PLU is first and foremost an educational institution. Hazing prevention policies, and response procedures for hazing incidents, grow from and embody the institution’s mission. Membership in clubs, organizations, and other university-affiliated groups can increase leadership and service potential; provide athletic, recreational, intellectual and spiritual opportunities; and otherwise contribute positively to personal and social development of our students. Where membership is linked with involvement in hazing activities, the educational purpose of the endeavor is compromised and safety of students is endangered. Hazing is therefore prohibited by university policy.
A. Policy Statement and Definition
In conjunction with Washington State Law (RCW 28B.10.901 and RCW 28B.10.902), PLU defines hazing as any act of initiation (committed by a person, whether individually or in concert with others) into a student organization, athletic team or living group, or any pastime or amusement engaged in with respect to that organization or group with or without the consent of the participant(s), which:
- causes, or is likely to cause, bodily danger or physical harm, or serious mental, emotional or psychological harm to any student or other person; or
- may abuse, mistreat, degrade, humiliate, harass, ridicule, intimidate or endanger him or her, or which may in any fashion compromise his or her inherent dignity as a person; or
- subjects a student or other person to conduct or conditions which a reasonable person in the circumstances would find harmful, including but not limited to
- excessive mental or physical discomfort
- alcohol or drug abuse
- physical confinement
- verbal or physical abuse
- or substantial interference with the person’s educational pursuits; or
- otherwise involves a violation of a law or University policy or which encourages a student or other person to violate a law or University policy, including but not limited to the “Student Code of Conduct”, “Alcohol and Drug Policy”, and “Sexual Harassment Policy”;
- recruitment, pledging, admission into, or affiliation with student organizations, which specifically includes athletic teams; and
- acts that are likely to cause harm to someone, including consumption of alcohol, drugs, or other substances that risk physical, psychological, or emotional harm, regardless of a person’s willingness to participate.
Hazing also includes soliciting, directing, aiding, or otherwise participating actively or passively in such acts. Hazing occurs regardless of the consent or willingness of persons to participate in the activity. Hazing is prohibited no matter if it occurs on or off campus.
- Individual Sanctions: A student who participates in or encourages hazing shall be subject to disciplinary action by the University through its Student Conduct Code and Procedures. Hazing that endangers a person’s mental or physical safety is also a criminal offense. As required by state law, a student who participates in criminal hazing, in addition to the possibility of being subject to prosecution, shall forfeit any entitlement to state-funded grants, scholarships, or awards for a period of time determined by the university, but not less than one academic term.
- Group Sanctions: A student organization or living group that permits hazing to occur by its members or by others, subject to its direction or control, shall itself be subject to sanctions, including but not limited to the University’s withdrawal of its recognition of the group. Violations of the hazing policy by athletic team members will result in department-imposed sanctions, which may include department service dismissal from the team or cancellation of competition. In addition, the organization or group may be liable under state law for resulting harm to persons or property.