Hazing Policy

The purpose of this policy is to ensure that students at the University of Mary Washington are not subjected to hazing. Hazing is an unproductive and hazardous activity that has no place at the University of Mary Washington, either on or off campus. Hazing is injurious to the individuals involved, and to the University itself.

This policy applies to all individuals and recognized groups associated with the University of Mary Washington, including, but not limited to, administrators, coaches, faculty, organization advisors, staff, students, athletic teams and clubs, bands, and student organizations.

As it is impossible to anticipate every situation that could constitute hazing, this list does not, and cannot, encompass every circumstance that will cause the University to discipline individuals or groups for hazing. This policy is not intended to prohibit the following conduct:

1. Customary athletic events, contests, or competitions that are sponsored by the institution, or the organized and supervised practices associated with such events; or

2. Any activity or conduct that furthers the goals of a legitimate educational curriculum or extracurricular program, as approved by the Institution.

Hazing shall include, but not be limited to, forcing, compelling, requiring, encouraging, or expecting, whether direct or implied, any individual to participate in any of the following actions or activities:

1. Paddling;

2. Kidnapping;

3. All forms of physical activity which are used to harass, punish, or harm an individual;

4. Excursions or road trips;

5. Confinement;

6. Spraying, painting, or pelting with any substance;

7. Burying in any substance;

8. Nudity with the intent to cause embarrassment;

9. Servitude;

10. Exposure to uncomfortable elements;

11. Verbal abuse;

12. Wearing, in public, of apparel which is conspicuous and/or indecent;

13. Forcing consumption of alcohol or any other substance, legal or illegal;

14. Depriving students of sufficient sleep (six consecutive hours per day is normally considered to be a minimum);

15. Burning, branding, or tattooing any part of the body;

16. Psychological hazing, defined as any act which is likely to:

a. Compromise an individual’s dignity;

b. Cause an individual embarrassment or shame;

c. Cause an individual to be the object of malicious amusement or ridicule; or

d. Cause an individual emotional distress;

17. Interrogating an individual in an intimidating or threatening manner;

18. Misleading prospective members in an effort to convince them that they will not become members unless they complete tasks, follow instructions, or act in a certain way;

19. Misleading prospective members into believing that they will be hurt during induction or initiation;

20. Carrying any items (shields, paddles, bricks, hammers, etc.) that serve no constructive purpose or that are designed to punish or embarrass the carrier;

21. Blindfolding and parading individuals in public areas, blindfolding and transporting in a motor vehicle, or privately conducting blindfolding activities that serve no constructive purpose;

22. Binding or restricting an individual in any way that would prohibit them from moving on their own; and

23. Requiring or suggesting that an individual obtain or possess items or complete tasks in an unlawful manner (i.e. for a scavenger hunt).

Hazing also includes soliciting, directing, aiding, or otherwise participating actively or passively in the above acts.

This policy encompasses all acts of hazing that occur whether on or off campus. As such, an act of hazing by an individual or organization will be viewed by the University as a violation of its hazing policy, regardless of where the act of hazing took place.

An individual may not consent to being hazed, and a victim’s voluntary or willful participation in hazing activities will not be considered as a defense against a violation of the University’s hazing policy by an individual or organization.

The University of Mary Washington urges all members of the University to promptly report all hazing incidents online.

Hazing, as defined in this statement, is prohibited under the Code of Virginia as well as by the University’s policies. Any individual or organization found to be in violation of this policy shall be subject to appropriate disciplinary action in accordance with applicable law.

§ 18.2-56 of the Code of Virginia states: “the institution’s policies and procedures shall provide for expulsions or other appropriate discipline based on the facts and circumstances of each case and shall be consistent with the model policies established by the Department of Education or the State Council of Higher Education, as applicable.”

I. Responsibility of individuals and organizations

Hazing is prohibited by the Code of Conduct. Both individuals and organizations may be held responsible for their actions and participation in incidents of hazing. If an investigation concludes that an individual or individuals directed, engaged in, aided or otherwise participated in, actively or passively, an incident of hazing, disciplinary action may be imposed against the individual(s). If the investigation concludes that an organization knowingly permitted, authorized, or condoned hazing, disciplinary action may be imposed against the entire organization.

II. Retaliation

It shall be a violation of this policy for an individual or organization to retaliate against a student or other person for reporting a suspected incident of hazing or cooperating in any investigation or disciplinary proceeding regarding an incident of hazing. Harassment and/or intimidation of a member of a conduct body prior to, during, and/or after a conduct proceeding are prohibited by the Code of Conduct.