PRP 4650 - Hazing Policy
Issued by: Dione Somerville, Vice President for Student Life
Notes: Reviewed by the Student Life Standing Committee 10/17/97; Reviewed by Student Life Standing Committee 4/2/2019, Interim Policy by VP for Student Affairs on 4/24/2019, Approved by Forum 9/25/2019
The most damaging instrument to student groups and organizations (social, honor, service, athletic, fraternity, sorority, music) is hazing. This counterproductive and hazardous act has no rightful place in any student group or organization.
Hazing at Bloomsburg University is strictly prohibited and will not be tolerated. Hazing risks human lives, brutalizes everyone involved, and jeopardizes the very existence of student groups and organizations on the Bloomsburg University campus.
Hazing – Bloomsburg University defines hazing as intentionally, knowingly or recklessly, for the purpose of initiating, admitting, or affiliating an individual into or with an organization, or for the purpose of continuing or enhancing an individual’s membership or status in an organization, causing, coercing or forcing an individual to do any of the following:
- Consume any food, drink, liquid, alcoholic liquid, drug, or other substance which subjects the individual to a risk of emotional or physical harm.
- Endure any brutality or act of a physical nature, which may include but is not limited to whipping, beating, branding, paddling, kicking, pushing, shoving, tackling, calisthenics, or exposure to the elements.
- Endure brutality or act of a mental nature, which may include but is not limited to activity adversely affecting the mental health, or dignity of the individual, sleep deprivation, exclusion from social contact, or conduct which could result in extreme embarrassment or degradation.
- Any activity which has the potential to be frightening, morally compromising, degrading, and/or unduly deceptive, including deception designed to convince the individual of impeding pain, injury, or non-initiation including but not limited to promoting servitude, berating or verbally harassing individuals, throwing items at or on individuals, forcing individuals to carry items or wear apparel which is undignified, requiring public stunts such as forcing individuals to yell when entering or departing a physical structure or in the presence of designated individuals, forcing individuals to use designated entrances or exits, requiring individuals to run personal errands, intentionally creating labor or clean-up work, and requiring individuals to wear scant clothing or to be nude.
- Endure brutality or an act of a sexual nature.
- Any activity which endangers or has the potential to endanger the academic performance of the individual, such as not allowing adequate time for, or interfering with academic commitments; activities conducted between the hours of midnight and 8:00 a.m., and forced exclusion from social or verbal contact with any other individual.
- Any destruction or removal of public or private property.
- Any violation of federal, state, or local law or rule or University policy.
Organization – The term organization in this policy refers to organizations, both sponsored and unsponsored by the University, including but not limited to chapters, teams, clubs, colonies, units, or groups of students, alumni, or advisors, or other persons associated with the University.
Recognized Organization – A “recognized organization” is one that has fulfilled all of the registration requirements set forth by the Community Government Association (CGA) and is fully recognized by the University, CGA, the Committee on Student Organizations, and the Community Activities Office.
Sponsored Organization – A “sponsored organization” is defined as any organization that receives human, financial, and/or material support, guidance, or benefit from the University or its affiliates.
- New member-related activities by nature must reflect the best interests of the new members, members of the organization, the University, and the Bloomsburg community.
- Training and education that have clear objectives and relevance to the tasks and responsibilities of an organization’s members are not considered hazing.
- Hazing shall not include reasonable and customary athletic, law enforcement or military training, contests, competitions, or events.
- All University students, employees, advisors, and organizations are responsible for abiding by this policy, both on campus and off campus, including privately-owned facilities or property.
- Organizations are responsible for any activity in violation of this policy by any individual or group associated with the organization, unless it is proven that the group or individual activity was independent of, and occurred without the knowledge or consent of the organization. Such responsibility will apply equally to situations in which one or more individuals associated with the organization know or should have known of the activity and failed to make every reasonable attempt to prevent or stop it.
- The filing of charges at Bloomsburg University against an organization does not preclude the filing of charges at the University against an individual student or the filing of civil or criminal charges against the organization or individual.
- The leader(s), which may be either elected officer(s) or designated leader(s) within an organization, are responsible for informing individuals associated with the organization of this policy. This policy should be clearly communicated by the leader(s) to the membership at the first meeting of the organization each semester and to the new members prior to the commencement of the first new member activity.
- Organizations must submit a completed Anti-Hazing Compliance Agreement to the Center for Leadership and Engagement within seven days of the commencement of fall semester classes or before beginning any organization related activities, whichever comes first, and at the election or appointment of new officers or leaders, to certify acknowledgement of all conditions of this policy. Failure to submit the completed form within the deadline will result in interim suspension of recognition until the completed form is received.
- Wherever possible all organizations should strive not to interfere with the academic success with their participants and therefore care should be taken not to interfere with student academic requirements and conclude activities which are non-academic in nature at least seven days prior to the first day of the final examination period each semester and remain discontinued through the end of the final examination period. All non-academic initiation must occur during the fall and spring semesters while classes are in session.
- The University shall provide a copy of this policy, including the University’s rules, penalties, and program of enforcement to each organization. The University shall ensure that students are informed of this policy, including the rules, penalties, and program of enforcement.
Jurisdiction and Procedures
- Charges of violations of this policy by an organization should be referred to the Office of the Dean of Students for investigation and adjudication.
a. In all cases of alleged violations of this policy, the organization advisor, University department/associate, and general headquarters of the organization (when applicable) will be notified.
b. During the period of formal investigation or adjudication of alleged violations of this policy, all new member-related activities, organization activities, and University recognition or sponsorship of the organization may be placed on interim suspension.
- Charges of violations of this policy by a student should be referred to the Office of the Dean of Students for investigation and adjudication conducted in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct and Judicial Process.
- The University, organizations, and individuals may also be criminally charged under applicable laws.
The following groups or individuals may lodge a complaint in regard to this policy:
- Any student organization as a group.
- Any individual member of a student organization.
- Any pledge/associate member of a student organization.
- Any probationary student organization as a group.
- Any probationary member.
- Advisor of a student organization.
- Alumni of a student organization.
- Any individual affiliated with the university.
- Possible sanctions include but are not limited to:
a. Educational Sanctions – Educational sanctions typically include one or more of the following: program, workshop, personal development workshops, community service, behavioral contract, administrative referral, and other related educational assignments. These sanctions are designed to promote self-awareness of behavior, awareness of appropriate/inappropriate behavior, awareness of institutional expectations, and to educate the organization in the specific area of their violation.
b. Written Warning – A written reprimand noting that a policy violation occurred emphasizing that further violations would result in progressive sanctioning. An organization may also be issued a written warning in unique circumstances when a policy violation has not been formally proven, but questionable conduct has occurred. An organization receiving a written warning shall continue to exercise the rights and privileges of an organization in good standing.
c. Organizational Probation Level One – An imposed probationary status, noting that a policy violation occurred, thus rendering an organization not in good disciplinary standing with Bloomsburg University. Further violations could result in progressive sanctioning, suspension or revocation of University recognition. Additional stipulations may be imposed that are consistent with the nature of the offense.
d. Organizational Probation Level Two – An imposed probationary status, noting that a policy violation occurred specific to a progressive or more serious violation. Thus, rendering an organization not in good disciplinary standing with Bloomsburg University. Further violations could result in progressive sanctioning, suspension or revocation of University recognition. Additional stipulations may be imposed that are consistent with the nature of the offense.
e. Suspension in Abeyance – The highest probationary status rendering an organization not in good disciplinary standing with Bloomsburg University. Further violations will most likely result in suspension or revocation of University recognition. Additional stipulations may be imposed that are consistent with the nature of the offense. This is an organization’s last opportunity to make serious changes in behaviors in order to remain a recognized organization at Bloomsburg University.
f. Suspension of University Recognition – Suspension of recognition is an organization’s immediate loss of all rights and privileges associated with University recognition, complete suspension of all organizational activities, and may include conditions for reinstatement of recognition. The organization will be notified that the University no longer recognizes them for a specified period. An organization that violates the terms of the suspension may be subject to permanent revocation of recognition.
g. Revocation of University Recognition – Revocation of recognition includes an organization’s permanent loss of University recognition. Organizations that violate policies and regulations or the terms of any previous disciplinary action are subject to permanent loss of recognition.
- Any reasonable sanction(s) may be imposed by the Office of the Dean of Students at the conclusion of an adjudicative process. Additional sanctions not listed above may be imposed, if reasonable, upon the approval of the Dean of Students.
- In order to determine appropriate sanction(s), mitigating or aggravating circumstances may be considered.
University Antihazing Program
The University will maintain an Antihazing Program within the Office of the Dean of Students for purposes of ensuring the University’s rules, penalties, annual reporting, organizational training, antihazing policy dissemination and posting.
The University will maintain records of hazing allegations, violations, and adjudication within the Office of the Dean of Students for a minimum of five years.
Any student who participates in hazing is subject to the Student Code of Conduct and may be suspended or expelled from the University. Hazing is a criminal offense. Any student who participates in hazing may be arrested and prosecuted. Convictions may result in applicable penalty under the Pennsylvania Crimes Code.