Policy on Hazing

College of William and Mary Statement of Hazing

It is the responsibility of all student organizations to encourage an atmosphere of learning, social responsibility, and respect for human dignity and to provide positive influence and constructive development for members and aspiring members. Organizations are expected to utilize good judgement to determine the abilities of individual students as they relate to organizational activities and requirements. "Hazing" is an unproductive and hazardous custom that is incongruous with this responsibility and has no place in our university life, either on or off campus.

Section 18.2-56 of the Code of Virginia provides the following:

"It shall be unlawful to haze, or otherwise mistreat so as to cause bodily injury, any student at any school, college, or university.

Any person found guilty thereof shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor, unless the injury would be such as to constitute a felony, and in that even the punishment shall be inflicted as is otherwise provided by law for the punishment of such a felony.

Any person receiving bodily injury by hazing or mistreatment shall have a right to sue, civilly, the person or persons guilty thereof, whether adults or infants.

The president, or other presiding official of any school, college, or university, receiving appropriations from the State treasury shall, upon satisfactory proof of guilt of any student found guilty of hazing or mistreating another student so as to cause bodily injury, expel such student so found guilty, and shall make report thereof to the attorney for the Commonwealth of the county or city in which such school, college, or university is, who shall present the same to the grand jury of such city or county convened next after such report is made to him."

The College of William and Mary Policy on Hazing Infractions
(from the Student Handbook under Student Affairs Policies)

Hazing is defined as any action taken or situation created, intentionally, whether on or off campus, to produce mental or physical discomfort, embarrassment, harassment, or ridicule. Such activities and situations include paddling in any form; creation of excessive fatigue; physical and psychological shocks; quests, treasure hunts, scavenger hunts, road trips or any other such activities; wearing publicly, any apparel which is conspicuous and not normally in good taste; engaging in public stunts of buffoonery; morally degrading or humiliating games or activities; late work sessions which interfere with scholastic activities; and any other activities which are not consistent with the regulations and policies of the College.

Hazing shall include, but not be limited to forcing, requiring, or expecting pledges, associate members, prospective members, or members of university organizations to participate in any of the following actions or activities:

  1. Paddling
  2. Kidnapping
  3. All forms of physical activity which are used to harass or which are not part of an organized athletic context and not specifically directed toward constructive work
  4. Road trips (involuntary excursions)
  5. Confinement in any room or compartment
  6. Spraying, painting, or pelting with any substance
  7. Burying in any substance
  8. Nudity at any time
  9. Requiring or compelling activities creating unnecessary work, duties, or detention, or any dont allow adequate time for study
  10. Requiring or compelling exposure to uncomfortable elements
  11. Verbal harassment
  12. Requiring or compelling the wearing, in public, of apparel which is not in good taste
  13. Requiring or compelling the forced consumption of any liquid (including alcohol) or solid substance
  14. Depriving students of sufficient sleep (six consecutive hours per day is normally considered to be a minimum)
  15. Burning, branding, or tatooing any part of the body, or any other activity, whether voluntary or involuntary, which may cause physical injury or endanger the life of the person being hazed
  16. Psychological Hazing, which is defined as any act which is likely to: (a) compromise the dignity of a member or prospective member, (b) cause embarrassment or shame to a member or prospective member, prospective member to be the object of malicious, (c) cause a member or amusement or ridicule, or emotional strain (d) cause psychological harm or substantial emotional strain
  17. Misleading prospective members in an effort to convince them that they will not become members, that they will be hurt during induction / initiation, or any other activity that would cause extreme mental stress
  18. Carrying any item (shields, paddles, bricks, hammers, etc.) That serve no constructive purpose or that are designed to punish or embarrass the carrier
  19. Blindfolding and parading individuals in public areas, blindfolding and transporting in a motor vehicle, or privately conducting blindfolding activities that serve no constructive purpose
  20. Binding or restricting any person's arms or legs that would prohibit them from moving on their own
  21. Requiring or suggesting that members or prospective members obtain or possess (items for a scavenger hunt)

Hazing, as defined in this statement, is prohibited under state code as well as university policy. Organizations found to be in violation of this policy may face sanctions ranging from a warning to a loss of status as a recognized student organization. Individuals found to be in violation of this policy may face sanctions ranging from a warning to dismissal.

Revised - November 1996

William and Mary

Statement on Hazing

The Office of Student Leadership Development