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Hazing Policy

Hazing Policy

Purpose

As part of its commitment to providing a safe and healthy campus environment for all students, faculty, staff and visitors, the University of Dayton prohibits all forms of hazing.  The purpose of this policy is to define hazing and to outline the procedures for reporting and adjudicating instances of hazing that may occur within the University community.

Scope

This policy applies to all University of Dayton full time and part time faculty, staff, and students; student groups; and student organizations.  This policy also applies to volunteers acting in an official capacity that advise or coach student organizations and/or student groups and who have direct contact with students.

Policy History

I. Effective Date: February 27, 2014

II. Approval: November 18, 2021; University President

III. History: 

  • Approved in original form:  February 27, 2014
  • Approved as amended:  July 18, 2019
  • Approved as amended:  November 18, 2021

IV. Maintenance of Policy: Vice President for Student Development

Definitions

(a) “Hazing” means doing any act or coercing another, including the victim, to do any act of initiation into any student or other organization or any act to continue or reinstate membership in or affiliation with any student or other organization that causes or creates a substantial risk of causing mental or physical harm to any person including coercing another to consume alcohol or a drug of abuse as defined in section 3719.01 of the Ohio Revised Code.

(b) “Student Group” means a number of persons who are associated with the University and each other, but who have not registered, or are not required to register, as a student organization (e.g. athletic teams, musical or theatrical ensembles, academic or administrative units)

(c)  “Student Organization” means a number of persons who are associated with each other and who have registered with the University as a student organization under the Center Student Involvement for policies for recognized student organizations.

(d)  “Participants” means any student who directly/indirectly partakes in a prohibited act by leading, encouraging, witnessing or condoning the act in any manner. Failing to stop or report these actions as a bystander/witness may bring charges upon the individual.

Policy

The University of Dayton strictly prohibits hazing. Hazing typically involves behavior that is seen by a reasonable person to endanger the physical health of an individual or cause mental distress. Hazing includes any planned/executed action or activity, by or against any active member, associate member, new member, pledge or potential member of a student organization or student group (see Definitions) that inflicts (whether intentionally, unintentionally, forcefully or recklessly) physical or mental harm, distress, anxiety, or which may demean, degrade, endanger, embarrass or disgrace any person, regardless of location, consent or intention of participants.  

Examples of hazing include but are not limited to forced consumption of food, alcohol, drugs or any other substance; forced physical activity; deprivation of food or sleep; physical acts of violence such as hitting, branding or paddling; head shaving; extended isolation or setting a group apart; creation of excessive fatigue; physical and psychological shocks; using activities, such as quests, treasure hunts, scavenger hunts, road trips, interviews or signature books, as a means to exclude those who do not participate from admission to the organization; wearing apparel that is conspicuous or lewd; engaging in public stunts and buffoonery; morally degrading or humiliating games and activities; and late work sessions that interfere with scholastic activities.

Students may not imply that a person be shunned, removed, or unable to join/participate or maintain affiliation or membership in any student organization or student group for failing or refusing to partake in or submit to any form of a hazing activity. 

This policy applies to behavior that occurs on or off campus and at University sponsored or approved activities as well as non-University activities. 

The University may implement additional protocols to address hazing as may be set forth in an Appendix to this policy and updated from time to time.

Potential sanctions

Hazing is a serious offense and therefore subject to the full range of sanctions afforded by the Student Code of Conduct or applicable policies and procedures for University employees including:

(a)  Individual students may face sanctions up to and including probation, suspension and expulsion.

(b)  Student organizations or student groups may face sanctions up to and including the organization’s suspension or expulsion.

(c)  Employees may face corrective action or discipline up to and including termination in accordance with applicable University policies and procedures and/or collective bargaining agreements.

(d)  Volunteers may face corrective action up to and including a permanent ban from campus.

(e)  These sanctions may be in addition to any penalty imposed for violation of criminal laws of the State of Ohio.

enforcement

The University will notify the appropriate law enforcement agency (typically the Department of Public Safety) when a report of hazing is received.  The University of Dayton Department of Public Safety will assess the report for criminal violations in conjunction with the appropriate criminal justice agencies.

The Dean of Students Office shall coordinate the investigation of hazing allegations when student, student organizations and/or student groups are involved following established protocols and procedures.  When appropriate, the following offices may handle certain aspects of the investigation or response:

(a)  Human Resources when staff or volunteers are involved;

(b)  the Office of the Provost when faculty are involved;

(c)  Graduate Academic Affairs when graduate students are involved;

(d)  the School of Law when law students are involved.

Additionally, the Dean of Students Office will assess the need for interim measures in consultation with appropriate offices when the subject of the investigation is beyond the jurisdiction of the Dean of Students Office.  Every effort will be taken to complete the investigation in a timely manner.  If a formal conduct charge is made against an organization, the national or oversight organization, if any, shall be notified.  Criminal investigations resulting from a report to law enforcement will be handled by the appropriate law enforcement agency.

Reporting obligations

1.  Duty to Report

A “mandatory reporter” must immediately report knowledge of hazing as defined in this Policy to the University through any of the reporting options outlined in this Policy.  A mandatory reporter who fails to make a timely report may be subject to appropriate discipline.  Each of the following is considered a mandatory reporter.

(a)  Any full or part time employee of the University (including student employees and graduate assistants)

(b)  Any volunteer acting in an official capacity who advises or coaches student organizations and/or student groups and who has direct contact with students.

Employees who are required by law to protect confidentiality are exempt from this requirement.  These confidential resources include:

- licensed mental health professionals at the University Counseling Center (937) 229-3141

- a doctor or nurse at the Health Center (937) 229-3131

- an ordained member of the clergy through Campus Ministry (937) 229-3339

Note: Reports made pursuant to this Policy do not supersede or replace other reporting obligations.

2.  Where to Report

In a medical or other emergency of any king, immediately dial 911 or contact Public Safety at (937) 229-2121.

In cases of non-emergent situations, individuals may report hazing by contacting any of the following offices:

(a)  Dean of Students Office at (937) 229-1212

(b)  Public Safety at (937) 229-2121

(c)  Community Standards and Civility at (937) 229-4627

File a Public Incident Report found here

3.  Anonymous Reports

The University of Dayton is committed to reviewing all reports of hazing.  Anonymous reports are accepted, however, the University’s ability to obtain additional information may be compromised and the ability to investigate anonymous reports may be limited.  In addition, mandatory reporters may not report anonymously.

Procedural Considerations

  • Charters/Constitutions and Bylaws: In addition to the foregoing, the University prohibits requiring or implying requirement to participate in any act that violates the Code of Conduct; the Center for Student Involvement policies, guidelines and requirements for recognized student organizations; local/state/federal law; a student organization’s charter/constitution/by-laws; the constitution /by-laws of the National Pan-Hellenic Council, National Panhellenic Conference, or North- American Interfraternity Conference; or rules of the Division of Athletics, NCAA, sport clubs, or intramurals.
  • Concurrent Legal Charges: Violations of the Hazing Policy and/or Code of Conduct may also constitute violations of Ohio law.  Students may find themselves charged through the criminal justice system for incidents that have also been attributed to violations at the University. In these cases the University will generally proceed with the student conduct system concurrently with the legal system. The University does not offer legal advice/counsel to students facing criminal charges.
  • Individual Student Charges: In cases where the activity is performed by an individual member of an Organization or Group, the Organization or Group as a whole may be held responsible. Individual students may be charged separately through the student conduct system as well. Delegating or requesting another student, Organization or Group to perform any act that violates this Policy will result in charges of hazing being brought against the requesting student, Organization or Group as well as against the Organization, Group or individuals performing the act, regardless of affiliation.
  • Safety Concerns for Students who Report Hazing: Students who report possible hazing incidents will not be subject to individual charges of policy violations by the University if those violations were a direct result/cause/effect of the hazing. Additionally the University will work to make reasonable accommodations so that the reporting party can continue their academic pursuits. These accommodations include but are not limited to alternative housing, no contact orders, and academic accommodations. Any student who is concerned for their safety either due to ongoing hazing or in fear of retribution should consider speaking with a University staff member to gain an understanding of the services that can be made available in their situation.
  • Depth and Breadth of Process May Vary: The level of any University hazing investigation may vary based on what is included in a report of hazing, what is learned in subsequent inquiries, the connection if any to an Organization or Group, etc.  Even if a “hazing” element of an investigation stops being pursued based on a lack of connection to an Organization or Group or other findings, other policy violations may still be pursued and investigated.    
  • Individual Amnesty for Other Policy Violation(s): Students who participate in a University hazing investigation or inquiry may, on a case-by-case basis, be offered amnesty for other policy violations (such as alcohol violations) for individual behavior disclosed as part of that investigation or inquiry. 
  • Organization or Group Hazing:  When an Organization or Group is alleged to have engaged in hazing, the University reserves the right to impose different sanctions and processes than it might impose or adopt when handling an allegation of hazing directed at an individual.  More details are included in the Student Standards of Behavior and Code of Conduct, in the section addressing Student Organizations.

Reference Documents

  1. Current University of Dayton Student Handbook
  2. Ohio Revised Code §2307.44 Hazing Civil Liability
  3. Ohio Revised Code §2903.31 Hazing 
  4. Ohio Revised Code §3333.0417 Statewide Educational Plan for Preventing Hazing
  5. Ohio Revised Code §3345.19 Collin's Law: The Ohio Anti-Hazing Act
CONTACT

For questions relating to the University policies of Student Development, please contact:


Bill Fischer, Vice President for Student Development
937-229-3682
Email