Hazing Policy

Effective date:
10-31-17

 

Southeastern Louisiana University does not tolerate hazing including the physical, mental or psychological abuse of any individual or individuals. All allegations of hazing will be fully investigated by the University Police Department and/or the Office of Student Advocacy and Accountability. Any group, and/or individuals within a group, found responsible hazing may face disciplinary action up to and/or including expulsion from the University. 

The University adheres to the Southeastern Louisiana University’s Hazing Policy, University of Louisiana System’s policy on hazing(S-II.XXIII.-1); the Fraternity Executive Association’s statement on hazing (also referred to herein as the Association and/or FEA definition of and statement on hazing) and the Louisiana State Law (RS 17:1801).

 

Definitions and Regulations against Hazing

University of Louisiana System Policy on Hazing

Hazing shall be defined as:

 

  1. Any action taken or situation created, whether on or off college or university property, which is life-threatening to the individual or are intended to hurt or to humiliate physically or mentally.
  2. Kidnapping, paddling, slapping, branding, burning with cigarette, or any such activities which are life-threatening to the individual or are intended to hurt or to humiliate physically or mentally.


 

Louisiana Law on Hazing

R.S. 1801 Hazing Prohibited

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 in which the violation occurs.

 

Fraternity Executive Association (FEA): Statement on Hazing

 

The Fraternity Association which Social Greek Organizations defines hazing as any action taken or situation created, intentionally, whether on or off fraternity premises, to produce mental or physical discomfort, embarrassment, harassment or ridicule. Such activities and situations include paddling in any form; creation of excessive fatigue; physical and psychological shocks, quests, treasure hunts, scavenger hunts, road trips or any other such activities carried on outside the confines of the house; wearing, publicly, apparel which is conspicuous and not normally in good taste; engaging in public stunts and buffoonery; morally degrading or humiliating games and activities; late work sessions which interfere with scholastic activities; and any other activities which are not consistent with fraternal law, ritual or policy or the regulations and policies of the educational institution.

 

Southeastern Definition of Hazing

 

In an attempt to adopt a policy that is more inclusive for all community members, Southeastern Louisiana has established the following definition of hazing:

 

Any activity that endangers the mental/physical health or safety of someone for the purpose of initiation, admission into, affiliation with, or as a condition for continued membership in a group, team, or organization regardless of the individual’s willingness to participate in the activity.

 

Hazing actions and situations include, but are not limited to the following:

 

  1. Activities or events that facilitate rapid drinking, drinking games, intoxication or impairment, and forced consumption of both palatable food and, or any other substance.
  2. Any action taken or situation created that may cause pain, injury, excessive physical stress or fatigue including, but not limited to the following: paddling, slapping, tackling, pushing, and exercise that is not part of a reasonable all-organization athletic event.
  3. Activities that involve the use of rope, string, elastic, or any device or material utilized to restrain or confine an individual.
  4. Activities involving lineups, interrogation, or verbal abuse.
  5. Theft of property.
  6. Transportation against an individual’s will (kidnapping) and/or/ abandonment at distant locations.
  7. Scavenger hunts.
  8. Activities or expectations that are so time consuming as to significantly interfere with class work, study time, and sleep.
  9. Requirements that financially take advantage of individuals within the group (Requiring an individual to purchase items as punishment).
  10. The use of obscenities and vulgarities in dress, language or action.
  11. Sexual degrading activities, including stripping, simulation of sexual acts or sexually explicit cheers, chants, and songs.
  12. Conducting any form of personal servitude including, but not limited to driving individuals to class, cleaning another individual's room, serving meals to another individual, washing another individual's car; etc.
  13. Activities that cause psychological stress, including, but not limited to, any deception designed to convince a student that he/she will not be initiated, will be removed, or will injured during any activity.
  14. Dressing alike in specific costumes or clothing (this does not apply to dress attire required for business or ritual meetings).
  15. Activities that cause psychological stress, including, but not limited to, any deception designed to convince a student that they will not be made a member of the organization or group, will be removed, or will be injured during the activity.
  16. Forcing or requiring the violation of University Policy, Federal, State or local law, including but not limited to, burglary, defacement, trespassing, animal cruelty, academic dishonesty, and providing false or misleading information.

 

Enforcement of Hazing Policy

 

Any violation of the hazing policy shall be deemed a violation of the University’s Student Code of Conduct. Thus, all allegations of hazing will be investigated by the Office of Student Advocacy and Accountability and/or other appropriate law enforcement agencies.  Individuals or groups found responsible for violating the Hazing Policy may face disciplinary action including expulsion from the University. The Vice President of Student Affairs, Chief Conduct Officer, and Assistant Director of Advocacy and Accountability or designee may impose interim sanctions immediately upon notice of charge of violation of the Hazing Policy.

 

The University will not tolerate retaliation by any individual or group (whether or not that person was directly involved in the original incident) against any faculty, staff or student who reports, participates in an investigation of, or is a complainant in a disciplinary proceeding involving the allegation of hazing. Claims of retaliation will be investigated as a breach of the University’s Hazing policy and may result in University sanctions.

 

Where Hazing Begins

 

Below are some considerations for determining if an activity constitutes hazing:

 

  • Is the activity an educational experience?
  • Does this activity promote and conform to the ideals and values of the organization or group?
  • Will this activity increase the individual’s respect for the organization or group?
  • Is it an activity that the organization or group members participate in together?
  • Would you be willing to allow parents or University officials to witness this activity?
  • Does the activity have value in and of itself?

 

Why should you care about Hazing?

What individuals and groups may consider to be a perfectly harmless way of making students learn their lesson in education, may, in the view of others, be an act that can be criminal. Hazing is an offense punishable by law in more than 40 states. In addition, this administration does not condone or accept hazing as a normal part of group member education. The danger in hazing is that it gets out of hand. What begins as an innocent prank can lead to disaster.

Student organizations and groups at Southeastern Louisiana University are expected to be responsible community members and should seek alternative options that focus on the positive aspects of being involved on campus.  These include, but are not limited to the following:

 

  • Campus Involvement - encourage group members to get involved with other campus organizations or groups.
  • Community Service or Philanthropic Events that involve the whole group or membership (not just new members).
  • Wellness Activities (Intramurals, Group Classes at Pennington Student Activity Center).
  • Team building exercises such as retreats, sporting events, or obstacle courses
  • Leadership training that focuses on ethical leadership and positive group bonding.
  • Attending campus or community events together.

 

Begin by asking about the values and characteristics that group members want to cultivate. For instance, if you want to be a part of an organization in which everyone has a voice in defining the purpose of the group, what types of activities allow everyone to express themselves and have a role in the group? If leadership and community service are important group goals, what activities allow members to work together in teams to build unity around that common purpose? Clarifying group goals and values, and identifying activities that promote and express those goals and values is a critical step.

 

Ultimately, hazing is a community issue with ripple effects beyond the immediate groups or settings where it occurs. Hazing is a type of abuse that can interfere with the ability of children, young adults, and adults to thrive as learners and as leaders, whether they’re in school, in a job, in the military, or a part of any type of group or organization. Each member of any organization or group has a responsibility to make a difference by being informed about hazing and committing to hazing prevention.

 

Reporting Hazing Activities:

 

If you are being hazed or know someone in your student group or organization who is hazing or being hazed, come forward and report in writing to any of the following offices:

 

 

Many organizations and groups also have internal procedures for reporting hazing anonymously. Please see your advisors and or coaches for information specific to your organization or group. 

 

Additionally, any faculty member or staff member that becomes aware of possible hazing of Southeastern Louisiana University students must immediately report the matter to one of the offices listed above.

 

All groups and organizations are responsible for knowing, understanding, and following the university Hazing Policy in addition to any specific governing organizational or departmental requirements.