Hazing

All campus organizations (athletic teams, club sports teams, band, Greek Letter organizations, Student Clubs and Organizations, etc.) are subject to Tiffin University's hazing policy.

Hazing Statement

As an educational institution, Tiffin University has a special set of interests and purposes essential to its effective functioning. These include:

  • the opportunity for students to attain their educational objectives;
  • the creation and maintenance of an intellectual and educational atmosphere throughout the University;
  • the protection of the health, safety, welfare, property, and human rights of all members of the University and the safety and property of the University itself

The University has a clear responsibility in the area of student conduct to protect and promote the pursuit of its goals. Furthermore, Tiffin University maintains autonomy over campus organizations. Initiation into campus organizations, athletic teams, and other activities undertaken by such organizations or individuals must be consistent with the stated purposes of the organizations and the educational mission of Tiffin University. Any activities that may be construed as hazing are specifically and unequivocally prohibited.

Full sanctions can be found in the Tiffin University Student Handbook.

Frequently Asked Questions About Hazing

What is Hazing?
Hazing is a broad term encompassing any action or activity that does not contribute to the positive development of a person; or which inflicts or intends to cause mental or bodily harm to a member or members.

What are the Consequences of Hazing?
Charges can be filed not only against the organization, but also against the organization's president, the advisor, other individuals associated with the incident, and any national affiliate.

The advisor and president of each organization must be aware that the burden of liability legally rests with them. Thus, the advisor and organization's president run the risk of legal action if all organizational activities and actions are not carefully monitored, and if they do not halt activities, which, in the eyes of the law, can be construed as hazing.

Does hazing still exist?
Unfortunately, hazing is still practiced in communities and on college campuses across the country. Reported incidents of hazing are increasing according to the National Interfraternity Council (April 1994). In response to these growing numbers, Tiffin University has made a commitment to educate students about hazing and its dangers.

Why do people haze?
Student organizations cite many "reasons" for hazing including: building character, fostering teamwork, forming a common bond among new members, proving loyalty, carrying on "tradition", testing endurance, and serving as a contrived rite of passage. In reality, hazing has no redeeming value to anyone.

Examples of Hazing

Depending upon circumstances, these activities have been construed as hazing by the courts and/or institutions of higher education. Some of these may surprise you.

  • Requiring excessive calisthenics such as sit-ups, push-ups, runs, or any form of physically abusive exercise, in which all members are not participating.
  • Forcing, requiring or endorsing consumption of alcoholic beverages or any other drug especially for minors.
  • Requiring the ingestion of any undesirable, unwanted substance (i.e., spoiled food, 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. Kidnaps and ditches are specifically prohibited.
  • Morally degrading or humiliating games and activities such as requiring members to wade in the river, to count bricks, 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, panty raids, painting property and objects, composite raids, or harassing other groups.
  • Deprivation of sleep
  • Blindfolding members at any time involuntarily
  • Verbal harassment including yelling or screaming at members. Individual interrogations not consistent with legitimate testing for information about the history, purpose, or direction of the organization (such as lineups or kangaroo courts)
  • Requiring any type of personal servitude such as running errands
  • Requiring members to be branded
  • Deception and/or threats contrived to convince the new member s/he will not be able to join the organization or group
  • Interfering with proper study
  • Expecting participation in an activity in which the full membership would not participate
  • Work parties without the participation of the full organizational membership. Any action that could be perceived as inflicting physical abuse/harm to an individual (i.e., paddling, application of foreign substances, etc.).

This list does not cover all activities and actions that are considered hazing. Should you have questions or desire clarification of any of these items, call the Dean of Students at 419-448-3421.

Liabilities of Hazing

Many successful lawsuits have been filed in the United States court system against organizations and individuals for activities and actions, which resulted in mental or physical harm to a member or members. Charges can be filed not only against the organization but also against the president, the advisor, other individuals associated with the incident, the national affiliate if there is such, as well as the University.

The advisor and president of each organization must be aware that the burden of liability legally rests with them. Thus, the advisor and president run the risk of legal action if all organizational activities and actions are not carefully monitored, and if they do not halt activities, which in the eyes of the law, can be construed as hazing.

Ohio has specific civil and criminal laws that prohibit hazing.