Student Conduct

Hazing

Hazing is a serious infraction of university regulations. The potential for hazing typically arises as part of a student’s introduction to or initiation in an organization (fraternity, sorority, athletic team, or other group) in which there is often a perceived or real power differential between members of the organization and those newly joining it.



Hazing defined. Hazing is defined as any action taken or situation created, whether on or off university premises, that is harmful or potentially harmful to an individual’s physical, emotional, or psychological well-being, regardless of an individual’s willingness to participate or its bearing on his/her membership status. Such activities and situations include, but are not limited to:

Level I Violations

  • marching in line
  • road trips
  • wearing apparel which is conspicuous and not normally in good taste, and/or inappropriate for the time of year
  • calisthenics
  • line-ups
  • pledge/signature books
  • periods of silence
  • standing for a length of time
  • personal servitude
  • activities that would not normally construe hazing but because of time, place, or manner make them inappropriate

Level II Violations

  • sleep deprivation or interruption of consecutive sleep hours
  • expected or forced consumption of food, drink (including alcohol), or other substance
  • acts of humiliation or degradation (including streaking or wearing degrading or humiliating apparel)
  • restrictions on eating or bathing
  • acts that disrupt academic instruction or learning of others
  • interruption or interference of academic commitments

Level III Violations

  • branding
  • paddling in any form
  • compromising (sexual) situations

Both individuals and groups may be held accountable under this policy. The action of even one member of a group may result in both individual and group responsibility. The following questions can help individuals/groups assess the appropriateness of an activity:

  • Does the activity promote and conform to the ideals, values, and mission of both the university and organization?
  • Is it an activity that all members (current and initiates) engage in together?
  • Would the group’s advisor, the national headquarters of a fraternity/sorority, and/or other university officials approve of the activity?
  • Will this activity increase new members’ respect for the group and all members of the group?
  • Is the activity free of mental anguish or physical discomfort?
  • Does the activity have inherent value in and of itself?

[Adapted from the Fraternity Executive Association, the North American Interfraternity Conference, Inc., and Washington University.]

Any individual or group found responsible for hazing will be subject to sanctions outlined in the disciplinary process, including, but not limited to: disciplinary probation, social suspension, suspension of charter, restrictions on member recruitment and/or group activity, removal of the individual from the group, loss of housing privileges, suspension, and/or expulsion. Sanctioning will increase with the level of violation and any previous hazing violations. (Levels of violation listed above are guidelines only and may change given particular circumstances of a violation.) Students should also be aware that hazing is a misdemeanor under North Carolina state law.

Acts or potential acts of hazing may be reported to the Office of Student Conduct (919-684-6938) or Duke Police (911 or 919-684-2444). In addition, concerns may be reported confidentially via voicemail to the university’s Hazing Hotline at 919-684-5766. Maintaining the confidentiality of the source is possible, but may limit the extent of action that can be taken.

North Carolina state law on hazing (N.C.G.S.§ 14-35):
It is unlawful for any student in attendance at any university, college, or school in this State to engage in hazing, or to aid or abet any other student in the commission of this offense. For the purposes of this section hazing is defined as follows: “to subject another student to physical injury as part of an initiation, or as a prerequisite to membership, into any organized school group, including any society, athletic team, fraternity or sorority, or other similar group.” Any violation of this section shall constitute a Class 2 misdemeanor.