What is Hazing?
Simply put, hazing can be described as any incident or activity that may or may not cause mental or physical harm to a student looking to join an organization. Informal and unofficial acts of initiation are strictly prohibited. Hazing is not about "earning your way in" or "building loyalty and teamwork." It is about exerting control over another human being.
Hazing violates the Miami University Code of Student Conduct, Ohio state law, and the policies of every fraternity and sorority recognized by Miami University. Violation of these policies and laws can be enforced only when reported to the university.
Code of Student Conduct—2.1.I Hazing
Coercing another, including the victim, to do any act of initiation into, or as a condition of participation in, a student organization, fraternity or sorority, or activity that causes or creates a substantial risk of causing physical or mental harm to any person is prohibited. Examples of prohibited behavior include forced drinking of alcohol or water, paddling, creation of fatigue, physical shocks, degrading or humiliating games, physical harassment, branding, public stunts, and forced tattoos.
A National Issue
The National Collaborative on Hazing Research and Prevention recently conducted the most comprehensive national study on hazing to date. The investigation included survey responses from more than 11,000 students from 53 universities and colleges in different regions of the U.S. Initial findings of the National Study of Student Hazing are found in their report, Hazing in View: College Students at Risk (PDF 500KB), and include the following facts:
- More than half of college students involved in clubs, teams, and organizations experience hazing.
- Nearly half (47%) of students have experienced hazing prior to coming to college.
- Alcohol consumption, humiliation, isolation, sleep- deprivation, and sex acts are hazing practices common across student groups.
Hazing Education at Miami
Miami's Division of Student Affairs educates and informs parents and students about hazing several times annually. Anti-hazing efforts include the following:
- Hosting national speakers and programs on the topic of hazing annually during National Hazing Prevention Week early fall semester.
- Sponsoring activities through the Cliff Alexander Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life and Leadership. This office does the following: sends postcards and other marketing material to current and new Greek members and parents of new members; hosts discussions by the Interfraternity Council with all 31 chapter presidents regarding hazing prevention strategies and accountability issues; sponsors a seminar by the Director of Fraternity and Sorority Life and Leadership at fraternity new member and chapter meetings about the dangers of hazing and the expectations of students; and trains chapter educators and new members so they can comprehensively inform students of policies and inspire them to act and lead in a way reflecting the values of their organization.
For more on the topic of hazing that includes information provided by such organizations as the National Collaborative on Hazing Research and Prevention and Security on Campus, Inc., see Additional Resources.