Gettysburg College opposes all forms of hazing. From a legal perspective, hazing is a crime. From an individual student’s perspective, hazing damages the self-esteem of the targets of the hazing.
From an organizational perspective, hazing degrades the values of the organization. From a campus community perspective, hazing creates an environment of disrespect that contradicts the values of our community. For all of these reasons, the College takes a strong position against any and all forms of hazing.
**Please note that the College’s anti-hazing policy applies to all student organizations, clubs, and athletic teams.
Gettysburg College defines Hazing as:
Any action taken, created, or situated, (on or off campus) to produce mental or physical discomfort, embarrassment, harassment, or ridicule that is directed at new or prospective members of a recognized student organization. An individual, an individual against an organization, or an organization against an individual, may perpetrate such actions. In case of violations, individuals and an organization as a whole may be subject to disciplinary action. Please note that the consent of those hazed will not be accepted as a defense for hazing activities. The severity of the penalty for a hazing offense will be determined in proportion to the hazing activity. In addition to Gettysburg College’s Anti-Hazing policy, students must also comply with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Anti-Hazing law.
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania defines Hazing as:
Title 24, P.S. 5352-5253
“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 of 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 calisthenics, 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.” Any person who causes or participates in hazing commits a misdemeanor of the third degree.”
Responsibilities of Individual Students regarding Hazing:
All individual students have a responsibility to:
- Decline to participate in hazing activities.
- Report hazing activities if they become aware of them.
Examples of Hazing:
Note that this list is not intended to be all-inclusive. Please contact the office of
College Life (x6900) for clarification on any action that may be considered hazing.
- Forcing, requiring, or endorsing consumption of alcoholic beverages or any other drug use.
- Any action which would be perceived as inflicting physical abuse/harm to an individual, e.g. throwing things at students, paddling, etc.
- Requiring students to publicly wear apparel which is conspicuous or not normally in good taste.
- Morally degrading or humiliating games or activities such as requiring members to sing in public or act like animals.
- Requiring any personal servitude such as running errands.
- Requiring tattoos or brands.
- Requiring members to shave all or part of their heads.
- Requiring members to participate in “line-ups”.
- Requiring any activities, which involve the deprivation of food, sleep, etc.
- Assigning or endorsing pranks such as borrowing or stealing items, vandalism to property, or harassing other individuals or organizations.
- Conducting activities that do not allow adequate time for study or sleep.
- All forms of physical activity not part of an organized, voluntary athletics context.
- Verbal harassment, including yelling and screaming.
- Scavenger hunts, treasure hunts, road trips, kidnapping, drop-offs, or any such activities if done in such a way as to violate the College Hazing policy described above.
- Requiring the ingestion of an undesirable, unwanted substance; or excessive amounts of any substance.
- Requiring the carrying of items (e.g. rocks, bricks, etc.).
Reporting an incident of hazing:
A hazing incident may be reported to the College Department of Public Safety (x6911) or the Office of College Life (x6900). College response to allegations of hazing:
Any allegations of hazing reported to the College will be investigated. If the investigation yields evidence of hazing, the College will then take appropriate disciplinary action against the individuals and/or organizations deemed responsible for the hazing. The Student Conduct Review Board may hear charges against individuals. The investigation and adjudication process for groups is presented in the Student Code of Conduct. Please note that the College will also support any victim of hazing if they want to speak to the local police about the possibility of pressing criminal charges.