The Hazing Spectrum

Acts of hazing can generally be grouped into three different categories: subtle hazing, harassment hazing, and violent hazing.

Subtle Hazing

Students may perceive group activities in this category as harmless or even fun for the members. The key concept of subtle hazing is the presence of a power differentiation between the new members and returning members of the group. Consequently, returning members cannot be certain if new members willingly participate in activities that are specifically for new students to the group. Such programs usually involve tasks that place the new members in a position of ridicule, embarrassment, and/or humiliation.

Examples of Subtle Hazing
  • “Greeting" members in a specific way and/or referring to new members in a demeaning way
  • Being required to remain silent or being silenced with implied threats for violation
  • Socially isolating new members in ways such as being required to walk in groups around campus or associating with specific people and not others
  • Requiring new members to perform duties not assigned to other members
  • Line-ups, drills, or any form of meaningless questioning with or without the presence of a pressured situation
  • Assigning demerits
  • Being required to carry certain objects
  • Name calling
  • Deception
  • Embarrassing oneself
  • Performing special tasks in front of others or for others
  • Being singled out

Harassment Hazing

Although new members are not recognized as a protected class, the same concepts of harassment found in the College policy apply to this category of hazing. Harassment includes actions which (a) has the effect of creating a hostile and intimidating environment sufficiently severe or pervasive to substantially impair a reasonable person's participation in College programs or activities, or use of College facilities; (b) must target a specific person or persons; and (c) must be addressed directly to that person or persons.

Examples of Harassment Hazing
  • Verbal abuse such as being yelled, cursed, or sworn at
  • Threats or implied threats
  • Partial or total nudity including stripping
  • Asking new members to wear embarrassing or humiliating attire
  • Stunt or skit nights with degrading, crude, or humiliating attire
  • Expecting new members to perform personal service to other members such as carrying books, errands, cooking, cleaning, etc.
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Sexual stimulations
  • Expecting new members to be deprived of maintaining a normal schedule of bodily cleanliness
  • Being expected to harass others, e.g. making prank phone calls
  • Intimidating new members about what happens at initiation

Violent Hazing

Behaviors that have the potential to cause physical and/or emotional, or psychological harm.

Examples of Violent Hazing (or acts that could lead to violent hazing)
  • Forced or coerced alcohol or drug consumption including drinking games or contests
  • Consumption of excessive amounts of any substance, such as water, milk, or alcohol
  • Eating or drinking unwanted or vile substances
  • Throwing substances such as food, oil, syrup, flour or gasoline on an individual
  • Destroying or vandalizing property
  • Excessive exercise or calisthenics
  • Stealing, cheating, or committing a crime
  • Body alterations including inflicting pain on self, cutting, branding, tattoo, piercing, or shaving
  • Beating, paddling, or other forms of physical assault
  • Being tied up, taped up, or confined
  • Exposure to extreme heat or cold
  • Abuse or mistreatment of animals
  • Being thrown into a pool, ocean, creek, or any other body of water
  • Not allowed to attend school or complete school work
  • Deprivation of food, sleep, or cleanliness
  • Being kidnapped or transported and abandoned
  • Physical and mental exhaustion
  • Sexual harassment and/or assault

 

References
Bowling Green State University. Retrieved August 14, 2012, from http://www.bgsu.edu/offices
     /sa/studentconduct/page26212.html.
StopHazing.org. Retrieved June 13, 2012, from http://www.stophazing.org/.

Last modified: August 20, 2012