Student Affairs and Student Success

Hazing

The HSU Student Handbook (Student Community Standards) definition of hazing applies to all registered organizations, intercollegiate athletic teams, social fraternities and sororities, and other groups (e.g., academic organizations):

"Any mental or physical requirement, request or obligation placed upon any person that could intentionally or unintentionally cause discomfort, pain, fright, disgrace, injury or which is personally degrading for the purpose of initiation into, admission into, affiliation with, or as a condition of continued membership in, a group or organization.  A person’s expressed or implied consent to hazing does not negate the above standards."


ARKANSAS STATE DEFINITIONS AND PENALTIES

Arkansas State Hazing Law

According to Arkansas State Law § 6-5-203, Penalties:

(a) The offense of hazing is a Class B misdemeanor

(b) Upon conviction of any student of the offense of hazing, he shall, in addition to any punishment imposed by the court, be expelled from the school, college, university, or other educational institution he is attending.


EXAMPLES OF HAZING

Hazing can be subtle, harassing, or violent in nature. It can manifest itself in the form of physical violence, forced physical activities, or psychological and/or emotional harm, which can be violations of law. Although it is impossible to list all possible hazing behaviors because many are context-specific, the list below provides some common examples of hazing behaviors. It is important to note, however, that these categories do not negate nor lessen an allegation of hazing. Regardless of category, hazing is hazing and is not welcome at A-State.

“Subtle” Hazing

“Subtle” hazing refers to activities that are often taken for granted or accepted as “harmless” or meaningless. There is an emphasis placed on a power imbalance between new members and other members of the organization, thus leading to activities or attitudes that breach reasonable standards of mutual respect, and place new members on the receiving end of ridicule or embarrassment. New members often feel the need to endure subtle hazing to feel like part of the organization. Examples may include:

  • Requiring new members to perform unnecessary duties not assigned to existing members

  • Required calisthenics such as sit-ups or push-ups, or other forms of physical exercise

  • Sleep deprivation

  • The assignment of meaningless and sometimes impossible tasks

  • Required “greeting” of members in a specific manner when seen on campus

  • Required carrying of certain items

  • Required walking in groups to class, the cafeteria, etc.

  • Restriction of communication

“Harassment” Hazing

“Harassment” hazing confuses, frustrates, and causes undue stress for new members. This behavior has the potential to cause emotional anguish and/or physical discomfort.(Note: Some types of harassment hazing can also be considered violent hazing.) Examples may include: 

  • Yelling or screaming

  • Personal servitude or chores

  • Lineups for the purpose of interrogating, demeaning, or intimidating

  • Wearing of embarrassing or uncomfortable clothing

  • Assigning pranks such as stealing, painting objects, or harassing other organizations

  • Forced confinement, oftentimes involving very loud music and/or the repetition of a specific song

  • Being dropped off somewhere and forced to find the way back

“Violent” Hazing

“Violent” hazing is behavior that has the potential to cause physical, emotional, and/or psychological harm. It often includes activities that tend to be the most extreme types of hazing. Examples may include: 

  • Capturing or kidnapping

  • Total or partial nudity

  • Compelled sexual activity

  • Pushing, shoving, tackling, or any other physical contact

  • Forced consumption of any liquid or food, often involving alcohol and/or gross food combinations

  • Paddling or whipping

  • Branding, cutting, labeling, or shaving parts of the body

Adapted from The University of Texas at Austin


STILL UNSURE IF IT IS HAZING? ASK YOURSELF...

  • Would I feel uncomfortable participating in this activity if my family were watching?

  • Would a University administrator disapprove of this activity?

  • Am I being asked to keep these activities a secret?

  • Am I doing anything illegal?

  • Does participation in an activity violate my values or those of my organization?

  • Is it causing emotional distress or stress of any kind to me or others?

If you answered "Yes" to any of these questions, please make a report HERE.