Student Organizations and Hazing

Student Organization and Hazing

Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Anti-Hazing Law Act 175 of 1986 (Anti-Hazing Law) of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania prohibits students and student organizations from hazing applicants for membership and from hazing persons who are already members to maintain their memberships in organizations. Act 175 provides that no student can consent to being hazed. Any activity falling within the definition of hazing activities is considered to be a forced activity, subjecting the organization and its members to the full range of penalties

Hazing Definitions

Hazing is defined by Pennsylvania Statute as "Any action or a situation which recklessly or intentionally endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a student or which willfully destroys or removes public or private property for the purpose of initiation or admission into or affiliation with, or as a condition for continued membership in any organization operating under the sanction of, or recognized as, an organization by an institution of higher education. The term shall include, but not be limited to, any brutality of a physical nature, such as whipping, beating, branding, forced calisthenics, exposure to the elements, forced consumption of any food, liquor, drug or other substance, or any other forced physical activity which could adversely affect the physical health and safety of the individual, and shall include any activity which would subject the individual to extreme mental stress, such as sleep deprivation, forced exclusion from social contact, forced conduct which could result in extreme embarrassment, or any other forced activity which could adversely affect the mental health or dignity of the individual, or any willful destruction or removal of public or private property. For purposes of this definition, any activity as described in this definition upon which the initiation or admission into or affiliation with or continued membership in an organization is directly or indirectly conditioned shall be presumed to be "forced" activity, the willingness of an individual to participate in such activity notwithstanding. (24 P.S.§ 5352)

Additionally, the FIPG (Fraternal Information & Programming Group) Risk Management Policy defines hazing as "Any action taken or situation created, intentionally, whether on or off fraternity 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 chapter house; 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 academic achievement, fraternal law, ritual or policy or the regulations and policies of the educational institution or applicable state law."