Hazing can be subtle, harassing, or violent in nature. It can manifest itself in the form of physical violence, forced physical activities, or psychological and/or emotional harm, which can be violations of Massachusetts law. If you're not sure whether or not something happening to you or to someone else is hazing, ask yourself these questions:
- Would I feel comfortable participating in this activity if my parents were watching?
- Would we get in trouble if a college administrator or faculty walked by and saw us?
- Am I being asked to keep these activities a secret?
- Am I doing anything illegal?
- Does participation in this activity violate my values or those of this organization?
- Is this causing emotional or physical distress or stress to myself or to others?
Examples of Hazing
Although it is impossible to list all possible hazing behaviors because many are context-specific, the list below provides some common examples of hazing behaviors.
- Cutting, branding, requiring tattoos, labeling, or shaving of parts of the body
- Required “greeting” of members in a specific manner when seen on campus
- Required walking in groups to class, events, etc.
- Required carrying of certain items
- Loss of voice due to having to yell
- Performing of special tasks for the members or others (cleaning a group's living/meeting area, airport pick-ups, serving as designated driver at all hours of the day and night, etc.)
- Required attendance at late night work sessions, resulting in sleep deprivation
- Not coming home for days or weeks at a time
- Forced consumption of alcohol and/or misuse of substances
- Forced consumption of food substances
- Requiring attire which is not appropriate or embarrassing
- Giving short notice for an unscheduled required meeting or event
- Surrendering of personal property, keys, cell phones, lap tops, etc.
- Physical exposure or abuse (nudity, paddling, pushing, shoving, hitting, punching, tackling, or throwing any substance at another person or submerging or dunking individuals in water or other substances).
- Being dropped off at an unknown location and made to find the way back to campus