University Hazing Policy
Any practices, ceremonies, behaviors, or rites of introduction which tend to occasion, require or allow mental or physical suffering, are prohibited.
Specifically, hazing is defined as any action taken or situation created, intentionally or unintentionally, on or off campus, which could be reasonably expected to produce emotional or physical discomfort, embarrassment, harassment, ridicule, the violation of university rules and regulations, the violation of the laws or policies of the parent organization and/or the violation of any local, state, and national laws. All rules and regulations of the University of West Georgia as well as local, state and national laws shall supersede those policies of national or local organizations. All assessments as to the appropriateness of an action will be considered within the context of the standards of the total university community.
Activities considered to be hazing shall include one or both of the following elements: coercion, either overt or covert, and production of physical or mental discomfort in either the participant or spectators. Activities will be considered hazing even if the activity it said to be "voluntary."
It shall be a violation for any person to haze any student in connection with or as a condition of or precondition of gaining acceptance, membership, office, or other status in a school organization.
Specific actions and situations which may be considered to be hazing include but are not limited to the following:
1. Use of alcohol
2. Paddling in any form
3. Creation of excessive fatigue, physical exhaustion, or physical injury
4. Physical and psychological shocks
5. Quests, treasure hunts, scavenger hunts, road trips or any other such activities carried out on or off campus
6. Wearing of any apparel in public which is conspicuous and not normally in good taste or that is inappropriate to the situation
7. Engaging in public stunts and buffoonery
8. Morally degrading or humiliating games or other activities
9. Nudity at any time
10. Tasks of personal servitude
11. Performances that are hazardous or dangerous in any way
12. Any work sessions or meeting which interfere with scholastic activities or requirements
13. Loud noises or other activities which disturb the neighborhood
14. Temporary or permanent physical disfigurements or cosmetic changes
15. Forcing or requiring the eating of food or any other substance
16. Calisthenics (push-ups, jogging, runs, etc.)
17. Lineups of a noneducational nature
18. Activities or actions that require or include theft or other illegal practices
19. Any action which brings the reputation of the group or organization into public disfavor or disrepute
20. Any activities which are not consistent with laws, rituals, or policies of national organizations or the regulations and policies of the University of West Georgia
All rites, ceremonies or practices of initiation or orientation into university life, or into the life or membership or any university group or organization, should be of an educational, historical, functional, and inspirational nature consistent with the accepted principles of higher education at the University of West Georgia.
Each and every organization has the responsibility for informing its membership, both old and new, of any important university policies including those on hazing. All university organizations are responsible for the actions of all visiting members, friends, and/or alumni who will be subject to the same behavioral standards and policies as members of the organization.
Student Involvement staff members will assist in the proper implementation of these policies. Complaints and charges of violations will be investigated, and if substantiated, appropriate action will be taken.
It is possible for either individuals or organizations or both to be held responsible in the event these policies are violated. Violations may result in university disciplinary action and/or legal action through the courts. University disciplinary action may include the withdrawal of university recognition from offending organizations through referral to the Conduct Code and disciplinary procedures for student organizations.
NOTE: These policies apply to interest groups, pledges, associate member classes, and generally any activity associated with any student group.
Each organization must file with the Center for Student Involvement each year a signed copy of the University Hazing Policy. If a copy is not filed, university disciplinary action may be taken.