Policy Title: Hazing Policy
Effective date:9/1/1999
Pertains to: All students, faculty and staff
Policy Index: www.stthomas.edu/policies

Hazing Policy (Adopted by Student Life Committee)

The University of St. Thomas unconditionally opposes hazing and prohibits any situation that produces mental or physical discomfort, embarrassment, harassment or ridicule. Every University of St. Thomas student is guaranteed freedom from the humility and danger of hazing.

As defined by the University of St. Thomas, hazing is any public or private act, on campus or off, whether physical, psychological, or illegal, which subjects another person, voluntarily or involuntarily, to anything that may abuse, mistreat, degrade, humiliate, or intimidate him or her, or which may be construed to compromise his or her inherent dignity as a person.

Although most hazing incidents involve an active member of an organization harassing a pledge or associate, hazing is not limited to that relationship. The University of St. Thomas prohibits all hazing including, but not limited to: an active member hazing another active member; a pledge hazing another pledge; a pledge hazing an active member; and an alumnus or alumna hazing an active member or pledge.

Activities considered to be hazing may include, but are not limited to the following:

a.Calisthenics, exercise and running;

b. Nudity or degrading apparel;

c.Corporal punishment, e.g., paddling, hitting, beating, pushing, shoving or tackling;

d.Exposure to uncomfortable environments, e.g., excessive or repetitive noises, yelling or screaming; bright lights; extreme temperatures; confining quarters;

e.Lack of continuous sleep or sufficient sleep;

f.Required eating of repulsive food, e.g., raw onions, spoiled food;

g.Required drinking of alcoholic beverages;

h.Road trips, abandonment, "dropping" or kidnapping;

i.Personal servitude or lengthy work sessions;

j.Assigning "pranks" such as stealing, defacing objects, or harassing another person or organization;

k. Not providing sufficient study time;

l.Using derogatory or degrading names; yelling or screaming; using obscenities at pledges or associates;

m.Manipulating or creating situations that involve hypocrisy, deception, or double standards, e.g., telling a person s/he has failed when, in fact, s/he has not; expecting the person to do anything requested by an active member;

n.Activities that endanger mental or physical health or involve the forced consumption of liquor or drugs;

o. Conduct that is a crime by the criminal code of the state of Minnesota or the United States of America;

p.Academic dishonesty, such as cheating and plagiarism, knowingly furnishing false information; and forgery, alteration or unauthorized use of university documents, records, identification, or property.

Complaints of hazing may be brought against an individual, group or organization. All complaints/notices of offense must be made in writing and directed to the Dean of Students who will review the complaint/notice and determine whether or not the incident constitutes hazing.
  • If the incident is not determined to constitute hazing, the Dean of Students (or designee) will determine if any violation of university "Rules of Conduct" occurred and if any charges are warranted.
  • If the incident is determined to constitute hazing, then:
    1.If minor, the dean will reprimand the individual, group or organization and issue appropriate sanctions.

    2.If major or a second offense, the dean will file written charges against the individual, group or organization for violation of the hazing policy and have the complaint heard by the University Hearing Board following discipline procedure guidelines. The decision of the hearing will be referred to the Student Life Committee for suggestions for disciplinary sanctions and the final decision and sanctions, if necessary, will be given to the Dean of Students or designee.