JMU’s full language for our hazing policy can be found at the JMU Student Handbook and on Student Leadership and Involvement’s About Hazing page. It is the responsibility of student organization leadership to read and understand these policies, and enforce a strict anti-hazing policy, for the safety of every organization member.

Hazing activities can include, but are not limited to:

  • physical abuse
  • kidnapping
  • blindfolding
  • confinement, or binding and/or restricting movement
  • calisthenics or other strenuous 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 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 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.

If your group would like more information about hazing alternatives Student Leadership and Involvement would be glad to assist you at any time.

Hazing Alternatives

JMU is committed to the positive education of new members in the process of joining an organization; this process should create better members through the development of maturity and leadership. We believe that organizations should focus on achievement of positive standards for achieving and maintain membership in a student organization.

The following alternatives are recommended to create positive traditions:

Develop Leadership

Assign and involve new members in organizational committees for fund-raising activities, community service projects, public relations, new member recruitment and retention, etc.

Involve your Organization with the University

Encourage members to participate in university committees, the Student Government Association, First-Year Orientation, intramural sports and other organizations; invite university faculty and staff members to conduct presentations

Instill a Sense of Unity Within Your Organization

Plan special events for members such as a holding a retreat, attending a football game or cultural event, honoring your adviser or having a formal dinner and dance. Remember, retaining members is just as important as recruiting members.

Protecting Student Rights

To ensure awareness of the university’s policy against hazing, each organization must affirm that they have read and understand JMU’s Hazing Policy during the Annual Registration Process for student organizations. The student leader completing the registration affirms they read the policy and will inform fellow leadership of the policy. Failure to affirm this policy will lead to the organization losing recognition and privileges.

Student Leadership and Involvement may conduct an orientation for student organizations who have initiation and pledging activities. The orientation will be designed to give all members greater insight into hazing policies and laws and their individual responsibilities.

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