Hazing Prevention and Education

What is Hazing?

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

Is This 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 Policy

In keeping with its commitment to a positive academic environment, the BGSU community is unconditionally opposed to any situation created intentionally to produce mental or physical discomfort, embarrassment, harassment or ridicule. Respect and cooperation among peers within recognized student organizations is a guaranteed right that all students possess, regardless of  race, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, color, national origin, ancestry, genetic information, pregnancy, religion, age, marital status, disability, or status as a veteran. Hazing is a Code of Student Conduct violation and a crime in Ohio.

When done intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly for the purpose of initiating, admitting, or affiliating an individual into or with a band, athletic team, club, or recognized student organization, or for the purpose of continuing or enhancing an individual's membership or status in a band, athletic team, club, or recognized student organization, the Code of Student Conduct prohibits, causing, coersing, or forcing an individual to do any of the following:

  • Consume an food, liquid, drug, or other substance.
  • Endure any act of a physical nature including, but not limited to, whipping, beating, branding, paddling, kicking, pushing, shoving, tackling, calisthenics, or exposure to the elements.
  • Endure any act which may adversely affect teh mental health or dignity of the individual including, but not limited to, sleep deprivation, exclusion from social contact, or conduct that could result in extreme embarrassment or degradation.
  • Any activity which has the potential to be frightening, degrading, or unduly deceptive, including deception designed to convince the individual of impending 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, 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 be nude.
  • Endure or participate in any 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.
  • Any destruction or removal of public or private property.
  • Any violation of federal, state, or local law or rule or University policy.

Hazing does not include reasonable and customary athletic, law enforcement, or military training, contests, competitions, or events that are explicitly relevant to the mission of the band, athletic team, club, or recognized student organization.

Expressed or implied consent to hazing does not prevent the behavior from being considered a violation of this policy.

Failing to intervene to prevent, failing to discourage, and/or failing to report those acts may also violate the Code of Student Conduct.

If you are in immediate danger or need to seek medical assistance call 911 or BGSU Police at 419-372-2346.

Reporting Hazing

Any individual affiliate with the BGSU Community can file a hazing complaint by calling The Office of the Dean of Students at 419-372-2843, BGSU Police at 419-372-2346, the Hazing Hotline at  419-372-HAZE(4293) or by submitting an electronic report.

See It. Hear It. Report It.