Hazing

University Policy 405, Hazing

Executive Summary: 

It is the responsibility of all Students, staff, faculty and members of the University community to ensure an atmosphere of learning, social responsibility, and respect for human dignity. This is achieved by providing positive influences and constructive development for current and aspiring members or participants of any group or organization at UNC Charlotte.  Hazing is counterproductive to the positive learning environment the University seeks to create.

1. Policy 

Any Student, Student Group, or Student Organization, as those terms are defined in University Policy 406, The Code of Student Responsibility, is prohibited from Hazing.  Hazing is a violation of North Carolina state law, this Policy, and the Code of Student Responsibility. According to North Carolina law (NCGS § 14-35):

“It is unlawful for any student in attendance at any university, college or school in this State to engage in hazing, or to aid or abet any other student in the commission of this offense. For the purposes of this section Hazing is defined as follows: ‘to subject another student to physical injury as part of an initiation, or as a prerequisite to membership, into any organized school group including any society, athletic team, fraternity or sorority, or other similar group.’ Any violation of this section shall constitute a Class 2 misdemeanor.”

Hazing at UNC Charlotte is further defined as any activity by a Student, Student Group, or Student Organization, related to membership in a Student Group or Organization, that intentionally or unintentionally endangers the mental, physical, or emotional health of a person, regardless of whether such person has consented to participation in the activity.  Any actions that demean, disgrace or embarrass a person may also be considered Hazing.  Hazing can occur either on or off campus. While Hazing is typically associated with membership selection and initiation into a group or organization, it is possible for Hazing to occur before, during, after or separate from membership selection and initiation, and regardless of a person’s status or position in the Student Group or Student Organization.

Students, Student Groups, and Student Organizations found to be in violation of this Policy may face sanctions set forth in Chapter 10 of the Code of Student Responsibility, as well as possible criminal prosecution. Silent participation or acquiescence in the presence of Hazing, as well as failure to report Hazing when a Student has knowledge or suspicion of Hazing, are not neutral acts; they are violations of this Policy and University Policy 406, The Code of Student Responsibility.

Hazing may be divided into three categories: Subtle, Harassment, and Violent:

  • Subtle Hazing includes, but is not limited to, behaviors that emphasize a power imbalance between new members/rookies and other members of the group. Because these types of Hazing are often taken-for-granted or accepted as “harmless” or meaningless, Subtle Hazing typically involves activities or attitudes that breach reasonable standards of mutual respect and place new members/rookies on the receiving end of ridicule, embarrassment, and/or humiliation tactics. New members/rookies often feel the need to endure Subtle Hazing to feel like part of the group or team. (Some types of Subtle Hazing may also be considered Harassment Hazing).
  • Harassment Hazing includes, but is not limited to, behaviors that cause emotional anguish or physical discomfort in order to feel like part of the group. Harassment Hazing confuses, frustrates, and causes undue stress for new members/rookies. (Some types of Harassment Hazing can also be considered Violent Hazing).
  • Violent Hazing includes, but is not limited to, behaviors that have the potential to cause physical, emotional, and/or psychological harm.

Below are some examples of behaviors that the University considers to be acts of Hazing. This is not an exhaustive list and does not represent every action that could be considered Hazing.

  • Physical, verbal, or psychological abuse, shock, or discomfort
  • Involuntary confinement, excursions, and/or kidnapping
  • Deprivation of food, water, shelter and any other basic needs
  • Implied, coerced, or forced consumption of alcohol, food, drugs or other substances
  • Forced fatigue or sleep deprivation
  • Implied, coerced, or forced physical activity or physical activity that is not a part of the group/organization mission
  • Exclusion from social contact
  • Servitude or morally degrading or humiliating games or activities
  • Any activity that interferes with scholastic/academic responsibilities
  • Misleading students regarding the membership or participation requirements of a student group or organization
  • Wearing or carrying of any obscene or physically burdensome article or the implied, coerced, or forced removal of clothing

Additional University resources on Hazing can be found on the Dean of Students Office Hazing Education and Prevention website.  Additional resources about hazing in general can be found at StopHazing.org.

2. Reporting Acts of Hazing

Any person in the University community, including faculty, staff, or Student, who observes or becomes aware of any form of Hazing, should immediately report the matter to the Office of Student Conduct or Police and Public Safety. Reports may be submitted online at incidentreport.uncc.edu or through the Police and Public Safety anonymous reporting website. Those offices are responsible for taking appropriate action to respond to such a report.  More information regarding how to report an incident and additional information on the University conduct process can be found on the Office of Student Conduct website.

3. Hazing Conduct Process

Hazing, the silent participation or acquiescence of Hazing, and the failure to report a Hazing incident constitutes violations of University Policy 406, The Code of Student Responsibility. Any Student, Student Group, or Student Organization suspected of Hazing is subject to Conduct Procedures under the Code of Student Responsibility.

4. Contact

Members of the University community should direct any questions regarding this Policy to Office of Student Conduct at 704-687-0336 or studentconduct@uncc.edu.