University of Southern Indiana


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're on Facebook and you see some of your teammates' posts about upcoming 'initiation' for this year's freshmen, as well as pictures from last year. You're not comfortable with what they are planning. It seems they push the limit a little more each year but they justify it by saying 'it's what makes the team close' and '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/president/group leaders about your concerns.
  • Refuse to participate in any hazing activities.
  • Talk to an administrator, coach, advisor, etc. about your concerns.

Contact Christine Johnston


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