HUMP DAY: ANTI-HAZING POLICIES
Hazing is an issue that should not be taken lightly. 44 states in the U.S.A. have anti-hazing laws enacted. This discludes: Alaska, Hawaii, Montana, New Mexico, South Dakota, and Wyoming. Hazing is a violation of the law and can lead to criminal prosecution. It is obvious that the overall majority of states take hazing very seriously, as should you.
Unfortunately, most students aren’t educated or aware of what is considered hazing. 8 out of 10 students nationwide in 2012 reported hazing behaviors and had no idea it was ‘hazing.’ Hazing behaviors don’t have to be aggressive or violent in nature. At some schools, the behavior can be as simple as singing a chant with selected members/people. There are a plethora of resources that list out these types of behaviors. SUNY Oswego encompasses their own handbook that distinguishes and defines hazing behaviors. https://www.oswego.edu/student-handbook/hazing
This is a great resource to check out if you are ever curious or unsure about what to look out for. If the behavior interrupts the student’s academic goals OR includes harassment, intimidation, illegal activities, pain, mental distress, or anything that is “forced” with or without a person’s willingness to participate, it is considered hazing.
One person can make a change by speaking out and recognizing hazing in others. Sometimes it is hard to notice if someone is getting hazed so here are some things to look out for. If you notice individuals speaking selectively and not to others, if you notice students leaving classes/the dorm at random times, if you see students who look like they haven’t changed or showered, if students have irregular sleep schedules, or if students can’t stay awake in class.
On the bright side, the national sororities and fraternities here on campus all hold an Anti-Hazing Policy. That means that if ANY hazing happens, even if it is something as subtle hazing, that sorority or fraternity will lose their letters. They will not be recognized nationally and this alone can end their chapter permanently.
If you ever have any concerns or feel uncomfortable in any situation, there are many resources on campus that are available. The Lifestyles Center is one of them. Feel free to stop by!
Written and researched by Megan Tuohey, Peer Educator