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Anti-Hazing Policy

Elizabethtown College rejects all forms of hazing. Hazing is not only a violation of College policy, but is also a criminal act under Pennsylvania law. Hazing negatively impacts student development and well-being, contributes to an environment of disrespect and erodes institutional core values of peace, non-violence, human dignity and social justice.

Elizabethtown College defines hazing as any act that endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a student, or which destroys or removes public or private property, for the purpose of initiation, admission into, affiliation with, or as a condition for continued membership in, a group or organization. The express or implied consent of the victim is not a defense to an allegation of violation of the College's Anti-Hazing Policy.

Apathy or acquiescence in the presence of hazing is not a neutral act; it is a violation of this policy.

Elizabethtown students have a responsibility not only to refrain from participation in hazing activities but to report such activities if they are aware of them to a college official.

As mentioned above, hazing not only violates College policy, but is also a crime in Pennsylvania. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania defines hazing as

“any action or situation which recklessly or intentionally endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a student or which willfully destroys or removes public or private property for the purpose of initiation or admission into or affiliation with, or as a condition for continued membership in, any organization operating under the sanction of or recognized as an organization by an institution of higher education. The term shall include, but not be limited to, any brutality of a physical nature, such as whipping, beating, branding, forced calisthen¬ics, exposure to the elements, forced consumption of any food, liquor, drug or other substance, or any other forced physical activity which could adversely affect the physical health and safety of the individual, and shall include any activity which would subject the individual to extreme mental stress, such as sleep deprivation, forced exclusion from social contact, forced conduct which could result in extreme embarrassment, or any other forced activity which could adversely affect the mental health or dignity of the individual, or any willful destruction or removal of public or private property. For purposes of this definition, any activity as described in this definition upon which the initiation or admission into or affiliation with or continued membership in an organization is directly or indirectly conditioned shall be presumed to be ‘forced’ activity, the willingness of an individual to participate in such activity notwithstanding.”

Under Pennsylvania law, any person who causes or participates in hazing commits a misdemeanor of the third degree. Additionally, any act that would violate the Pennsylvania Anti-Hazing statute, also violates this policy.

Examples of Hazing Activities: (from

The following are some examples of hazing divided into three categories: subtle, harassment, and violent. It is impossible to list all possible hazing behaviors because many are context-specific. While this is not an all-inclusive list, it provides some common examples of hazing traditions.

Subtle Hazing:

Behaviors that emphasize a power imbalance between new members/rookies and other members of the group or team. These are termed “subtle hazing” because these types of hazing are often taken-for-granted or accepted as “harmless” or meaningless. Subtle hazing typically involves activities or attitudes that breach reasonable standards of mutual respect and place new members/rookies on the receiving end of ridicule, embarrassment, and/or humiliation tactics. New members/rookies often feel the need to endure subtle hazing to feel like part of the group or team. (Some types of subtle hazing may also be considered harassment hazing).

Some Examples:

  1. Deception
  2. Assigning demerits
  3. Silence periods with implied threats for violation
  4. Deprivation of privileges granted to other members
  5. Requiring new members/rookies to perform duties not assigned to other members
  6. Socially isolating new members/rookies
  7. Line-ups and drills/tests on meaningless information
  8. Name calling
  9. Requiring new members /rookies to refer to other members with titles (e.g. “Mr.”, “Miss”) while they are identified with demeaning terms
  10. Expecting certain items to always be in one’s possession


Harassment Hazing:

Behaviors that cause emotional anguish or physical discomfort in order to feel like part of the group. Harassment hazing confuses, frustrates, and causes undue stress for new members/rookies. (Some types of harassment hazing can also be considered violent hazing).

Some Examples:

  1. Verbal abuse
  2. Threats or implied threats
  3. Asking new members to wear embarrassing or humiliating attire
  4. Stunt or skit nights with degrading, crude or humiliating acts
  5. Expecting new members/rookies to perform personal service to other members such as carrying books, running errands, cooking, cleaning etc
  6. Sleep deprivation
  7. Sexual simulations
  8. Expecting new members/rookies to be deprived of maintaining a normal schedule of bodily cleanliness
  9. Being expected to harass others


Violent Hazing:

Behaviors that have the potential to cause physical and/or emotional, or psychological harm.

Some Examples:

  1. Forced or coerced alcohol or other drug consumption
  2. Beating, paddling, or other forms of assault
  3. Branding
  4. Exposure to cold weather or extreme heat without appropriate protection
  5. Forced or coerced ingestion of vile substances or concoctions
  6. Water intoxication
  7. Expecting abuse or mistreatment of animals
  8. Public nudity
  9. Expecting illegal activity
  10. Bondage
  11. Abductions/kidnaps


Reporting an Incident

Students or others with knowledge of a hazing incident should contact the Dean of Students (ext. 1196) or Campus Security (ext. 1263).

College Response

The Dean of Students or his/her designee will conduct an investigation of any allegation of hazing. If the investigation provides evidence of hazing, then the College will proceed with a disciplinary hearing and appropriate sanctions will be issued as appropriate. These sanctions may include loss of privileges, fines, suspension/expulsion of individual students and/or the responsible group. Additionally, the College will support any victim of hazing if he/she wishes to pursue criminal charges.

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