Skip to main content

Why does it Matter?

Individual schools, organizations, state and local laws vary. However, the consequences for hazing can be severe. Individuals involved with hazing may be expelled from school, suspended from enrollment for a definite or indefinite period of time, and/or face additional sanctions which may include the college or university referring the case to outside law enforcement agencies.

Student organizations or athletic teams involved with hazing may be sanctioned by withholding of college/university funds; suspension of the club status or charter for up to four years; disqualifying it for funds, space or activities; forfeiture of games/meets or agents; suspension from meeting or playing for the duration of the season; or disqualification from recognition and awards.

  • Legal actions up to and including jail time and fines
  • College discipline (suspension or expulsion)
  • Membership and organizational sanctions

Impact on Person Being Hazed

The media is full of stories reporting one of the worst possible consequences of hazing: death. While death is the worst possible outcome, there are far more examples of less severe but still life-altering consequences. One study has shown that 71% of those who are hazed suffer from negative consequences. These consequences may include but are not limited to:

  • Physical, emotional, and/or mental instability
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Loss of sense of control and empowerment
  • Decline in grades and coursework
  • Relationships with friends, significant others, and family suffer
  • Post-traumatic stress syndrome
  • Loss of respect for and interest in being part of the organization
  • Erosion of trust within the group members
  • Illness or hospitalization with additional effects on family and friends

Impact on Those Who Haze

Those who are leading or participating in the hazing may unintentionally trigger the memory of a traumatic event in the victim’s past that could result in devastating consequences.

Those who are accused of engaging in the hazing behaviors may face suspension or expulsion, and legal action which may include misdemeanor or felony charges and/or jail time.

Personal impact: In addition to being accountable to the organization, the College, the state criminal process, and civil litigation, those that haze may experience the following:

  • Decline in grades and coursework
  • Relationships with friends, significant others, and family suffer
  • Loss of connection to alums through the organization
  • Media scrutiny
  • Damage to one’s personal reputation
  • Warped sense of leadership
  • Feelings of shame and guilt

Impact on the Organization

When a team, club or chapter participates in hazing, not only are individuals affected, but the organization also suffers. Individuals and their organization may be accountable to the national offices as well as institutional and local governing boards. Depending on the organization, the consequences can be quite significant. A local chapter of a Greek Life organization might be suspended from campus for a number of years, whereas a sports team could forfeit their season or a club could be disbanded. In addition, the following outcomes may result when members of an organization participate in hazing:

  • Loss of reputation within the campus community, local area and nationally
  • Loss of recognition for the organization, team or club and/or other privileges revoked
  • Civil damages may be levied against the organization
  • Organization’s officers may be held responsible
  • A gradual erosion of the true meaning and values of the organization