Facts About Hazing

FACT #1:   Hazing is a Societal Problem.

Fact: Hazing is a societal problem. Hazing incidents have frequently been documented in the military, athletic teams, marching bands and other performance groups, religious cults, professional schools, and other types of clubs and/or organizations. Reports of hazing activities are on the rise in high schools.

FACT #2:   Hazing is victimization.

Fact: Hazing is an act of power and control over others – it is victimization. Hazing is pre-meditated and not accidental. Hazing is abusive, degrading, and sometimes life-threatening.

FACT #3: Bad things happen when we least expect it.

Fact: Even if there isn’t any malicious intent, safety may still be a factor in traditional hazing activities that are considered to be “all in good fun.” Keep in mind: Bad things happen when we least expect them to. Hazing activities serve no purpose in promoting the growth and development of group members.

FACT #4: Human diginity is harmed when individuals or groups are marginalized, ignored or devalued.

Fact: An individual or group’s sense of self-respect, self-worth, physical and psychological integrity, and empowerment, is called human dignity. Human dignity is inherent in every human being. Human dignity is harmed when individuals and groups are marginalized, ignored, or devalued. Discipline is designed to foster respect for self and others. Hazing is harmful to the dignity and self-respect of new members and is the opposite of true discipline.

FACT #5: Hazing can occur even with the consent of the victim.

Fact: In Pennsylvania, consent of the victim cannot be used as a defense in a civil suit. This is because even if someone agrees to participate in a potentially hazardous action, it may not be true consent because of peer pressure, intentional or unintentional threats, and the withholding of information about what will occur.

FACT #6: Hazing can be difficult to recognize.

Fact:  If something seems wrong it probably is. But sometimes hazing can be difficult to recognize. Therefore, if you’re unsure, always talk with your organization leaders and advisors, and refer to the policies and definitions of hazing before partaking in any organizational activity. 


FACT #7: Tradition DOES NOT justify subjecting new members to dangerous actions.

Fact: “Tradition” does not justify subjecting new members to dangerous action. Traditions are created by groups, and groups hold the power to change or eliminate them. It only takes one year to break a hazing tradition. Remember that the founding members of organizations were not hazed … these “traditions” were created at a later time. One class can break the "tradition" of hazing - it just takes courage and integrity to do what is right.

FACT #8: Hazing does not foster sustainable trust, unity or respect..

Fact: Hazing may seemingly create unity among new members, but there are often larger costs involved. The effect of hazing in a group can be like the effect of a hurricane on a community: residents feel closer to each other afterward but some may be suffering. More often, hazing builds animosity between people and does nothing to foster trust, unity, or respect.

FACT #9: Breaking free from hazing or standing up to a group of peers shows strength.

Fact: Many people submit to hazing because they desire acceptance by others, are afraid to resist, or feel a need to prove to themselves or others they are worthy or tough (i.e. “a real man”). These motives reflect conformity, fear, and insecurity, which are not qualities typically associated with strength. In contrast, standing up to a group of peers or breaking free from hazing shows strength.

FACT #10:   69% of students say they are aware of hazing behaviors

FACT #11:   Photos of the hazing activiites were posted on public web spaces.

Fact: In more than half of of hazing experiences, students reported that photos of the activiites were posted on public web spaces -  Hazing in View: College Students at Risk