Statement on Hazing
This University wants to take this opportunity to inform the University community about the dangers and consequences of hazing.
Hazing is a criminal act under the state law of Texas.
By definition, hazing is any intentional, knowing, or reckless act, occurring on or off the campus of the University, by one person alone or acting with others, directed against a student for the purpose of pledging, being initiated into, affiliating with, holding office in, or maintaining membership in any organization whose membership consists primarily of students. Consent and/or acquiescence by a student or students subjected to hazing is not a reasonable defense in a disciplinary proceeding.
Examples of hazing include but are not limited to:
- Any type of physical brutality, such as whipping, beating, striking, branding, electronic shocking, placing of a harmful substance on the body, or similar activity.
- Any type of physical activity that subjects the student to an unreasonable risk of harm or that adversely affects the mental or physical health of safety of a student, such as humiliation, sleep deprivation, exposure to the elements, confinement in a small space, personal servitude, calisthenics, or other similar activity.
- Any activity that involves consumption of a food, liquid, alcoholic beverage, liquor, drug, or other substance, other than as described by item 4 below, which subjects a student to an unreasonable risk of harm or which adversely affects the mental or physical health or safety of a student.
- Any activity that induces, causes, or requires the student to perform a duty or task that involves coercing a student to consume a drug, an alcoholic beverage, or liquor in an amount that would lead a reasonable person to believe that the student is intoxicated.
- Any activity in which a person solicits, encourages, directs, aids, or attempts to aid another in engaging in hazing; intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly permits hazing to occur; has firsthand knowledge of the planning of a specific hazing incident which has occurred or may occur; witnesses or participates in a specific hazing incident and knowingly fails to report the incident in writing to the Office of Student Affairs.
- Any activity in which hazing is either condoned or encouraged or any action by an officer or combination of members, pledges, associates, or alumni of the organization of committing or assisting in the commission of hazing.
- Any activity that involves coercing a student to consume an alcoholic beverage, liquor, or drug, or creates an environment in which the student reasonably feels coerced to consume any of those substances.
Students may be prosecuted for committing an act of hazing or for failing to report first-hand knowledge of hazing. The Texas Education Code, Sections 51.936 and 37.151 through 37.157 make hazing a criminal offense. Criminal penalties for hazing can include:
- Failing to report hazing: Fine up to $1,000 and/or up to 180 days in jail
- Hazing not resulting in serious bodily injury: Fine of $500 – $1,000 and/or 90 – 180 days in jail
- Hazing resulting in serious bodily injury: Fine of $1,000 – $5,000 and/or 180 days to 1 year in jail
- Hazing resulting in death: Fine of $5,000 – $10,000 and/or 1 – 2 years in jail
Except where hazing results in death, an individual convicted of hazing may be required to perform community service in lieu of confinement to jail. Students who commit hazing can be subject to both criminal prosecution and penalties as well as sanctions through the University conduct process.
Student groups and individual students can be found guilty of hazing.
Incidents or planned incidents of hazing must be reported in writing to any one of the following:
- ASU Office of Student Affairs
- In-person – Houston Harte University Center, Suite 112
- On-line Incident Report Form – angelo.edu/incident-form
- ASU Police Department – 325-942-2071
Any person who voluntarily reports a specific hazing incident involving a student to the Office of Student Affairs or other appropriate official of the University is immune from civil or criminal liability that might otherwise be incurred or imposed as a result of the reported hazing incident if the person:
- reports the incident before being contacted by University officials concerning the incident or otherwise being included in the investigation of the incident; and
- as determined by Executive Director of Student Affairs or other appropriate official of the University, cooperates in good faith throughout any University process regarding the incident.
Immunity extends to participation in any University conduct proceeding resulting from the report.
An individual is not immune if the person:
- reports the person’s own act of hazing; or
- reports an incident of hazing in bad faith or with malice.
Organizations can also be prosecuted for committing acts of hazing, by condoning or encouraging hazing, or if an officer or any combination of members, pledges, or alumni of the organization commit or assist in the commission of hazing. State law specifically extends the definition of organization to include a fraternity, sorority, association, corporation, order, society, corps, cooperative, club, or service, social, or similar group, whose members are primarily students at an educational institution.
Organizations found to have committed an act of hazing may be fined. Individuals found guilty of hazing can be fined and sentenced to jail. Additionally, the University may discipline a student, to include permanent expulsion, and may also discipline an organization, including permanently removing the organization from campus.
In accordance with requirements of the Texas Education Code, Section 51.936(c), the following organizations have been disciplined for hazing, on or off campus, during the preceding three years:
The following on-campus departments and other resources provide helpful information regarding hazing:
- Office of Student Affairs: 325-942-2047
- Multicultural and Student Activities Programs: 325-942-2729
- University Police Department: 325-942-2071
- Counseling Services: 325-942-2371
- National Anti-Hazing Hotline toll-free number: 1-888-NOT-HAZE (1-888-668-4293)
Further information about hazing is available in the Office of Student Affairs, Houston Harte University Center, Suite 112, by calling 325-942-2047, or on-line in the ASU Student Handbook at http://www.angelo.edu/student-handbook/.
Bradley C. Petty, Ph.D.
Executive Director of Student Affairs