The intent of this webpage is to provide student leaders, and other members of the University community, with educational information concerning hazing. This information should not be viewed as all inclusive or exclusive in its content and definitions. Specific questions should be referred to the Director of Student Involvement, the Director of Athletics or the Vice President for Student Affairs.
Statement of Position
Southern New Hampshire University provides an environment that fosters both intellectual and personal growth. This requires striking a balance between upholding individual freedom and demanding respect for the rights of others. Every student has the right to a climate conducive to study, and all other students must respect this right.
Students also have new, or recent, freedoms and privileges because they are joining the adult community. The University should not, therefore, be constantly watching their actions or judging their behavior. When those actions, however, clash with the rights of others to a safe learning environment, the University must preserve academic rights that define it as a community.
Students are, therefore, held to a high standard of conduct; one which will maintain the educational quality of the campus. Students responsible for violations of University regulations will be dealt with in ways that promote social and personal development.
General Student Conduct
In order to maintain a living-learning environment, which will assure the greatest opportunity for academic as well as personal success, the University has established the following rules and procedures.
While it is impossible to list in detail all the activities, which are permissible, there is the positive expectation that students will:
Treat others politely and with respect; exhibit tolerance for others without regard to race, ethnic origin, religion, gender, age or sexual preference.
In general the University may discipline any student for conduct, which disrupts the institution in the pursuit of its educational and developmental purposes. When a campus organization and/or individual is found to be involved in a possible hazing activity, the University shall initiate disciplinary action. Such action shall be conducted in compliance with conduct proceedings as outlined in the Student Handbook.
What is Hazing?
Hazing is a broad term encompassing any action or activity which does not contribute to the positive development of a person; or which inflicts or intends to cause mental or bodily harm or anxieties; or which may demean, degrade, or disgrace any person. If you have to ask if a particular activity or action is hazing, then it probably is.
New Hampshire State Law
(1) Such act is likely or would be perceived by a reason able person as likely to cause physical or psychological injury to any person;
(2) Such act is a condition of initiation into, admission into, continued
membership in or association with any organization.
A person is guilty of a class B misdemeanor if such person:
(1) Knowingly participates as actor in any student hazing; or
(2) Being a student, knowingly submits to hazing and fails to report such hazing to law enforcement or educational institution authorities; or
(3) Is present at or otherwise has direct knowledge of any student hazing and fails to report such hazing to law enforcement or educational institution authorities.
An educational institution or an organization operating at or in conjunction with an educational institution is guilty of a misdemeanor if it:
(1) Knowingly permits or condones student hazing; or
(2) Knowingly or negligently fails to take reasonable measures within the scope of its authority to prevent student hazing;
(3) Fails to report to law enforcement authorities any hazing reported to it by others or of which it otherwise has knowledge.
The implied or express consent of any person toward whom an act of hazing is directed shall not be a defense in any action brought under this section.
When a campus organization is reported as having violated SNHU hazing rules, a formal report will be forwarded to the Director of Student Involvement or the Athletic Director. In turn, The University will take appropriate action regarding the alleged violations. Depending on the circumstances relating to the violations, the University will choose to adjudicate the case.
All hazing cases involving individuals will be directly referred to the SNHU judicial process regardless of the disposition of related cases involving organizations. Organizations and individuals found in violation of a hazing offense are subject to maximum disciplinary action by Southern New Hampshire University.
EXAMPLES OF HAZING
Depending upon the circumstances, these activities have been construed as hazing by the courts and/or institutions of higher education. Such actions are often required or implied as conditions of inclusion in or exclusion from a group, formal or informal. Thus, hazing may be perpetrated by individuals against individuals, individual against group, group against individual, or group against group.
- Requiring calisthenics such as sit-ups, push-ups, runs, p.t.’s, or any form of physically abusive exercise.
- Requiring the carrying of items such as rocks, bricks, paddles, helmets, shields, coconuts, knapsacks, lunch boxes, other people, etc.
- Scavenger hunts, treasure hunts, road trips, or any other such activities when not done for information gathering purposes consistent with the educational purposes of the organization.
- Kidnappings are specifically prohibited.
- Morally degrading and humiliating games and activities such as requiring members to dive in dumpsters, to sing in a public place (i.e. dining hall), to act like animals or other beings, to scrub floors with toothbrushes, or to be nude at any time.
- Assigning or endorsing pranks such as borrowing/stealing items , painting property and objects, or harassing other individuals or groups.
- Deprivation of sleep.
- Blindfolding or hand-tying at any time.
- Verbal harassment including yelling or screaming.
- Individual interrogations not consistent with legitimate testing of information about the history, purpose, or direction of the organization.
- Requiring any personal servitude such as running errands.
- Requiring people to wear, publicly, apparel which is conspicuous and/or not normally in good taste.
- Requiring people to walk or march in formation.
- Requiring people to be branded.
- Requiring people to answer phones or doors with chants, riddles, songs, or rhymes.
- Deception and/or threat contrived to convince the individual, he or she won’t be able to join the group or organization.
- Expecting participation in an activity in which the full membership would not participate.
- Requiring people to enter the house or building through a side door or entrance not normally used to enter.
- Requiring people to yell when entering or leaving the house or building.
- Work parties without the participation of the full organizational membership.
- Any action which could be perceived as inflicting physical abuse/harm to an individual (i.e. paddling, application of foreign substances, etc.).
Situations involving hazing must be reported to the Vice President for Student Affairs, the Director of Student Involvement, or the Athletic Director.