Fraternities and sororities, as well as other student organizations or athletic teams, are prohibited from hazing. Many are surprised that it is not only a violation of College policy, but hazing is also prohibited in the state of Pennsylvania and a violation of state law.
Below are some examples of hazing myths, along with the facts.
Myth #1: Hazing is primarily a problem for fraternities and sororities.
Fact: Hazing is a societal problem. Hazing incidents have been documented frequently in the military, athletic teams, marching bands, religious cults, professional schools and other types of clubs and/or organizations.
Myth #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 and degrading, and may be life-threatening.
Myth #3: As long as there’s no malicious intent, a little hazing is okay.
Fact: Safety may be compromised by traditional hazing activities, even those considered to be “in good fun,” and even in the absence of malicious intent. For example, serious accidents have occurred during scavenger hunts and kidnapping trips. The risks of hazing far outweigh any potential “benefits” of such activities.
Myth #4: Hazing is an effective way to teach respect and develop discipline.
Fact: Respect must be earned – it cannot be taught. Victims of hazing rarely report having respect for those who have hazed them. For example, would you respect the person that yells at you or the person that helps you wax the floors for parents weekend? As with other forms of victimization, hazing breeds mistrust, apathy, and alienation in an organization/group. It does nothing to bring the group together as one.
Myth #5: If someone agrees to participate in an activity, it cannot be considered hazing.
Fact: In states that have laws against hazing, consent of the victim cannot 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 not be true consent when considering peer pressure and the victim’s desire to belong to the group.
Myth #6: 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 the answer to any one of these simple questions is “yes,” the activity is probably hazing.
York College defines three categories of hazing.
Hazing should be reported directly to any of the following sources: Campus Safety at 717.815.1403 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, the Director or Assistant Director of Student Activities and Orientation at GreekLife@ycp.edu, the Dean of Students at email@example.com, or a trusted faculty or staff member.
Reports can also be submitted anonymously, however, this may hinder swift and accurate action, so direct reporting is encouraged.