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Student Accountability > Anti-Hazing Guide

Anti-Hazing Guide

Hazing is a broad term encompassing any action or activity which does not contribute to the positive development of a person, which inflicts or intends to cause physical or mental harm or anxieties or sleep deprivation, which may demean, degrade, or disgrace any person, regardless of location, intent, or consent of participants. Hazing can also be defined as any action or situation which intentionally or unintentionally endangers a student seeking admission or affiliation with any student organization.

Hazing is against the Union University Values Statement which upholds the worth of each individual student. Personal abuse is defined by the university as "any behavior that results in harassment, coercion, threat, disrespect and/or intimidation of another person. This action may include action or statements that cause damage or threaten the personal and/or psychological well-being of a person. Inappropriate narrative on a personal blog (e.g. Myspace, Facebook) may be considered personal abuse.

Hazing Myths

1. Hazing is only a problem for fraternities or sororities
Fact: Hazing is a societal problem. Hazing incidents have been frequently documented in the military, athletic teams, marching bands, religious cults, professional schools and other types of clubs and/or organizations.

2. Hazing is no more than foolish pranks that sometimes go awry.
Fact: Hazing is an act of power and control over others- it is victimization. Hazing is premeditated and NOT accidental. Hazing is abusive, degrading and often life-threatening.

3. As long as there's no malicious intent, a little hazing should be O.K.
Fact: Even if there's no malicious "intent" safety may still be a factor in traditional hazing activities that are considered to be "all in good fun." For example, serious accidents have occurred during scavenger hunts and kidnapping trips. Besides, what purpose do such activities serve in promoting the growth and development of group team members?

Hazing is an effective way to teach respect and develop discipline.
Fact: First of all, respect must be EARNED- not taught. Victims of hazing rarely report having respect for those who have hazed them. Just like other forms of victimization, hazing breeds mistrust, apathy and alienation.

If someone agrees to participate in an activity, it can't be considered hazing.
Fact: In states that have laws against hazing, consent of the victim can't be used as a defense in a civil suit. This is because even if someone agrees to participate in a potentially hazardous action it may be not be true consent when considering the peer pressure and desire to belong to the group.

It's difficult to determine whether or not a certain activity is hazing-it's such a gray area sometimes.
Fact: It's not difficult to decide if an activity is hazing if you use common sense and ask yourself the following questions:

If you answered "no" to any of these questions, the activity could be considered hazing, and you should reconsider it.

Did you know?

Under Tennessee state law, those charged with hazing are automatically charged with assault. Organizations caught hazing are at risk of permanent expulsion from Union University.

If you think hazing is fun, think again. Hazing is against state law. Hazing is against Union values. Hazing is inconsistent with Biblical guidelines. Hazing damages self-respect, self-esteem, and integrity. It hinders scholastic achievement, creates embarrassing situations, causes emotional strain, and poses a risk of bodily injury or death.

For More Information

For more information on hazing, possible penalties for hazing, and alternatives to hazing, please contact:

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