Gallaudet University recognizes that student organizations, clubs, athletics, fraternities, and sororities are an integral part of the University. They contribute to the academic and social experience of the students and the University community. This relationship carries with it certain rights of the University to protect and preserve an appropriate environment in which all students and organizations may operate. We expect all students to follow the Student Code of Conduct. Any form of hazing or bullying will not be tolerated at any time. Violations of these standards as defined in the Student Code of Conduct, the national fraternity/sorority documents, and regulations of the District of Columbia may subject any individual(s) or group(s) to disciplinary action.
Hazing is a fundamental violation of human dignity and is strictly prohibited. The following hazing policy applies to all student organizations and students of Gallaudet University.
Hazing is defined as any action taken or situation with or without consent, whether on or off University premises, which recklessly, intentionally or unintentionally, endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a student, or creates risk of injury, or serious emotional distress, or causes discomfort, embarrassment, harassment or ridicule, or which willfully destroys or removes public or private property, or violates any Federal, state, and/or local laws and regulations, or University policy, or causing or encouraging any person to commit an act that would be in violation of law or University policy. In most instances, it concerns actions taken or situations with or without consent for the purpose of initiation, promotion, fostering, or confirming any form of admission into or affiliation with, or as a condition for continued membership in a student group or organization. The expressed or implied consent of the victim will not be a defense to any action brought pursuant to this policy.
Activities and situations which are explicitly prohibited include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Any type of physical brutality, such as paddle swats of any nature, forced tattooing or branding, pushing, shoving, striking, tackling, or similar activity;
- Conducting any activity that results in sleep deprivation (less than 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep) on any given day, or conducting a new pledge/associate member activity between the hours of 11:45 p.m. and 7:45 a.m. Sunday evening through Friday morning; conducting activities which do not allow adequate time for study or involve late work sessions or assignments that interfere with academic, occupational, or athletic obligations; and/or denying a pledge/associate member access to his/her bed at any time;
- Forcing, requiring, encouraging pledges/associate members to drink alcohol or use any other drugs; providing or using such alcohol or other drugs as part of organizational activities. Under no circumstances should an individual be under the influence of alcohol or other drugs during pledge/associate member activities;
- Forcing the consumption of any substance, i.e., food contests, dropping food in the mouth (eggs, grapes, liver, etc.) or goldfish; pouring, dropping, throwing, or rubbing any substance (eggs, garbage, water, paint, syrup, etc.) on any part of the body of any individual;
- Engaging in morally degrading or humiliating games, pranks, and activities such as:
- Scavenger hunts that require or result in theft, forced or coerced road trips, and/or kidnapping;
- Destruction of property;
- Interfering with or disrupting other organizations on campus;
- Blindfolding pledges/associate members;
- Personal servitude (requiring pledges/associate members to clean up the mess of others, doing chores or errands for the group or individual members, cleaning their rooms, serving meals or driving them to class, for example); and/or
- Requiring or recommending the carrying of unusual items (bricks, skulls, pumpkins, plants, etc.)
- Conducting activities, which deter or hinder fulfillment of academic, athletic, or occupational obligations; under no circumstances should pledge activities be conducted during academic hours, i.e. 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays (unless special permission has been granted by the Director of Campus Activities);
- Deception and/or threats contrived to convince any student prior to installment that s/he will not be initiated or able to join the organization;
- Forced isolation from friends or other members of the University community, including any prohibition from social interaction, talking, or signing;
- Yelling, taunting, cursing, insulting, and screaming at pledge/associate members;
- Nudity, partial nudity, or indecent exposure at any time;
- Exposure to the elements; calisthenics such as push-ups, sit-ups and runs; or any activity that adversely affects the mental or physical health or safety of a student;
- Forcing, requiring, causing, or endorsing pledges/associate members to commit an act that would be in violation of any University policy or any local, state, or Federal law;
- Requiring line-ups, which are defined as lines or gatherings created for the purpose of traveling/going from one place to another or a line where pledges/associate members are subject to interrogation or harassment. Occasional ceremonial line-ups for the purpose of the announcement of pledges/members or events, however, can be conducted with advance approval from the Director of Campus Activities;
- Requiring the wearing of apparel or hairstyles that are conspicuous and/or normally in bad taste. This includes unusual clothing styles or repetitious wearing of uniforms. Occasional wearing of uniforms for special events during normal academic hours (8:00 AM - 5:00 PM, weekdays) can be conducted with advance approval from the Director of Campus Activities.
Students are expected to conduct themselves in a manner that supports the educational mission and function of the University, as well as to comply with all federal, state, and local laws. Students have a responsibility to familiarize themselves with the hazing policy and will be held responsible for compliance with them. Members and prospective members of a student organization expected to report any observed hazing incident or improper activity, and fully cooperate with law enforcement authorities and/or University officials in the investigation of hazing and other illegal activities.
A representative officer, preferably the president or chairperson, and the faculty/staff advisor of each organization are responsible for informing members (pledges, associate members, members, alumni members, and affiliated guests) of the foregoing policy. The policy is to be read by the president or chairperson to the membership at the first meeting of the organization each semester and must be posted in a prominent place for members to see. The policy is to be distributed at all rush parties and shared also with each individual before any pledging or membership occurs. Prospective members are to be advised that hazing is not a requirement for membership, nor is it tolerated.
Any person (national or regional officer, chapter advisor or alumnus, pledge, associate member, member, affiliate, guest, University staff/faculty member, student) who suffers, witnesses, or has knowledge of an action in violation of this policy is required to report the incident immediately to the Dean of Student Affairs and Academic Support, Associate Dean of Student Center Programs and Services, the Director of Campus Activities, the Director of Student Conduct, and/or the Coordinator of Student Conduct. The negligence or the expressed or implied consent of the student/participant or any assumption of risk by the student/participant is not a defense to an action brought pursuant to this policy.
If there is a violation of the hazing policy, the Coordinator (or Director) of Student Conduct will implement the appropriate University disciplinary procedures. This does not preclude additional action taken by the organization itself, the national/international headquarters of the organization, by the District of Columbia, or the Federal courts.
The Dean of Student Affairs and Academic Support or his/her designee may suspend or restrict a student organization for an interim period pending disciplinary procedures when there is a reasonable cause to believe the continued activities of the organization and its members may pose an immediate threat to or interrupt the normal functions of the University community. During the interim suspension or restriction period, the organization may be required to cease all organizational activities and its access to University space may be denied. The organization may be asked to vacate any assigned University space immediately upon written notice from the Dean of Student Affairs and Academic Support or his/her designee.
Hazing charges against individuals will be investigated and adjudicated in accordance with the wide range of sanctions in the Student Code of Conduct; if found responsible for violations of the hazing policy, the organization itself may be subject to suspension or dissolution.
The Greek Presidents Council will be briefed about charges pending against a Greek organization, while the Student Body Government will be advised of charges pending against a non-Greek organization only if an interim suspension is imposed against an organization pending a hearing. The Greek Presidents Council or the Student Body Government will receive information regarding penalties, if any, that are imposed against an organization in order to ensure compliance with the decision. The Coordinator of Student Conduct may choose not to provide this information in extremely sensitive cases.
All student organizations must file a Hazing Compliance Form with the Campus Activities Office, during the first two weeks of each academic year and within 15 days after the election or appointment of new officers, to certify compliance with the Hazing Policy. All officers and members as well as the advisor of the organization will be required to sign a form certifying that they have received, read, and will abide by the Hazing Policy of Gallaudet University. Any organization that does not file the Hazing Compliance Form with all member signatures will be denied registration as an organization and lose all of its privileges and rights as an organization until the form is filed.
Any person or organization in need of clarification of this policy should consult with the Dean of Student Affairs and Academic Support, the Associate Dean of Student Center Programs and Services, the Director of Campus Activities, the Director of Student Conduct, or the Coordinator of Student Conduct.
EFFECTIVE DATE: JULY 1, 2015
UPDATED: AUGUST 4, 2015