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Hazing is any action taken or any situation created intentionally that causes embarrassment, harassment or ridicule and risks emotional and/or physical harm to members of a group or team, whether new or not, regardless of the person’s willingness to participate.

Some definitions of hazing vary but all have common factors:

· Power differential between those in a group and those who want to join a group, or between senior and junior members of a group

· Intentional initiation rite, practice or ‘tradition’ involved

· Willingness to participate does not absolve responsibility for either party


Below are just some examples of hazing practices that occur:

· Forced activities for new recruits to ‘prove’ their worth to join

· Forced or required consumption of alcohol

· Requirement to eat spicy foods, other substances

· Requirement to endure hardships such as staying awake, menial tasks, physical labor, running while blindfolded, etc.

· Humiliation of new or potential members

· Isolation of new or potential members

· Beatings, paddling, or other physical acts against new or potential members

· Requirements for new or potential members to do things established members are not required to do

· Illegal activities such as requirement to steal local items as part of a scavenger hunt


· Hazing occurs in sports teams, clubs, Greek life, cheerleading, honor societies and more

· Hazing is often about power and control. Hazing does not build unity

· More than half of students in colleges and universities involved in clubs, sports teams and organizations have experienced hazing

· A significant number of hazing incidents and deaths involve alcohol consumption

· Students are more likely to be hazed if they knew an adult who was hazed

· 2 in 5 students say they are aware of hazing taking place on their campus

· Hazing occurs in middle schools, high schools and colleges

· Both male and female students report a high level of hazing


If you’re not sure whether or not something happening to you or to someone else is hazing, ask yourself these questions:

· Would I feel comfortable participating in this activity if my parents were watching?

· Would we get in trouble if a school/college administrator walked by and saw us?

· Am I being asked to keep these activities a secret?

· Am I doing anything illegal?

· Does participation in this activity violate my values or those of this organization?

· Is this causing emotional or physical distress or stress to myself or to others?

· Am I going to be able to get a job if I have to put a criminal arrest on my application?


Hazing Prevention Resources and Program Ideas


UM Resources:

Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life:

Office of General Counsel

Hazing Policy:


Hazing in the News