Myths and Facts about Hazing

Myth #1: Every fraternity and sorority hazes.

Fact: Despite rumors you may have heard, most fraternities and sororities have positive new member programs that don’t involve hazing.

Myth #2: If someone agrees to participate in an activity, it can’t be considered hazing.

Fact: According to University policy, neither express nor implied consent is a defense against hazing. This is because even if someone agrees to participate it may not be true consent when considering the peer pressure and desire to belong to the group.

Myth #3: As long as there is no malicious intent, a little hazing is okay.

Fact: Even if there is no malicious intent, safety may still be a factor in traditional activities considered to be “all in good fun.” Most serious hazing injuries and even deaths have resulted from activities perceived to be harmless that have gone awry.

Myth #4: Hazing is an effective way to teach respect and develop discipline.

Fact: Respect must be earned, not taught. Just like other forms of victimization, hazing breeds mistrust, apathy, and alienation.

Myth #5: Hazing is the best way to create pride and unity.

Fact: While it is true that forcing a group to endure a difficult ordeal together may help them bond, there are many more positive and constructive methods to establish teamwork and organizational pride. You cannot develop true brotherhood or sisterhood through mental or physical abuse.

Myth #6: It’s difficult to determine whether or not a certain activity is hazing – it’s such a gray area sometimes.

Fact: The definition of hazing is very specific. Although there may be degrees to hazing, organizations and their members can avoid problems by avoiding activities with any semblance of impropriety. If you would be reluctant to have a video of an activity shown to your parents, the police, university administrators, or the news media, then you shouldn’t do it.

What to Do if You Become Aware of Hazing

Hazing Hotline Logo - callIf you are asked to engage in an activity that might be considered to be hazing, you may want to discuss your concerns with someone you trust such your big brother/sister, the chapter president, the new member educator, or a chapter advisor. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this, or if it doesn’t resolve the matter, you should report it to a higher authority.

If you observe hazing taking place that could place students in immediate danger, please call the University Police at 619-594-1991.

If hazing is occurring in your chapter or if you have direct knowledge of hazing by another chapter, you are strongly encouraged to report it. Hazing is not only dangerous, but it hurts the image of the entire Greek community.

You can report hazing by calling:

  • Fraternity & Sorority Life 619-594-5221
  • Center for Student Rights & Responsibilities 619-594-3069
  • National Headquarters for Your Organization
  • National Anti-Hazing Toll-Free Hotline 888-NOT-HAZE
  • SDSU Report Hazing Email reporthazing@sdsu.edu

SDSU's ability to investigate reports and enforce the university policy depends on the accuracy and specificity of the information provided. You are encouraged to provide as much specific detail as possible so that appropriate action can be taken to address the reported behavior.

You have the option to submit a report anonymously, though officials may find it difficult to complete their investigation without knowing the source of the report. In order to investigate an incident, the following information should be provided:

  • Name of the organization
  • Date, time and location of the activity
  • People who were present
  • DETAILED description of the activity
  • Witnesses or others who can corroborate the information you are providing


Question: Which is not an appropriate response if you observe hazing within your organization?

  • A Notify your chapter advisor.
    A is incorrect
  • B Notify a university official.
    B is incorrect
  • C Notify the national organization.
    C is incorrect
  • D Report it anonymously via the 1-888-NOT-HAZE or reporthazing@sdsu.edu.
    D is incorrect
  • E Ignore the hazing and don’t participate
    E is correct! If you observe hazing you have a duty to stop it and/or report it, and you may be subject to judicial action you fail to do so.