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Hazing Prevention

 

Hazing Prevention



What to do if you are being hazed or suspect a student is being hazed

If you think you or someone you know is being hazed, REPORT IT. We investigate all complaints. While often they turn out to be nothing, sometimes they are serious.

24-Hour Hazing Hotline: (504) 862-3111
You may leave an anonymous or confidential message on the hotline.

We receive calls about possible hazing from students (both fraternity/sorority members and non-members), faculty and staff members, parents, and even students' friends at other universities. Regardless, we never reveal the source of our information – even if a fraternity or sorority is eventually sanctioned. Those reporting a concern should not fear that they or a student they know will suffer any consequences.

You may call or email our staff to report a concern, or you may call the Tulane Hazing Hotline at 504-862-3111 to leave an anonymous message.

 

Information for the Tulane community

Often people haze or tolerate hazing because they do not know if what they are participating in constitutes hazing. If you are unsure, ask yourself these questions:

  • Does the activity involve mental distress such as humiliation or intimidation?
  • Does it involve physical abuse (e.g., sleep deprivation)?
  • Is there a significant risk of injury or a question of safety?
  • Would you have any reservations describing the activity to your parents or a university official?
  • Is alcohol involved?
  • Would you be worried if the activity was shown on the evening news?

If the answer to any of the above questions is "Yes," the activity is probably hazing.

 

Some Myths and Realities of Hazing

The following myths and realities were adapted in part from stophazing.org.

Myth: Hazing builds unity among new members.

Reality: Hazing may create unity among new members, but often there are costs as well. The effect of hazing on a group can be like the effect of a natural disaster on a community: residents feel closer to each other afterward but many are suffering. Would anyone suggest that it is good for a community to be hit by a natural disaster?

Myth: Hazing is the only method for holding new members accountable.

Reality: While holding new members accountable is important, there are effective ways to do so without hazing. Effective parents, teachers, and bosses all know ways to hold others accountable without humiliating, degrading or physically hurting them. Chapter officers can work with Fraternity and Sorority Programs staff and the volunteers and staff of their national organization to develop programs that hold new members accountable without hazing them.

Myth: Hazing is okay as long as it is not physically dangerous.

Reality: Mental hazing can be brutal and leave lasting psychological scars. Some hazing victims report that the mental hazing they endured was worse than being physically abused.

Myth: A little hazing should be okay, as long as there's no mean-spirited or injurious intent.

Reality: Regardless of intent, some group bonding activities designed to be "all in good fun" still may raise some serious safety concerns." For example, serious accidents have occurred during scavenger hunts. And when members are drunk, they sometimes subject the new members to more than they originally intended.

Myth: Hazing continues because everyone in the group supports it.

Reality: Many group members may not approve of hazing but go along with the activity because they mistakenly believe everyone else agrees with it. This "reign of error" helps to perpetuate hazing. The strongest supporters of hazing are often the most vocal and dominant members.

Myth: If someone agrees to participate in an activity, it can't be considered hazing.

Reality: In states that have laws against hazing, consent of the victim can't be used as a defense. This is because even if someone agrees to participate in a potentially hazardous action, it may not be true consent because of peer pressure, intentional or unintentional threats, and the withholding of information about what will occur.

Myth: Since alumni and current members were hazed it is only fair that the new members go through it too.

Reality: "Tradition" does not justify subjecting new members to abuse. Traditions are created by groups, and groups hold the power to change or eliminate them. It only takes one year to break a hazing tradition. Remember that the founding members of organizations were not hazed.

Myth: Hazing practices preserve the uniqueness and exclusiveness of the group.

Reality: Since hazing practices are secret, group members often don't realize that their "unique" practices are typically variations on common themes: extensive memorization with verbal abuse for incorrect answers, sleep deprivation, servitude, kidnappings, drinking rituals, calisthenics, lineups, cleaning up messes, isolation of members, theft, impossible games, sexual embarrassment, inappropriate clothing, absurd scavenger hunts, unpalatable food, and physical violence.

Myth: Other groups on campus will not respect an organization that does not haze.

Reality: A positive, educational program will result in a better all-around organization and the ability to attract the best new members. Being able to recruit the best students will earn the respect of other groups.

Myth: Hazing only exists in fraternities and sororities.

Reality: Hazing incidents have occurred across the country in athletic teams, military units, performing arts groups, religious groups, and other types of clubs and organizations. Hazing occurs in high schools as well as on college campuses.

 

Information on Hazing for Greek Members

Preamble: The 2007-08 Fraternity and Sorority Presidents' Council collaborated to create the document below, which describes the standards they will hold each other accountable to with regard to hazing practices. This document is reviewed annually and was last updated in January 2010 by the 2010-11 presidents. All fraternity and sorority presidents sign an agreement that they will communicate the policy to each of the members of their organization.

Hazing is anything required of a member that is demeaning, destructive, causes risk, either mental or physical, to a specific group of members.

Louisiana Hazing Statute: RS 17:1801 Part III. MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS 1801.

 

Hazing Penalties

Hazing in any form, or the use of any method of initiation into fraternal organizations in any educational institution supported wholly or in part by public funds, which is likely to cause bodily danger or physical punishment to any student or other person attending any such institution is prohibited.

Whoever violates the provisions of this Section shall be fined not less than ten dollars nor more than one hundred dollars, or imprisoned for not less than ten days nor more than thirty days, or both, and in addition, shall be expelled from the educational institution and not permitted to return during the current session or term which the violation occurs.

 

Hazing Activities

Some activities are easily categorized as hazing, while others are not. Any requirement by a member which:

  1. Compels a prospective or new members to participate in any activity which is illegal;
  2. Is known to be contrary to a prospective or new member's moral or religious beliefs, or
  3. Is contrary to the policies of Tulane University or the chapter's national policy may be considered hazing.

If you are not sure, consider the following questions:

  • What is the value/purpose of this activity?
  • Does this activity promote the founding values of the organization? The mission? The creed?
  • Do new and initiated members participate equally in this activity?
  • Will active/current members of the group refuse to do what they are asking the new members to do?
  • Would you want to do this activity yourself?
  • Does the activity risk emotional or physical abuse?
  • Is there risk of injury or a question of safety?
  • Would you feel uncomfortable with the activity being photographed for the school newspaper or filmed by the local TV news crew?
  • Would you feel uncomfortable describing the activity to your parents, to a professor, or University faculty?
  • Would you be able to defend the activity in a Court of Law?
  • Is this activity valued in and of itself? Why?

Emphasize the Positive

These qualities should be emphasized in the new member process or membership intake process:

  • Focus on Scholarship/Academics
  • Focus on Service/Philanthropy
  • Focus on Sisterhood/Brotherhood building the bonds (with new members and active circle)
  • Focus on Individual Growth (of each of your new members)

ALL STUDENTS ARE EXPECTED TO ABIDE BY THE CODE OF STUDENT CONDUCT.

The president and new member educator(s)/director of intake shall be responsible for ensuring that the chapter complies with this policy.

A chapter process MUST be in place for prospective, new, or active members to question, or refuse to participate in, any activity. This questioning, or refusal to participate in an activity should not jeopardize his/her goal of initiating into the fraternity or sorority. This process should be shared in writing with the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Programs prior to the beginning of the beginning of the New Member/Membership Intake Process.

All alleged violations of the above policies will be referred to the Office of Student Conduct.

 

Prohibited Activities

The following are a list of prohibited acts or activities. Other acts or activities that could be considered hazing are not limited to this list.

  1. Unwanted or harmful eating, smoking, or ingesting of legal or illegal substances
  2. Paddling and/or striking in any manner
  3. Forcing prospective or new members to drink alcoholic beverages by threat or peer pressure
  4. Placing prospective or new members in confining, uncomfortable areas or positions
  5. Acts of demeaning or unreasonable servitude for active or alumni members
  6. Requiring apparel of the opposite sex to be worn in public places
  7. Clothing requirements in which the sole purpose is to humiliate
  8. Assigning pranks such as stealing, vandalizing, or harassing other organizations
  9. Required harassment and/or fighting with other sororities or fraternities
  10. Calling prospective or new members demeaning names
  11. Screaming, cursing, yelling at prospective/new members
  12. Tying members up in any manner
  13. Activities in which the primary objective is to deprive sleep and/or food
  14. Carrying an object solely for the purpose of carrying the object
  15. Blindfolding of prospective or new members at any time other than actual initiation, big/little sister or big/little brother revealing, and/or trust activities
  16. Scavenger hunts
  17. Discriminating because of race, weight, religion, sexual orientation, or disability
  18. Required marking, tattoos, or branding during the new member or membership intake process
  19. Preventing/restricting/disturbing class attendance
  20. Preventing personal hygiene
  21. Demeaning line-ups

All chapters are expected to abide by their national guidelines in all areas of recruitment, new member process, and membership intake. Failure to do so may result in a conduct investigation.

Possible sanctions for chapters found in violation, may include, but are not limited to:

  1. Constructive: i.e. paying to bring in a speaker about hazing, preparing and executing a hazing workshop, and/or attending hazing seminars
  2. Monetary
  3. Loss of social privileges
  4. New member process or membership intake process to be constructed by the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Programs, not to be deviated from
  5. Loss of campus recognition and/or other privileges

Division of Student Affairs, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-314-2188 studnaff@tulane.edu