Hazing and Pre-initiation Activities

  1. Hazing is any action taken or situation created intentionally that places an expectation on a person joining or maintaining full status in a group that is not consistent with requirements for membership,  team rules, university regulations and policies, and/or fraternal law or ritual, as applicable. Conduct that may be considered hazing is as follows:
    (a) Has the potential to produce emotional, psychological or physical discomfort, embarrassment, harassment or ridicule
    (b) Can occur on or off campus
    (c) Can occur regardless of the person’s willingness to participate
    (d) Is prohibited by the criminal code of the State of Indiana
  2. Butler University believes that hazing is non-productive, violates students’ rights, and has no place in the campus community.  Hazing activity may lead to a conduct review for individuals as well as a student group, organization, or team.
  3. It is impossible to list all possible hazing behaviors because many are context-specific. The following list provides categorical examples of hazing traditions:
    Subtle hazing—behaviors that emphasize a power imbalance between members of the group and those who desire to be accepted.  Subtle hazing typically involves activities or attitudes that breach reasonable standards for mutual respect. Some examples:
    (a) Deception
    (b) Requiring new members to perform duties not assigned to other members
    (c) Deprivation of privileges granted to other members
    (d) Expecting certain items to always be in one’s possession
    (e) Requiring new members to refer to members with titles (e.g., Mr., Miss) while new members are identified by a term instead of by name
    (f) Name calling
    (g) Use/misuse of ritual symbolism outside of organization’s approved ceremonies
    (h) Walking/running/sitting/standing in formation
    Harassment hazing—behaviors that cause emotional anguish or physical discomfort required of those joining the group. Harassment hazing confuses and frustrates, and causes undue stress for those joining the group. Some examples:
    (a) Verbal abuse
    (b) Intimidation or implied threats
    (c) Personal servitude
    (d) Sleep deprivation
    (e) Degrading or humiliating activities
    (f) Interference with personal hygiene
    (g) Being expected to harass others
    Violent hazing—behaviors that have the potential to cause physical and/or emotional or psychological harm. Some examples:
    (a) Forced/coerced ingestion of alcohol or any other substance
    (b) Beating or paddling
    (c) Branding or burning
    (d) Water intoxication
    (e) Abuse or mistreatment of animals
    (f) Public nudity
    (g) Expecting illegal activity including property theft or damage
    (h) Bondage
    (i) Abduction or kidnapping
    (j) Exposure to weather extremes without appropriate protection
  4. Students should be aware that Indiana has enacted a state law prohibiting hazing. See the full text at www.in.gov/legislative/ (search Indiana Code IC 35-42-2-2).
  5. Suspected hazing violations should be reported to the Butler University Police Department and/or the Vice President for Student Affairs.
  6. Hazing activities that are determined to deny, deprive or limit the educational, employment, residential and/or social access, benefits and/or opportunities of any member of the campus community on the basis of their actual or perceived membership in a federally protected class are in violation of  University policies.  Protected classes include but are not limited to: race, sex, religion, ethnicity, national origin, citizenship status, age, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity and veteran or military status.* All allegations of student misconduct that are perceived to infringe upon the federally protected civil rights of any member of the University community or its visitors will be addressed through the Non-discrimination Policy.  Allegations specific to sexual harassment, sexual misconduct are channeled to the process outlined in the Sexual Misconduct Policy.

*See the Non-discrimination Policy for a complete list of protected classes.