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Hazing

Tarleton State University and the Division of Student Affairs are committed to working diligently with individuals and organizations to eliminate hazing and create positive change on our campuses. Tarleton State University students, faculty, and staff are expected to be partners in enacting the University’s Core Values by creating and maintain standards that are conducive to personal growth and development.

What is hazing?

State law defines hazing as “any intentional, knowing 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 a student for the purpose of pledging, being initiated into, affiliating with, holding office in, or maintaining membership in an organization whose members are or include students at an educational institution.

Hazing is a criminal violation under Texas law. A person may be found guilty of criminal conduct for hazing, encouraging hazing, permitting hazing, or having knowledge of the planning of hazing incidents and failure to report his/her knowledge to the appropriate authority.

Penalties

Both failing to report hazing and hazing that does not result in serious bodily injury are Class B misdemeanors. Hazing resulting in serious bodily injury is a Class A misdemeanor. Hazing resulting in a death is a state jail felony. An organization found guilty of hazing may be fined $5,000 to $10,000 or, for incidents causing personal injury or property damage, an amount double the loss or expenses incurred because of the hazing incident.

The state law does not limit or affect an educational institution’s right to enforce its own penalties against hazing. Tarleton State University's policy on hazing can be found in the Student Conduct Code.

Possible University action includes, but is not limited to:

  • Conduct Probation
  • Disciplinary Probation, and prohibit privileges
  • Bar against readmission or drop from current enrollment and bar against readmission
  • Required participation in specific educational programs *
  • Restitution
  • Suspension
  • Expulsion
  • Revocation of degree, denial of degree and/or withdrawal of diploma

To report suspected incidents of hazing, please submit Tarleton State University’s confidential online form. Reports of hazing can also be made to:

  • the Vice President for Student Affairs;
  • the Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students;
  • or the University Police Department

 

Disciplined Organizations

In accordance with requirements of the Texas Education Code, Section 51.936(c), “Each postsecondary educational institution shall distribute to each student during the first three weeks of each semester a list of organizations that have been disciplined for hazing or convicted for hazing on or off the campus of the institution during the preceding three years.” The following organization(s) have been disciplined for hazing and/or convicted for hazing during the preceding three years at Tarleton:

  • Lambda Chi Alpha, Penalty issued Dec. 5, 2016
    Contract Probation through the fall 2017 semester due to hazing and non-hazing violations.
  • The Plowboys, Penalty issued Dec. 6, 2016
    Suspension for two semesters, spring and fall 2017, due to hazing and non-hazing violations.
  • Chuggernauts (former intramural softball team), Penalty issued Aug. 2, 2017
    Expulsion due to hazing and non-hazing violations.
  • Team Shots (former intramural softball team), Penalty issued Aug. 2, 2017
    Expulsion due to hazing and non-hazing violations.
  • Tau Beta Sigma, Penalty issued Jan. 26, 2018
    Probation due to hazing and non-hazing violations.
  • Lambda Chi Alpha, Penalty issued Feb. 12, 2018
    Disciplinary Probation through the spring 2019 semester, with an Alumni Control Board overseeing the operations of the active chapter due to hazing and non-hazing violations.
  • Delta Chi, Penalty issued May 9, 2018
    Disciplinary Probation until May 31, 2019 due to hazing and non-hazing violations.

Examples of Hazing

Examples of hazing behavior include but are not limited to:

  • Misuse of authority by virtue of one’s class rank or leadership position.
  • Striking another student by hand or with any instrument.
  • Any form of physical bondage of a student.
  • Taking of a student to an outlying area and dropping him/her off.
  • Causing a student to violate the law or a University rule such as indecent exposure, trespassing, violation of visitation, etc.
  • Requiring consumption of beverages and/or food.

Personal Hazing Offense

A person commits a hazing offense if the 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
  • Has firsthand knowledge of the planning of such activities or firsthand knowledge that an incident of this type has occurred and failing to report it to appropriate University officials.

Organization Hazing Offense

An organization commits an offense if the organization condones or encourages hazing or if an officer or any combination or members, pledges, or alumni of the organization commits or assists in the commission of hazing.

Consent is Not a Defense

It is not a defense that the person (or group) against whom the hazing was directed consented to, or acquiesced to, the behavior in question.

Immunity

Students who are recipients and/or victims of hazing (and who have not perpetrated hazing behavior on others involved in the fact pattern for which they are reporting) and who report the activities to the Vice President for Student Affairs and/or the Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students and/or the University Police Department, may be immune from university sanctions and/or legal prosecution.

Report Hazing

Fill out an incident report.