Anti-Hazing FAQ

Q: How exactly do you define hazing?

A: Under Collin's Law and University policy, hazing is defined as doing, requiring, encouraging or coercing another, including the victim, to do:

  • any act of initiation into any student organization or other University sanctioned organization or athletic team; or
  • any act to continue or reinstate membership in or affiliation with any student organization or other University sanctioned organization or athletic team,

that causes or creates a substantial risk of causing mental or physical harm to any person, including coercing another to consume alcohol or another drug.

Failure to intervene, prevent or report any act of hazing may also constitute a violation

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

A: 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.

Q: How can hazing be reported?

A: Students who have been hazed, witnessed, or have knowledge of a possible hazing incident, should report the incident immediately to the Office Community Standards, Miami University Police, and/or local law enforcement. If emergency assistance is required, call 911. Miami University Police: 513-529-2222

Office of Community Standards

EthicsPoint provides a confidential and anonymous method for reporting illegal or unethical conduct that violates Miami's policies at 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).

Ohio Law (ORC 2903.311) requires all University administrators, staff, faculty members, consultants, alumni and volunteers to report any knowledge of hazing to a law enforcement agency in which the victim of hazing resides or in which the hazing is occurring or has occurred. Failure to report is a criminal offense.

Q: I was hazed in my fraternity and sorority experience, and I turned out fine. What's the big deal?

A: 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.

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

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

Q: How can I approach my student about hazing in their fraternity or sorority?

A: Start by asking your student – point blank – to explain the things they are doing to join their fraternity or sorority. 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.

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

A: 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.

Q: My student mentioned participating in ‘Hell Week.’ What is this?

A: ‘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.