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Hazing Incidents

If you've been the victim of a hazing incident or have knowledge of alleged hazing activity, email us at


This program provides a confidential and anonymous method for reporting illegal or unethical conduct that violates Miami's policies. For more information, see Confidential Reporting.

National Hazing Hotline

Monitored by a Cincinnati law firm, callers may remain anonymous when using this system. Reports of suspected hazing are relayed to the national fraternity or sorority that may be involved. Call 1-888-NOT-HAZE (1-888-668-4293).

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, 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.

Additional Resources


Campus Safety Magazine—How to Prevent Hazing
Melissa Lucchesi, outreach education coordinator of Security On Campus Inc., provides ideas for promoting group cohesiveness as alternatives to hazing.

The Chronicle of Higher Education—To Combat Hazing, Work With Small Groups
This letter to the editor, written by President Emeritus Robert Iosue of York College of Pennsylvania, encourages schools to tackle the problem of hazing at the smallest possible level.

This national organization is dedicated to hazing prevention in college and university student groups. Visit their website for hazing facts, special programming information, and to stay informed by signing up for their free e-newsletter.

Inside Hazing—Understanding Hazardous Hazing
Dr. Susan Lipkins, a psychologist and leading expert in the field of hazing, provides a wealth of information on the topic, including statistics, proposed legislation, national headlines, and recommended reading.

National Collaborative for Hazing Research and Prevention
Believing that data-driven prevention is essential to eradicating hazing, this organization conducts research and campus climate assessments to promote healthy student development and positive campus climates. For information on their national agenda to prevent hazing as well as key reports, including findings from the most comprehensive study of hazing to date, visit their website.
This website was created to help educate thousands of students, parents, and educators on the topic of hazing. Recommended reading materials as well as suggested avenues for personal involvement are just a few of the resources that can be found here.


Anti-Hazing iPhone App
Developed with assistance from an advisory committee of hazing experts, this free application provides an easy way to learn about this dangerous practice and report it as it happens.

Anti-Hazing Literature
View postcards produced for an anti-hazing campaign to communicate the no-hazing message to Miami students and parents.

Common Myths About Hazing

Myth: There are multiple definitions and they are so vague. Therefore, hazing is open to interpretation.

Reality: Read the definitions provided by Miami University, the Ohio state law regarding hazing, or the policy of your student's fraternity or sorority. Use common sense—does the activity seem to violate those definitions? If there is any feeling that it may be hazing, it probably is.

Myth: New members expect to and want to be hazed.

Reality: Unfortunately, this is sometimes true. But generally, most people do not want to be humiliated, intimidated, or abused.

Myth: Hazing "only a little bit" or "minor hazing" isn't that bad.

Reality: It is these situations that frequently go too far and inflict unintended harm on others—especially when alcohol is involved. Just like speeding in a car—there are not levels of violating speed limits. You are either hazing or not.

Myth: Hazing builds unity and teamwork among members.

Reality: This is the most frequent argument used by hazers and hazing organizations. The outcomes may seem to work, but there are underlying consequences. Think about how tragedy affects a group—the experience may bring individuals together, but it should not have to come through someone having to suffer.

Myth: Hazing is okay if it is not physically dangerous.

Reality: This is the second most frequent argument used for hazing. Non-physical hazing typically involves illegal activities or mental abuse, both of which bring consequences that stay with the victims for some time.

Myth: If someone agrees to participate in the activity, it can't be considered hazing.

Reality: A common misconception about hazing is consent. As with all crimes, consent is not a valid defense. Hazing is about intention. Consent typically comes through peer pressure, threats, or intentional omission of details of the proposed event.

Myth: Hazing has been around for decades. If the alumni went through it, the new members can.

Reality: "Tradition" does not justify hazing. Traditions are created by groups, and the groups hold the power to change the traditions. Students run fraternity and sorority chapters—not alumni.

Myth: Eliminating hazing makes the pledge program too easy. We want tough, dedicated members.

Reality: Hazing is NOT necessary to join any group. If the argument were true, it would be required by the national organizations. The common experiences of pledging an organization is what brings a group together—NOT the type of experiences.

Myth: Other organizations and students on campus won't respect a chapter that doesn't haze.

Reality: It is a common assumption that everyone hazes or all other groups haze. This is obviously false. Most groups that claim that they do not haze in fact do not haze. Organizations that ignore or avoid the issue during recruitment probably have something to hide or are afraid to admit to.

Frequently Asked Questions

How exactly do you define hazing?

There are many definitions. Miami University describes hazing as "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...."

What types of activities should my student be participating in when joining a fraternity or sorority?

Most national fraternities and sororities have 6–8 week education programs that typically impart the history and characteristics of the organization, as well as allowing new members to get to know other members of the group. ALL national organizations and Miami University prohibit the use of drugs and alcohol during these programs. Most education programs culminate with an examination of the aforementioned material, and a formal initiation ritual. Typically, only the initiation ritual is secret and closed to members. Inquire about and report any activities you perceive to be harmful, unlawful, or unnecessary to joining the group.

How can hazing be reported?

If you witness or suspect hazing, please contact the appropriate university officials immediately. Hazing can be reported via email to Unlawful behavior should always be reported to the police. There is an anonymous method for reporting illegal, unethical or other conduct that violates Miami's policies, EthicsPoint ( There is also a national hazing hotline 1-888-NOT-HAZE (1-888-668-4293).

Will my student or his/her organization know if I report them for hazing?

As with any investigation, confidentiality is strictly enforced. What matters is identifying what, if any wrongdoing occurred, not who reported it.

I was hazed, and I turned out fine. Why the big deal?

Unfortunately, things have changed from one generation to the next. Hazing has digressed from harmless fun to frequently alcohol-influenced situations where your student's welfare can be at great risk. Nearly all hazing deaths and serious injury involve alcohol.

My student and his/her friends say that hazing occurs in every organization. Why have you not stopped it?

It is our hope that your student will not join an organization that hazes its members. Despite their rationale for hazing, individuals and organizations know it is wrong. For this reason, most hazing occurs off-campus and at night, and involves individuals outside of the organization. This makes it difficult for the university to enforce policy and laws involving its students. We cannot investigate allegations of hazing without a reasonable and concrete report of misconduct.

What should I look for to see if my student is being hazed?

Look for uncharacteristic changes in your student such as appearance, dress, behavior, etc. Have you lost contact with them for more than one day?

How can I approach my student about hazing in the group he/she wants to join?

Start by asking your student—point blank—to explain the things they are doing to join the group. Ask for a copy of the new member education program or "pledge program." Ask what a typical week is like for them. NO secrets are shared during pledging, so your student should be able to share their program with you.

Are students pledging fraternities and sororities required to live in fraternity houses or sorority suites?

Absolutely not. Your student signed a contract to reside on campus, and that is their only home during the school year. Fraternities and sororities may not require new members to reside in the chapter house or on the chapter floor.

My student mentioned participating in "Hell Week." What is this?

"Hell Week" is a common hazing practice consisting of a week of particularly high-risk activities leading up to initiation in a fraternity or sorority. Hell Weeks are strictly prohibited by Miami University and ALL national fraternity and sorority organizations recognized by Miami.