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Definition of Hazing

Hazing includes any student organization activity that is likely to cause:

  • Mental or physical harm or danger
  • Degradation
  • Fright
  • Intimidation
  • Embarrassment
  • Harassment or ridicule
  • Compels a member to do something that is unlawful or publicly indecent
  • Unreasonably impairs a student’s academic efforts

An activity may be considered hazing regardless of a person’s willingness to participate, regardless of whether the action was intentional or unintentional, regardless of location, and regardless of whether or the member is initiated or not.

Hazing is strictly prohibited by University policy, California law and the policies of all national fraternities and sororities
SDSU maintains a zero tolerance for hazing stance. Chapters in violation of the policy may lose their campus recognition, and individual students who violate the policy can be suspended or expelled from the university and may be criminally prosecuted. Anyone who allows hazing to occur in their presence can be charged with hazing, whether or not they actively participate.

Examples of Hazing

Prohibited hazing activities include, but are not limited to:

  • Making members do calisthenics, runs, etc. not part of an organized voluntary athletic contest
  • Paddling or hitting members
    Compelling members to consume or smoke/drink or drugs or engage in drinking games
  • Compelling members to eat or drink foreign or unusual food or other substances
  • Throwing substances at or pouring substances on members
  • Writing embarrassing or degrading things on the bodies or clothing or possessions of members
    Morally degrading or humiliating games
    “Kidnapping” individuals against their will
    Causing an individual to be indecently exposed
    Sexual simulations
  • “Line-ups” or interrogations where obscenities or insults are shouted at members
  • Verbal abuse or assigning derogatory names for members to use when addressing one another
  • Pranks or scavenger/treasure hunts that require a member to deface or steal property or engage in embarrassing stunts
  • Tests of courage, bravery, or stamina.
  • Physical or mental shocks, regardless of degree or nature.
  • Ceremonial burials or satanic rites.
  • Requiring members to wear or carry unusual, embarrassing, degrading, uncomfortable or physically burdensome articles or apparel.
  • Depriving members of the opportunity for sufficient sleep (six hours continuous sleep per day minimum), comfortable sleeping arrangements, decent edible meals, access to showers during initiation week.
  • Depriving new members access to or use of cellular telephones, wallets, keys, and other personal possessions during initiation week.
  • Activities that interfere with a member’s academic efforts by causing exhaustion, loss of sleep, or loss of reasonable study time or by preventing a member from attending class. New member activities shall normally conclude by midnight on school nights.
  • Personal servitude or being requiring new members to purchase items for initiated members.
  • Requiring a member to become branded, tattooed, pierced or shaved.
  • Intentionally deceiving new members prior to initiation to make them believe they will not be initiated or will be hurt or struck.
  • Intentionally creating a mess for others to clean up.
  • Blindfolding individuals in a manner that may create intimidation or place the person in danger.


Question: Which of the following would not be a violation of the SDSU hazing policy?

  • A A chugging contest with new members, provided that new members have the option of consuming water instead of beer.
    A is incorrect - all drinking games are hazing
  • B New members “kidnapping” an initiated member.
    B is incorrect – such activities are considered hazing regardless of the membership status of the participants.
  • C Having a new member event that lasts until 1:00 a.m. on a Wednesday, provided anyone with an 8:00 class or a test the next day is allowed to leave early.
    C is incorrect – all new member events must conclude by midnight on school nights.
  • D Requiring new members to wear a pledge/new member pin on campus
    D is correct - however subjecting new members to punishment or harassment if they are on campus without a pin would be considered hazing.