or
- has firsthand knowledge of the planning of a specific hazing incident involving a student in an educational institution or firsthand knowledge that a specific hazing incident has occurred and knowingly fails to report said knowledge in writing to the Dean of Students or other appropriate officials of the institution.
"Hazing" means any intentional or reckless act occurring on or off the campus of an educational institution, by one person alone or acting with others, directed against a student that endangers the mental or physical health or safety of that student for the purpose of pledging, being initiated into, affiliating with, holding office in, or maintaining membership in any organization whose members are students at an educational institution.
"Hazing" includes, but is not limited to,
- any type of physical brutality or physical activity that subjects the student to an unreasonable risk of harm or that adversely affects the mental or physical health or safety of the student (i.e. sleep deprivation, exposure to the elements, calisthenics);
- activity involving consumption of a food, liquid, alcoholic beverage, liquor, drug or other substance that subjects the student to an unreasonable risk of harm or that adversely effects the mental or physical health or safety of the student;
- activity that intimidates or threatens the student with ostracism;
- activity that subjects the student to extreme mental stress, shame or humiliation, or that adversely effects the mental health or dignity of the student.
The aforementioned activities are examples of specific hazing offenses only. Any type of activity that falls within the general definition of hazing is prohibited under the hazing law. Consent of the individual subjected to the hazing is not a defense to prosecution of an offense under the hazing law.
Organizations that are covered under this law include a
- fraternity or sorority,
- all student organizations,
- choir or band,
- all club or intramural sports,
whose members are primarily students at an educational institution.
A student includes
- an individual registered or in attendance at an educational institution,
- an individual accepted for admission at an educational institution or
- an individual who is on vacation from an educational institution and intends to attend that institution during any of its regular sessions after that period of scheduled vacation.
Specific penalties that may be imposed against an individual or organization guilty of an offense under the hazing law include
- the imposition of fines ranging from $5,000-$10,000 and/or
- confinement in the county jail for a period of time ranging from 90 days to two years.
The specific penalty imposed for a hazing offense depends on the seriousness of the offense and whether or not bodily injury or death to an individual resulted from the hazing incident. If an individual reports an offense of hazing to the Dean of Students, the individual is immune from liability, civil or criminal, that might otherwise be incurred or imposed as a result of the report. However, a person reporting in bad faith or with malice is not so protected.
If you have been a victim of hazing or witnessed a hazing incident, by law you have a responsibility to report the incident. Upon completion of the anonymous hazing incident form, the information is shared with the Assistant Dean of Students, Director of Student Leadership Programs and Director of Student Activities. These individuals and other campus security authorities will investigate the incident promptly. We encourage you to share your contact information but it is not required.