Hazing refers to any activity expected of someone joining a group (or to maintain full status in a group) that humiliates, degrades, or risks emotional and/or physical harm, regardless of the person’s willingness to participate. If someone joining a group is asked to do something that a full member does not have to do, that
is considered hazing. Hazing is a common practice among many student groups, not just fraternities/sororities and athletes. Hazing is illegal under Indiana state law.
Some examples of hazing include: forced excessive alcohol use, personal servitude, sleep deprivation, insulting new members, brandings, physical beatings, sexual simulation, sexual assault, restrictions on personal hygiene, and being forced to wear embarrassing attire in public.
You are on Facebook and see some of your teammates' posts about upcoming "initiation" for this year's freshmen, as well as pictures from last year. You are not comfortable with what they are planning. It seems that they push the limit a little more every year but they justify it by saying it's what makes the team close and that it's "tradition." You want to say something but feel intimidated and don't want them to think less of you. What do you do?
Make the first move:
- Within your team or group, decide up front what behaviors are and are not acceptable.
- Ensure that any activities you plan would not be defined as hazing.
- Don’t let others justify hazing as a “tradition”.
- Voice your opinion. Speak to your teammates/presidents/group leaders about your concerns.
- Choose not to participate in any hazing activities.
- Talk to an administrator, coach, etc. about any concerns you have.
We express our appreciation to the University of Arizona C.A.T.S. Life Skills Program for allowing us to use modified versions of their STEP UP! Program content in this USI campus initiative.