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Policies and Laws

Hazing is prohibited by the Colgate Code of Student Conduct, the Policy on Hazing, and New York State Law. Groups that engage in hazing may also be subject to consequences imposed by their sponsoring department (e.g., Department of Athletics). Below are the definitions of hazing from the Colgate University Code of Conduct and New York State law, as well as the consequences for violations of these provisions.

Fraternities and Sororities

Chapter Violations

When an organization is found in violation of hazing, the consequences, may include sanctions up to and including suspension or permanent withdrawal of recognition.

National/International Fraternity and Sorority Standards
In concert with or in lieu of university action, the chapter’s alumni and/or national/international organization may also impose consequences. These consequences may include disbanding or recolonizing the chapter.

LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT

Student Handbook

Colgate University Student Handbook, pages 107-108
“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.”

New York State Penal Law

120.16: Hazing in the first degree
A  person is guilty of hazing in the first degree when, in the course of another person's initiation into or affiliation with any organization, he intentionally or recklessly engages in conduct which creates a substantial risk of physical injury to such other person or a third person and thereby causes such injury. 

Hazing in the first degree is a class A misdemeanor.

120.17: Hazing in the second degree
A person is guilty of hazing in the second degree when, in the course of another person's initiation or affiliation with any organization, he intentionally or recklessly engages in conduct which creates a substantial risk of physical injury to such other person or a third person.

Hazing in the second degree is a violation.

Activities that constitute hazing can also result in related criminal charges based on the nature of the underlying behavior (e.g., assault).

Civil Penalties

In addition to the consequences of violating university policies and state criminal law prohibiting hazing, both individuals and chapters can be sued in civil court for mental or physical harm that results from hazing. Individual group members, group leaders, advisers, the organization, and national or international affiliates may be sued. Hazing on college campuses has resulted in numerous successful lawsuits, many of which have resulted in multi-million dollar verdicts or settlements.

Adapted from StopHazing.org