Date of Current Revision:

The university prohibits hazing, including any activity or behavior that creates emotional distress, physical discomfort, embarrassment, shame, harassment, malicious amusement, or ridicule in connection with or the purpose of initiation, admission into, or affiliation with or as a condition for continued membership in a club, organization, or association, regardless of whether the student effected participates voluntarily in the relevant activity. Students directing, engaging in, aiding, or participating in, actively or passively, the forcing, compelling, requiring, encouraging, or expecting, whether direct or implied, of individuals to participate in hazing activities shall be considered in violation of this policy. 

It is impossible to anticipate every situation that could involve hazing. Behavior listed below does not and cannot encompass every circumstance that can be categorized as hazing, but this policy does in some circumstances prohibit activities beyond those outlined by the State Council on Higher Education in Virginia’s model hazing policy. Further, this policy is not intended to prohibit customary athletic events, contests, competitions, or trainings that are sponsored by the University, the organized and supervised practices associated with such events, or activity or conduct that furthers the goals of a legitimate curriculum or program as approved by the University.

Hazing activities include but are not limited to; physical abuse; kidnapping, blindfolding and parading individuals in public areas, blindfolding and transporting in a motor vehicle, or privately conducting blindfolding activities that serve no constructive purpose, confinement, or binding and/or restricting movement; calisthenics or physical activity used to harass, punish, or harm an individual; excursions; spraying, painting, or pelting with any substance; burying in any substance; nudity; servitude; exposure to uncomfortable elements; verbal abuse or harassment; wearing of apparel which is embarrassing, conspicuous or indecent;  forcing consumption of any legal or illegal substance (e.g. food, liquid, beverage, alcohol, drug, or other substance); depriving of sufficient sleep; burning, branding, or tattooing; interrogation in an intimidating or threatening manner; misleading members in an effort to convince them that they will not become or remain members unless they complete tasks, follow instructions, or act in a certain way; misleading members into believing that they will be hurt or pain will result during induction or initiation; carrying items that serve no constructive purpose or that are designed to punish or embarrass the carrier; requiring or suggesting obtaining, possessing items or completing tasks in an unlawful manner (i.e. scavenger hunts); any act that is designed to or likely to compromise the dignity of a member or prospective member, cause embarrassment or shame to a member or prospective member, cause a member or prospective member to be the object of malicious amusement, ridicule, or emotional strain, or cause psychological harm or substantial emotional strain; or any other activity which may result in physical injury or endanger the health or life of the individual being hazed.

An individual cannot consent to being hazed; a victim’s voluntary or willful participation in hazing activities will not be considered evidence that a violation of this policy did not occur.

Section 18.2-56 of the Code of Virginia declares hazing illegal, establishes conditions for civil and criminal liability, and outlines the duties of the university when a student has been found guilty of hazing in civil or criminal court.

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