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Hazing Prevention - Definitions

What is hazing?: refers to any activity expected of someone joining a group (or to maintain full status in a group) that humiliates, degrades or risks emotional and/or physical harm, regardless of the person’s willingness to participate (stophazing.org, 2005).

Subtle hazing: Behaviors that emphasize a power imbalance between new members and established members of a group or team. These types of hazing are often taken-for-granted or accepted as harmless or meaningless. This type of hazing involves activities or attitudes that place new members on the receiving end of ridicule, embarrassment, or humiliation (stophazing.org, 2005).
Some examples:

  • Deception
  • Assigning demerits
  • Socially isolating new members
  • Expecting certain items to always be in one’s possession

Harassment Hazing: Behaviors that cause emotional anguish or physical discomfort in order to feel like part of the group.  Harassment hazing confuses, frustrates and causes undue stress on new members (stophazing.org, 2005).
Some examples:

  • Verbal abuse
  • Expecting new members to perform personal services to other members
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Expecting new members to be deprived of maintaining a normal schedule of bodily cleanliness

Violent Hazing: Behaviors that have the potential to cause physical and/or emotional, or psychological harm (stophazing.org, 2005).
Some examples:

  • Forced or coerced alcohol or other drug consumption
  • Beating, paddling, or other forms of assault
  • Public nudity
  • Abductions/kidnaps


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