Hazing

UNT Hazing Policy

The complete UNT Hazing Policy is online at https://policy.unt.edu/policydesc/hazing-18-1-12.
 

UNT is committed to providing a safe environment for all members of the university community and prohibits hazing by any student, student group or employee.

Hazing is any intentional, knowing, or reckless act, occurring on or off campus, 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 regardless of whether the student victim may have consented to or acquiesced in the activity. The term includes: 

  1. any type of physical brutality, such as whipping, beating, striking, branding, electronic shocking, placing of harmful substance on the body, or similar activity; 
  2. 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 of harm or that adversely affects the mental or physical health or safety of the student; 
  3. any activity involving consumption of a food, liquid, alcoholic beverage, liquor, drug, or other substance that subjects the student to an unreasonable risk of harm or that adversely affects the mental or physical health or safety of the student;
  4. any activity that intentionally intimidates or threatens the student with ostracism, that subjects the student to extreme mental stress, shame, or humiliation, that adversely affects the mental health or dignity of the student or discourages 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 of the institution rather than submit to acts described in this subdivision; and
  5. or discourages 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 of the institution rather than submit to acts described in this subdivision; and
  6. any activity that induces, causes, or requires the student to perform a duty or task that involves a violation of the Code of Student Conduct; other university policies; or local, state, or federal laws.

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

How to Report Suspected Hazing

Anyone with knowledge of hazing should immediately report the matter to UNT by contacting the Dean of Students Office (940.565.2648, conduct.dos@unt.edu) or anonymously calling the UNT Hazing Hotline (940.369.STOP). A report can also be made to the UNT Police (940.565.3000). 

UNT will investigate all reports of hazing involving students, whether the alleged misconduct took place on or off campus and regardless of the victim’s acquiescence to the alleged misconduct.

Penalties for Hazing

UNT will discipline any student or student group found responsible for hazing. Sanctions for students found responsible for hazing can include probation, loss of privileges, suspension, or expulsion. Sanctions for student groups can include probation, loss of privilege, and suspension. Students and student groups can also be assigned educational sanctions designed to change behavior and reduce the risk of future misconduct.

When hazing happens within a student group, UNT may find both the student group and individual students responsible. A student group can be found responsible if it condones or encourages hazing, or if its officers, members, or alumni commit or assist in the commission of hazing.

Hazing Prevention

UNT has resources to help students and student groups prevent hazing. Students and student groups can consult with the Dean of Students Office, the Greek Life Office, and the Student Activities Center. The Dean of Students Office coordinates UNT’s activities for National Hazing Prevention Week. The Greek Life Office provides assistance and support to UNT’s fraternities and sororities, and the Student Activities Center works with all student groups.

Two nationally-based organizations can also be useful resources: StopHazing (http://stophazing.org) and HazingPrevention.Org (http://hazingprevention.org). 

Hazing and the Law

Hazing is not only against UNT policy, it is also against the law. The Texas Education Code, sections 51.936 and 37.151 through 37.157 make hazing a criminal offense. 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 to 1 year in jail
  • Hazing resulting in death: Fine of $5,000-$10,000 and/or 1-2 years in jail

Except where hazing results in death, an individual convicted of hazing may be required to perform community service in lieu of confinement to jail. Students who commit hazing can be subject to both criminal prosecution and penalties as well as sanctions through the university conduct process.

Student groups and individual students can be found guilty of hazing. 

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.
  • 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/.