Hazing is prohibited by federal and state law, and the Student Code of Conduct. Hazing is defined as any action taken that produces bodily harm or danger, mental or physical discomfort, embarrassment, harassment, fright, or ridicule.
(The following is excerpted from state of Texas statutes and is binding on this college.)
Subchapter F. Hazing
Texas Education Code § 37.151 - § 37.157
In this subchapter:
- “Educational institution” includes a public or private high school.
- “Pledge” means any person who has been accepted by or is considering an offer of membership from, or is in the process of qualifying for membership in an organization.
- “Pledging” means any action or activity related to becoming a member of an organization.
- “Student” means any person who:
- Is registered in or in attendance at an educational institution;
- Has been accepted for admission at the educational institution where the hazing incident occurs; or
- Intends to attend an educational institution during any of its regular sessions after a period of scheduled vacation.
- “Organization” means a fraternity, sorority, association, corporation, order, society, corps, club, or service, social, or similar group, whose members are primarily students.
- “Hazing” means any intentional, knowing, or reckless act, occurring on or off the campus of an educational institution, by one person alone or acting with others, directed against a student, that endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a student for the purpose of pledging, being initiated into, affiliating with, holding office in, or maintaining membership in an organization. The term includes:
- Any type of physical brutality, such as whipping, beating, striking, branding, electronic shocking, placing of a harmful substance on the body, or similar activity;
- Any type of physical activity, such as sleep deprivation, exposure to the elements, confinement in a small space, calisthenics, or other activity that subjects the student to an unreasonable risk of harm or that adversely affects the mental or physical health or safety of the student;
- Any activity involving consumption of a food, liquid, alcoholic beverage, liquor, drug, or other substance that subjects the student to an unreasonable risk of harm or that adversely affects the mental or physical health or safety of the student;
- Any activity that intimidates or threatens the student with ostracism, that subjects the student to extreme mental stress, shame, or humiliation, that adversely affects the mental health or dignity of the student or discourages the student from entering or remaining registered in an educational institution, or that may reasonably be expected to cause a student to leave the organization or the institution rather than submit to acts described in this subdivision; and
- Any activity that induces, causes, or requires the student to perform a duty or task that involves a violation of the Penal Code.
37.152. Personal Hazing Offense
- A person commits an offense if the person:
- engages in hazing;
- solicits, encourages, directs, aids, or attempts to aid another in engaging in hazing;
- recklessly permits hazing to occur; or
- has firsthand knowledge of the planning of a specific hazing incident involving a student in an educational institution, or has firsthand knowledge that a specific hazing incident has occurred, and knowingly fails to report that knowledge in writing to the Dean of Students or other appropriate official of the institution.
- The offense of failing to report is a Class B misdemeanor.
- Any other offense under this section that does not cause serious bodily injury to another is a Class B misdemeanor.
- Any other offense under this section that causes serious bodily injury to another is a Class A misdemeanor.
- Any other offense under this section that causes the death of another is a state jail felony.
- Except if an offense causes the death of a student, in sentencing a person convicted of an offense under this section, the court may require the person to perform community service, subject to the same conditions imposed on a person placed on community supervision under Section 11, Article 42.12, Code of Criminal Procedure, for an appropriate period of time in lieu of confinement in county jail or in lieu of a part of the time the person is sentenced to confinement in county jail.
37.153. Organization Hazing Offense
- An organization commits an offense if the organization condones or encourages hazing or if an officer or any combination of members, pledges, or alumni of the organization commits or assists in the commission of hazing.
An offense under this section is a misdemeanor punishable by: A fine of not less than $ 5,000 nor more than $ 10,000; or If the court finds that the offense caused
personal injury, property damage, or other loss, a fine of not less than $ 5,000 nor more than double the amount lost or expenses incurred because of the injury, damage, or loss.
37.154. Consent Not a Defense
It is not a defense to prosecution of an offense under this subchapter that the person against whom the hazing was directed consented to or acquiesced in the hazing activity.
TEXAS ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE CODE
- 106.05. POSSESSION OF ALCOHOL BY A MINOR.
- Except as provided in Subsection (b) of this section, a minor commits an offense if he possesses an alcoholic beverage.
- A minor may possess an alcoholic beverage:
- While in the course and scope of the minor’s employment if the minor is an employee of a licensee or permittee and the employment is not prohibited by this code;
- If the minor is in the visible presence of his adult parent, guardian, or spouse, or other adult to whom the minor has been committed by a court; or
- If the minor is under the immediate supervision of a commissioned peace officer engaged in enforcing the provisions of this code.
- 106.06. PURCHASE OF ALCOHOL FOR A MINOR; FURNISHING ALCHOHOL TO A MINOR.
- Except as provided in Subsection (b) of this section, a person commits an offense if he purchases an alcoholic beverage for or gives or makes available an alcoholic beverage to a minor with criminal negligence.
- Except as provided in Subsection (b) of this section, a person commits an offense if he purchases an alcoholic beverage for or gives or with criminal negligence makes available an alcoholic beverage to a minor.
- An offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor.
- 12.21. CLASS A MISDEMEANOR. An individual adjudged guilty of a Class A misdemeanor shall be punished by:
- A fine not to exceed $4,000;
- Confinement in jail for a term not to exceed one year or;
- Both such fine and confinement.
If You Are Hazed
Reactions you might have:
Reactions to being hazed vary. Two people who go through the same experience might feel quite differently. Some people feel relatively positive about going through hazing
(seeing it as an achievement), some feel mildly annoyed, and others have strong negative reactions. Reactions depend on the extent of the hazing, individual characteristics, and past experiences. For people who have been abused in the past, hazing can be re-traumatizing.
Anger, confusion, betrayal, fear, resentment, embarrassment, humiliation, hopelessness, helplessness, anxiety and depression are all normal reactions to being hazed. Some individuals have become suicidal.
Physical consequences can include exhaustion, headaches, hangovers, illnesses, injuries, and scars.
It’s common to believe that things won’t get worse, though they often do. You may want the hazing to stop, but don’t want to get the group in trouble.
You may want to leave, but fear the consequences or feel like you’ve invested too much already to walk away.
Self-blame can occur and is fueled by hazer’s who tell new members that they will let others down if they leave or tell anyone what is going on.