Hazing is defined by the FIPG (Fraternity Insurance Purchasing Group) as:
“Any action taken or situation created, intentionally, whether on or off school premises, to produce mental or physical discomfort, embarrassment, harassment, or ridicule. Such activities may include but are not limited to the following: use of alcohol; paddling in any form; creation of excessive fatigue; physical and psychological shocks; quests, treasure hunts, scavenger hunts, road trips or any other such activities carried on outside or inside of the confines of the school; wearing of public apparel which is conspicuous and not normally in good taste; engaging in public stunts and buffoonery; morally degrading or humiliating games and activities; and any other activities which are not consistent with team policy or the regulations and policies of the educational institution.”
- If you have to ask if it’s hazing, it is.
- If in doubt, call your Principal/Athletic Director/coach.
- If you haze, you have low self-esteem.
- If you allow hazing to occur, you are a ‘hazing enabler.’
- Failure to stop hazing will result in death…”
“From Will Keim, Ph.D., “The Power of Caring”
Examples of Hazing
The following are examples of hazing by category. It is impossible to list all hazing activities, so this list is not intended to be all-inclusive.
SUBTLE HAZING: Actions that are against accepted team and school standards of conduct, behavior and good tastes. An activity or attitude directed towards a team member or an act which ridicules, humiliates or embarrasses.
- Never doing anything with the new athletes
- Calling new athletes demeaning name
- Silence periods for athletes
- Requiring new athletes to call Vet Mr., Miss etc.
- Scaring new team members with what may happen at an initiation
HARASSMENT HAZING: Anything that causes mental anguish or physical discomfort to the team member. Any activity or activity directed toward a team member or activity which confuses, frustrates or causes undue stress.
- Verbal abuse
- Any form of questioning under pressure or in an uncomfortable position
- Requiring new team members to wear ridiculous costumes or perform ridiculous activities
- Treating new athletes as less than equal of veteran athletes
- Stunt or skit nights/events with demeaning /dangerous and/or crude skits and/or poems
- Requiring new athletes to perform personal service to actives such as carrying books, running errands, performing maid duties, etc.
Myths & Facts About Hazing
Myth #1: Hazing is a problem for fraternities and sororities primarily. 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 pre-meditated 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 the 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 those who have hazed them. Just like other forms of victimization, hazing breed’s 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–it’s 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 following questions:
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 being 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 coach or school official?
- 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.
Adapted from Death By Hazing Sigma Alpha & http://www.stophazing.org