Hazing is any action taken or any situation created intentionally that causes embarrassment, harassment or ridicule and risks emotional and/or physical harm to members of a group or team, whether new or not, regardless of the person’s willingness to participate. (Source: https://stophazing.org/issue/)
Hazing happens in many different places and settings. Incidents of hazing occur in many types of clubs, organizations and teams (Source: https://stophazing.org/issue/). Additionally, you can see a list of UC Davis groups that have undergone the Organizational Conduct process.
More than half (55%) of college students involved in clubs, teams, and organizations experience hazing.
|Student Groups||Percentage of Hazing Indicated|
|Varsity Athletic Team||74%|
|Social Fraternity or Sorority||73%|
|Performing Arts Organization||56%|
|Service Fraternity or Sorority||50%|
|Other (Religious-Affiliated, Culture Clubs and Student Government)||30%|
Examples of hazing?
Actions and activities which may constitute hazing include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Behavior that is emotionally or psychologically abusive, humiliating or demeaning.
- Physical abuse, e.g., whipping, paddling, beating, tattooing, branding and exposure to the elements, or the threat of such behaviors.
- Ingestion of alcohol, food, drugs or any undesirable substance.
- Participation in sexual rituals or assaults.
- Kidnaps, road trips, etc., which are conducted in a manner that endangers the health or safety of an individual.
- Sleep deprivation, acts of servitude, isolation and expecting certain items to always be in one’s possession.
Why not haze?
- Individual Harm — simply put, hazing victimizes people. In whatever form it’s encountered—from obviously degrading to seemingly benign—hazing is abusive, potentially life-threatening and has long-term consequences. Like other forms of abuse, hazing fosters hurt and feelings of betrayal, NOT the sense of unity, camaraderie or tradition that groups who engage in hazing often use to justify the exercise of power and control over others.
- Group Harm — groups that add new members normally do so out of a desire to strengthen the group, grow membership and improve the overall experience of group members. Hazing may provide an increased perception of the value of membership because of the “cost” of joining, but it negatively impacts new members’ ability to contribute positively and undermines overall group cohesion.
- Penalties — hazing is against campus policy and California state law, and a range of penalties may be applied to both organizations and individuals who are found to have engaged in acts of hazing. Penalties may include loss of registration as a student organization and other disciplinary measures in accordance with UC Davis campus policy and state law.
Hazing: Campus Policy and State Law
It is against the law (Education Code Sections 32050-32052 “Hazing” 32050) and campus policy (UC Davis Policy on Student Conduct and Discipline 102.12) for student organizations to conduct any activities which involve “hazing.”
Violations may result in loss of registration as a student organization, action by the Office of Student Support Judicial Affairs, or referral to local law enforcement agencies. See sections UC Davis Campus Policy and California State Law below.
UC Davis Policy on Student Conduct and Discipline 102.12
"Participation in hazing or any method of initiation or pre-initiation into a campus organization or other activity engaged in by the organization or members of the organization at any time that causes, or is likely to cause, physical injury or personal degradation or disgrace resulting in psychological harm to any student or other person.
A. Conducting and/or engaging in activities of initiation or pre-initiation that involve physical, verbal or emotional abuse, harassment, presence or use of alcohol, humiliation, mistreatment of animals, unreasonable or meaningless acts or services, or acts that are illegal, perverse, publicly indecent, contrary to the individual’s genuine moral and/or religious beliefs, or contrary to the rules, policies, and regulations of the University.
B. Such activities are considered hazing regardless of an individual’s willingness to participate or option not to participate."
See also: UC Davis Policy on Student Conduct and Discipline on the Office of Student Support and Judicial Affairs website.
CRIMINAL PENALTIES FOR HAZING (Section 245.6(c-e))
"A violation of this section that does not result in serious bodily injury is a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of not less than one hundred dollars ($100), nor more than five thousand dollars ($5,000), or imprisonment in the county jail for not more than one year, or both.
Any person who personally engages in hazing that results in death or serious bodily injury as defined in paragraph (4) of subdivision (f) of Section 243 of the Penal Code, is guilty of either a misdemeanor or a felony, and shall be punished by imprisonment in county jail not exceeding one year, or by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170.
The person against whom the hazing is directed may commence a civil action for injury or damages. The action may be brought against any participants in the hazing, or any organization to which the student is seeking membership whose agents, directors, trustees, managers, or officers authorized, requested, commanded, participated in, or ratified the hazing."
See also: Policies & Guidelines on the Center for Student Involvement website.