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Hazing Policy

In keeping with JMU's expectations for a positive academic environment, the university unconditionally opposes any situation created intentionally to produce mental or physical discomfort, embarrassment, harassment or ridicule. Hazing, under Virginia law, is defined as activities for the initiation or induction into an organization which include calisthenics or other strenuous physical activity; exposure to inclement weather; consumption of food, liquid, beverage, drug or other substance; confinement in any room or compartment; spraying, painting or pelting with any substance; burying in any substance; burning, branding or tattooing or another activity which may result in physical injury or endanger the health or life of the individual being hazed.

J17-101 Section 18.2-56 of the Code of Virginia, as amended, which 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.  It is hereby incorporated as part of this policy and will serve as a guide for action by the university when hazing results in bodily injury. 

Hazing Information

The following activities have at one time or another been construed as hazing.  Such actions are often required or implied as conditions necessary for an individual to be included in a group. The list is not inclusive of all possible hazing violations at the university. Organizations that are found to be in violation of this policy are subject to discipline by the university and may lose their status as recognized student organizations of the university.  Individual members/interest(s) that are found to be in violation of the Code of Student Conduct may be disciplined in accordance with established university procedures.

Hazing may include but is not limited to the following activities:

  • Requiring calisthenics such as sit-ups, pushups, runs or any form of physically abusive exercise
  • Forcing or requiring consumption of alcoholic beverages or any drug
  • Requiring the ingestion of any undesirable or unwanted substance (i.e. spoiled food, insects, raw eggs, etc.)
  • Total nudity at any time
  • Paddle swats
  • Pushing, shoving or attacking associate/pledge members
  • Assigning "pranks" such as stealing, painting objects, panty raids and harassing another organization
  • Calling associates by degrading names such as "scum"
  • Activities which allow associates/pledges less than six continuous hours of sleep
  • Required road trips and kidnapping of associates or members
  • Running up stairs while reading material
  • Yelling, screaming or use of obscenities at pledges/associates
  • Activities which encourage failure of associates/pledges to comply with the directions of faculty, staff or other university officials
  • Burning, branding or tattooing any part of the body, whether voluntarily or involuntarily
  • Activities which call for blindfolding, confinement, jumping from heights and other potentially dangerous activities
  • Intentional actions that obstruct, disrupt or physically interfere with the use of university premises, buildings, streets or other facility of the university
  • Activities which encourage failure to comply with the laws of local, state or federal government

Any chapter found in violation of JMU Hazing Policy will be brought under review by CMSS.