POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

 
Effective date:
10-31-17
 
Revised Date: 
09-27-18

 

Hazing Policy

 

Policy Statement

Southeastern Louisiana University (“the University”) is committed to the safety and wellness of our students. This commitment is reflected in our adherence to relevant federal and state regulations; and through the development of policies and procedures to maintain a safe educational environment.

 

Purpose of Policy

The 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 appropriate authorities. Any organization, and/or individuals within an organization, found responsible of hazing may face disciplinary action up to and/or including expulsion from the University and/or criminal charges.

 

Applicability

This policy applies to all Southeastern students, faculty and staff.

 

Policy Procedure

Definitions and Regulations against Hazing

The University adheres to the Southeastern Louisiana University Hazing Policy, University of Louisiana System policy on hazing (S-II.XXIII.-1); the Board of Regents Uniform Policy on Hazing Prevention, and applicable state laws as described below:

 

Louisiana Laws on Hazing

 

RS 17:1801 Amended: Hazing Prohibited

 

Hazing in any form, or the use of any method of initiation into organizations in any education 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 expelled, suspended, or dismissed from the education institution and not permitted to return for at least one semester, quarter, or comparable academic period. In addition, the person violating such provisions may also be subject to the provisions of R.S. 14:40.8.

 

RS 14:40.8 Criminal Hazing

 

It shall be unlawful for any person to commit an act of hazing. Any person who commits an act of hazing shall be fined up to one thousand dollars, imprisoned for up to six months, or both.

 

If the hazing results in the serious bodily injury or death of the victim, or the hazing involves forced or coerced alcohol consumption that results in the victim having a blood alcohol concentration of at least .30 percent by weight based on grams of alcohol per one hundred cubic centimeters of blood, any person who commits an act of hazing shall be fined up to ten thousand dollars and imprisoned, with or without hard labor, for up to five years.

 

If any person serving as a representative or officer of an organization, including any representative, director, trustee, or officer of any national or parent organization, is a sanctioned or recognized member at the time of the hazing, knew and failed to report to law enforcement that one or more of the organization’s members were hazing another person, the organization may be subject to the following:

 

  1. Payment of a fine up to ten thousand dollars.
  2. Forfeiture of any public fuds received by the organization.
  3. Forfeiture of all rights and privileges of being an organization that is organized and operating at the education institution for a specific period of time as determined by the court.

 

If the hazing results in the serious bodily injury or death of the victim, or results in the victim having a blood alcohol concentration of at least .30 percent by weight based on grams of alcohol per one hundred cubic centimeters of blood, the period of time shall be for not less than four years.

 

A national or parent organization that receives a report alleging the commission of an act or acts of hazing may conduct a timely and efficient investigation to substantiate or determine the veracity of the allegations prior to making a report to law enforcement. The investigation shall be completed no later than fourteen days after the date on which the report was received alleging the commission of an act or acts of hazing.

 

R.S. 14:502 Failure to Seek Assistance

 

Any person at the scene of an emergency who knows that another person has suffered serious bodily injury shall, to the extent that the person can do so without danger or peril to self or others, give reasonable assistance to the injured person. Reasonable assistance includes immediately seeking or reporting the need for medical assistance from an appropriate authority.

 

Any person who engages in reckless behavior that results in the serious bodily injury of any person shall, to the extent that the person can do so without danger or peril to self or others, give reasonable assistance to the person. Reasonable assistance includes immediately seeking or reporting the need for medical assistance from an appropriate authority.

 

Any person who violates the provisions of this Section shall be fined not more than one thousand dollars, imprisoned with or without hard labor for not more than one year, or both. If the serious bodily injury results in the death of the person, any person who violates the provisions of this Section shall be fined not more than two thousand dollars, imprisoned with or without hard labor for not more than five years, or both.

 

Board of Regents’ Uniform Policy on Hazing Prevention Policy Statement

 

The Board of Regents (BOR) does not condone hazing in any form at any of the public postsecondary education institutions in the state. All Louisiana public postsecondary institutions shall prohibit hazing and take all reasonable measures to prevent hazing, including without limitation: adoption of effective policies; clear communication to campus organizations; students and other stakeholders of laws and policies; prompt and faithful enforcement thereof; education; and training. All Louisiana public postsecondary institutions shall be committed to providing a supportive educational environment free from hazing, one that promotes its students’ mental and physical well-being, and safety and respect for one’s self and others. All Louisiana public postsecondary institutions shall implement policies and procedures to prevent acts of hazing in compliance with policy and shall take prompt and appropriate action to investigate and effectively discipline those accused of such conduct in a manner consistent with all applicable laws.

 

University of Louisiana System Statement on Hazing

 

The University of Louisiana System (“the System”) is committed to maintaining a supportive, educational environment that fosters respect for the dignity and rights of all its community members. This commitment reflects the System’s adherence to its mission, to its various policies supporting its mission, and to relevant state and federal laws. As such, acts of hazing are considered irresponsible, intolerable and inconsistent with the System’s mission. Student organizations and/or individual members found to have engaged in hazing shall be in violation of the System’s Policy and may be in violation of state law (R.S. 14:40.8).

 

Definition

 

Louisiana Law defines Hazing as any intentional, knowing, or reckless act by a person acting alone or acting with others that is directed against another when both of the following apply:

The person knew or should have known that such an act endangers the physical health or safety of the other person or causes severe emotional distress.

The act was associated with pledging, being initiated into, affiliating with, participating in, holding office in or maintaining membership in any organization.

Hazing includes but is not limited to any of the following acts associated with pledging, being initiated into, affiliating with, participating in, holding office in, or maintaining membership in any organization:

Physical brutality, such as whipping, beating, paddling, striking, branding, electric shocking, placing of a harmful substance on the body, or similar activity.

Physical activity such as sleep deprivation, exposure to the elements, confinement in a small space, or calisthenics, that subjects the other person to an unreasonable risk of harm or that adversely affects the physical health or safety of the individual or causes severe emotional distress. 

Activity involving consumption of food, liquid, or any other substance including, but not limited to, an alcoholic beverage or drug, that subjects the individual to an unreasonable risk of harm that adversely affects the physical health or safety of the individual or causes severe emotional distress.

Activity that induces, causes, or requires an individual to perform a duty or task that involves the commission of a crime or an act of hazing.

 

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

  • Activities or events that facilitate rapid drinking, drinking games, intoxication or impairment, and forced consumption of both palatable food and, or any other substance.
  • 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.
  • Activities that involve the use of rope, string, elastic, or any device or material utilized to restrain or confine an individual.
  • Activities involving lineups, interrogation, or verbal abuse.
  • Theft of property.
  • Transportation against an individual’s will such as kidnapping and/or abandonment at distant locations.
  • Scavenger hunts
  • Activities or expectations that are so time consuming as to significantly interfere with class work, study time, and sleep.
  • Requirements that financially take advantage of individuals within the group (Requiring an individual to purchase items as punishment).
  • The use of obscenities and vulgarities in dress, language or action.
  • Sexual degrading activities, including stripping, simulation of sexual acts or sexually explicit cheers, chants, and songs.
  • 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.
  • 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 be injured during any activity.
  • Dressing alike in specific costumes or clothing (this does not apply to dress attire required for business or ritual meetings).
  • 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.
  • 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.

 

Consent is not a defense. It is not a defense to prosecution of an offense that the person against whom the hazing was directed consented to or acquiesced in the hazing activity.

 

Seeking Assistance and Reporting Hazing Activities

 

Southeastern cares about the safety and wellbeing of its students. If you are being hazed or know someone in your student group or organization who is hazing or being hazed, we want you to be aware of your options in seeking assistance and reporting.

 

Duty to Seek Assistance

 

If someone suffers bodily injury as a result of hazing, individuals present or with knowledge of the emergency must seek assistance for the injured individual. Reasonable assistance includes immediately seeking medical assistance or reporting the need for medical assistance from an appropriate authority including:

 

  • Southeastern Louisiana University Police Department
  • Pride Hall
  • 985-549-2222

 

  • Southeastern Louisiana University Health Center
  • War Memorial Student Union Annex
  • 985-549-2242

 

  • North Oaks Medical Center
  • 15790 Paul Vega Md. Drive, Hammond, LA

 

  • Hammond Police Department: 911

 

  • Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office: 911

 

Failure to give assistance for an injured person could result in a fine and/or imprisonment.

 

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 to any of the following offices:

 

 

  • Office of Student Advocacy and Accountability
    • 985-549-2213
    • Incident Reporting Form

 

 

 

 

  • University of Louisiana System
    • Louisiana System Anonymous Reporting Form

 

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.

 

Enforcement of Hazing Policy

 

Any violation of the hazing policy shall be deemed a violation of the University’s Student Code of Conduct and applicable laws. 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 for Student Affairs, Chief Conduct Officer, the Dean of Students 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.

 

Sanctions

 

If an organization has taken disciplinary action against one of its members for hazing or has reason to believe that any member of the organization has participated in an incident of hazing, the organization shall report the incident to the proper University authority (listed under “Reporting Hazing Activities).  

 

If an organization or any of its members has been disciplined by a parent organization for hazing, the organization shall report the hazing for which the organization was disciplined to the institution with which it is affiliated.

 

If any person serving as a representative or officer of an organization, including any representative, director, trustee, or officer of any national or parent organization of which any of the underlying entities is sanctioned or a recognized member at the time of the hazing knew and failed to report the incident to the proper authorities that one or more of the organization’s members were hazing another person, the organization may be subject to penalties under R.S. 14:40.8 including fines, criminal prosecution, and loss of funding for your organization.

 

Prevention and Education Program Requirement

 

Each organization (as defined in R.S. 17:1801.1) shall provide annually at least one hour of hazing prevention education to all members and prospective members. Training must include the following:

 

  • Criminal penalties for hazing including fines and potential incarceration
  • Information about how to report if hazing activities are suspected
  • The individual/organization’s duty to seek assistance if someone has suffered bodily injuries caused by an act of hazing
  • The potential loss of organizational funding and other penalties if found responsible

 

The education may be provided in person, electronically, or both. Each organization shall submit a report annually to the Office for Student Engagement. The report must include an acknowledgement from each student that they understand the dangers and prohibition of hazing and will abide by the policies and procedures set forth by the University. 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.

 

Policy Amended: 9/27/18

Review Process: Hazing Policy Revision Subcommittee of the Hazing Policy Task Force