Copyright 2018 by Reilly Corey

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Higdon Leadership Center

69 Coming Street

Charleston, SC 29401

 

Phone: 843.953.6320

Fax: 843.953.0851

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Hazing Facts

 

Make the following inquiries of each activity to determine whether or not it is hazing: 

  • Is alcohol involved?
  • Will active/current members of the group refuse to participate with the new members and do exactly what they’re asked to do?
  • Does the activity risk emotional or physical abuse?
  • Is there risk of injury or a question of safety?
  • Do you have any reservation describing the activity to your parents, to a professor or College official?
  • Would we get in trouble if an Office of Student Life staff member walked by?
  • Are you being asked/ asking others to keep these activities secret?
  • Is something illegal going on?
  • Does participation violate personal values or those of the organization?
  • Would you object to the activity being photographed for the school newspaper or filmed by the local TV news crew?
  •  
If the answer to any of these questions is ‘yes,’ the activity is probably hazing.
 
 
In addition, it is important to have conversations with new members about hazing. If a new member was asked by an initiated member to do something that could potentially be considered hazing, would he or she really says no?
 
 
 

MYTHS AND FACTS ABOUT HAZING

Myth #1: Hazing a primarily a problem in only fraternities and sororities.

Fact: Hazing is a societal problem. Hazing incidents have been frequently documented in the military, athletic teams, marching bands, religious cults, professional schools, and other types of clubs and/or, organizations. Reports of hazing activities in high schools are on the rise.
 
 

Myth #2: Hazing is no more than foolish pranks that sometimes go awry.

Fact: Hazing is an act of power and control over others – it is victimization. Hazing is premeditated and NOT accidental. Hazing is abusive, degrading and often life-threatening.
 
 

Myth #3: As long as there’s no malicious intent, a little hazing should be O.K.

  • Fact: Even if there’s no malicious intent, safety may still be a factor in traditional hazing activities that are considered to be all in good fun. For example: serious accidents have occurred during scavenger hunts and kidnapping trips. Besides, what purpose do such activities serve in promoting growth and development of group team members?
 
 

Myth #4: Hazing is an effective way to teach respect and develop discipline.

  • Fact: First of all, respect must be earned- not taught. Victims of hazing rarely report having respect for these who have hazed them. Just like other forms victimization, hazing breeds mistrust, apathy and alienation.
 
 

Myth #5: If someone agrees to participate in an activity, it can’t be considered hazing.

  • Fact: In states that have laws against hazing, consent of the victim can’t be used as a defense in a civil suit. This is because even if someone agrees to participate in a potentially hazardous action it may not be true consent when considering the peer pressure and desire to belong to the group
 
 

Myth #6: It’s difficult to determine whether or not a certain activity is hazing- its such a gray area sometimes.

  • Fact: It’s not difficult to decide if an activity is hazing if you use common sense and ask yourself the questions listed on the previous page.
 
 

Statistics

  • 1.5 million high school students are hazed each year; 47% of students came to college already having experienced hazing.

  • 55% of college students involved in clubs, teams and organizations experience hazing.

  • 40% of athletes who reported being involved in hazing behaviors report that a coach or advisor was aware of the activity; 22% report that the coach was involved.

  • One out of five students say that they are aware of hazing taking place on their campus. More that one out of five report that they witnessed hazing personally.

  • In 95% of cases where students identified their experience as hazing, they did not report the events to campus officials.

  • Nine out of ten students who have experienced hazing behavior in college do not consider themselves to have been hazed.

  • As of February 12, 2010 the number of recorded hazing/pledging/rushing-related deaths in fraternities and sororities stands at 96 – 90 males and 6 females.

  • 82% of deaths from hazing involve alcohol.