Students are encouraged to review the following key concepts on hazing.

1. In determining responsibility for violating the hazing policy, intent is not taken into consideration.

There does not need to be malicious intent for hazing to occur. Hazing often occurs when those who are hazing others do not intend malicious harm. Safety is a major factor in hazing activities that many do not consider as intending to harm, i.e., scavenger hunts and kidnappings. However, serious accidents can occur in both of these incidences. Scavenger hunts often turn into races of who can finish the fastest, encouraging individuals to ignore road signs and laws. Individuals have been seriously injured from participating in kidnappings, suffering from conditions such as hypothermia and sleep deprivation. Furthermore, when these incidents involve alcohol or drugs, there can be deadly consequences.

2. The College does not recognize consent in hazing activities.

Hazing is against the College policy, even if returning members believe they have the consent of the new members. Returning members cannot actually obtain consent from new members given the power differential existing between these two groups. When someone is pressured by peers to participate in an activity in order to join a group, it is not true consent.

3. Students can determine whether or not certain activities are considered hazing.

It is easy to determine if activities are hazing by using common sense and answering the following questions:

  • Does the activity involve mental distress such as humiliation or intimidation?
  • Does it involve physical abuse or substance abuse?
  • Would you have any reservations describing the activity to your parents or a university official?
  • Would you have reservations describing the activity to your advisor/coach/professor/national office?
  • Is alcohol involved?
  • Would you be worried if the activity was shown on the evening news?
  • Does the activity single out new members for a purpose that is not in alignment with the mission or values of your student group?

If the answer to any of the above questions is yes, the activity is hazing.

Bowling Green State University. Retrieved August 14, 2012, from

Last modified: August 20, 2012

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