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Hazing

Hazing is a hidden and serious problem that undermines the value and experiences of Colgate University. Although hazing is not unique to Colgate, we believe that it is important to openly discuss these challenges in an attempt to overcome the secrecy that perpetuates them.
Hazing

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Why This Site Exists
Being part of a campus group or organization can be one of the most meaningful aspects of a student’s life, but when the hidden and serious problem of hazing is involved, it undermines the value of these experiences. Although the potential for hazing is not unique to Colgate, we as an institution believe that it is important to examine these practices explicitly and provide an abundance of resources to overcome the secrecy that may enable them. An ad hoc team of faculty, students, staff, and alumni representatives was put together to address this issue and design steps to prevent hazing. This site is meant as a resource for students, staff, faculty, alumni, parents, and others interested in learning about hazing, and offers the resources to prevent it.
What Colgate Considers Hazing
Hazing is any action or situation that recklessly or intentionally endangers mental or physical health; or creates substantial embarrassment, harassment, or ridicule; or involves the forced consumption of food, alcohol, or drugs in the course of initiation or continuing affiliation with an organization. Groups that violate the university hazing policy will forfeit recognition. (p.106–107, Colgate University Student Handbook)

If You Have Been Hazed You Are Not Alone

  • 1.5 million high school students are hazed each year; 47% of students go to college already having experienced hazing.
  • 55% of college students involved in club teams and organizations experience hazing.
  • In 95% of cases where students identified their experience as hazing, they did not report the events to campus officials.
  • 36% of students say they would not report hazing primarily because "there's no one to tell," and 27% feel that adults won't handle it right.
  • 82% of deaths from hazing involve alcohol. (Statistics from HazingPrevention.org)
  • As of February 12, 2010, the number of recorded hazing/pledging/rushing-related deaths in fraternities and sororities stands at 96: 90 males and 6 females.

What Counts as Hazing?

It may seem difficult to determine whether or not a certain activity is hazing, because there may seem to be a gray area in many situations. However, it's actually not very difficult to decide if an activity is hazing if you use common sense and ask yourself the following questions:
  1. Is alcohol involved?
  2. Does the activity risk emotional or physical abuse?
  3. Is there risk of injury or a question of safety?
  4. Would you feel uncomfortable describing the activity to your parents, to a professor or university staff member?
  5. Does this activity negate the stated ideals and values of the organization?
  6. Will this activity decrease the new members' respect for the organization and the members of the chapter?
  7. Is it an activity that only new members are required to do?
  8. Does the activity lack value in and of itself?
If the answer to ANY of these questions is "yes," the activity is most likely hazing.

Adapted from Death By Hazing Sigma Alpha Epsilon 1988