Hazing

Definition of Hazing

By definition, "hazing" is any intentional, knowing, or reckless act 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 whose members are or include the students of an educational institution."

Students may be held accountable for directly engaging in acts of hazing or for failing to report first-hand knowledge of hazing.

Examples of Hazing

Examples of hazing include but are not limited to:

  • 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 or 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 which subjects the student to an unreasonable risk of harm or which adversely effects 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, or that adversely effects 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 subsection;
  • Any activity that induces, causes, or requires the student to perform a duty or task which involves a violation of the Penal Code. Sec. 4.52.

Hazing occurs regardless of whether the act is committed on or off the university campus and also in circumstances where the student victim may have consented to or acquiesced in the activity.

A person engages in hazing not only by directly engaging in hazing activity, but also by soliciting, directing, encouraging, aiding, or attempting to aid another in hazing; or by intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly allowing hazing to occur; or by failing to report firsthand information that a hazing incident is planned or has occurred.

Code of Student Conduct

Students or student groups may be disciplined and sanctioned for the misconduct of hazing under the UNT Code of Student Conduct. For more information, please visit the Dean of Students Conduct page at deanofstudents.unt.edu/conduct

Frequently Asked Questions

Does it matter if I did not intend to hurt anyone?
Regardless of the intent, the university policies state that if one of the above occurs, it is hazing.

Does it matter if the person being hazed agrees to the activity?
Consent is not a defense. The law and university policy states that if one of the above occurs, it is hazing, regardless of the consent or cooperation of the recipient.

What is the penalty if I'm found responsible for hazing?

Hazing is a violation of state law and the UNT Code of Student Conduct. Students who commit hazing can be held accountable by the university through its conduct process as well as by the state through the legal system. University sanctions for hazing can include a warning, loss of privileges, educational sanctions, probation, suspension, or expulsion. Criminal penalties for hazing can include:

  • Failing to report hazing: fine up to $1,000 and/or up to 180 days in jail
  • Hazing not resulting in serious bodily injury: fine of $500-$1,000 and/or 90-180 days in jail
  • Hazing resulting in serious bodily injury: fine of $1,000-$5,000 and/or 180 days-one year in jail
  • Hazing resulting in death: fine of $5,000-$10,000 and/or 1-2 years in jail
  • Except where the hazing results in death, the student may be required to perform community service in lieu of confinement to jail
  • The student may also be subject to university disciplinary action, up to and including removal from the University, in addition to or regardless of any penalty imposed by the state.

Can an organization be found guilty of hazing?
Yes. 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. Organizations which are covered under this law include a fraternity, sorority, association, corporation, order, society, chorus, cooperative, club, or service, social or similar group whose members are primarily students at an educational institution.

Can I get into trouble for reporting hazing?
No. Any person who reports a specific hazing incident involving a student to an appropriate University official is protected from civil or criminal liability. However, a person who reports in bad faith or with malice is not protected by this section.

The Interfraternity and Panhellenic Councils have a comprehensive hazing policy which is outlined in their Constitution and By-Laws.

The University Hazing Policy can be found in the UNT Student Handbook and UNT Policy Manual (Section 18.1.12).

On Campus Resources

The following on-campus departments are helpful hazing resources:

Stop Hazing Poster

How to Report Hazing at UNT

To report a hazing incident, please call UNT's Hazing Hotline at 940-369-STOP (7867)

You may also contact the following on-campus departments:

You can also call the National Anti-Hazing Hotline toll-free number at 1-888-NOT-HAZE (1-888-668-4293).

Texas Statutes

Hazing is a criminal act under the state law of Texas, as codified in the following statutes:

    • Texas Education Code, Section 51.936

http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/ED/htm/ED.51.htm#51.936

    • Texas Education Code, Section 37.151-157

http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/ED/htm/ED.37.htm#37.151
http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/ED/htm/ED.37.htm#37.152
http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/ED/htm/ED.37.htm#37.153
http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/ED/htm/ED.37.htm#37.154
http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/ED/htm/ED.37.htm#37.155
http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/ED/htm/ED.37.htm#37.156
http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/ED/htm/ED.37.htm#37.157

National Resources

  • The National Anti-Hazing Hotline toll-free number is 1-888-NOT-HAZE (1-888-668-4293). The line is available to those who think they, or students they know, have been or may become victims of hazing. Callers may remain anonymous or they can provide personal information so that their concerns can be responded to directly.
  • StopHazing.org is a Web site dedicated to education to eliminate hazing. More information is available at http://www.stophazing.org/index.html.
  • HazingPrevention.Org is a non-profit 501 (c)(3) organization whose goal is to encourage healthy and productive experiences for new members of teams, student organizations and fraternities and sororities. More information is available at http://hazingprevention.org/.