Use this tool kit to analyze your Group’s events and traditions to ensure that they are free from hazing. Group leaders are expected to be proactive in reviewing their Group's events and activities each year to ensure these events and activities are free from hazing.
Follow the steps below to analyze your Group’s events and activities to ensure that they are free from hazing.
When analyzing your events and activities to identify any possible elements of hazing, consider the following questions.
1. Is the event secretive?
- Are members not supposed to talk about the event? What would happen if video footage of the event leaked?
- If the event is secretive, ask yourself why. If it is secretive to avoid getting into trouble, that is a major sign that you should not be engaging in that event.
2. Is there implicit pressure to participate?
- Regardless of what you verbally tell people, the environment you set up can still create implicit pressures to participate. Some things to think about when determining whether or not there is an implicit pressure to participate:
- Are there power dynamics? If yes, you should assume there is implicit pressure to participate.
- Do people have to opt out of the activity rather than opt in?
- If someone intervened and stopped this activity, would they lose social capital, status, or respect in the group?
- If someone didn’t participate, would there be consequences (i.e. not fitting in, not being accepted into the group, not being invited to future social events etc.)?
- Presenting an event as optional does not change the power dynamics or the implicit pressure to participate. Events presented as “optional” can still be considered hazing.
- If you feel the need to present an activity or event as “optional” ask yourself why. If the reason is because some people could find the event humiliating, degrading, abusive, and/or endangering, that is a major sign that the event should not occur.
3. Is there explicit pressure to participate?
- Explicit pressure is when someone is told they have to participate.
- If there is explicit pressure to participate then you need to make sure that the activity is not humiliating, degrading, abusive, and/or endangering. There also needs to be a justifiable reason for requiring participation that is directly related to the mission of your organization.
- For example, a soccer team can require members to go to soccer practice, a fraternity cannot. A soccer team cannot require members to go to soccer practice at 2:00am.
4. Is the activity humiliating, degrading, abusive, and/or endangering?
- If the activity is humiliating, degrading, abusive, or endangering, there must be no implicit or explicit pressure to participate.
- Consumption of controlled substances, including marijuana, and consumption of alcohol under 21 is against the law, therefore it is considered endangering. As a result, any event where there is implicit or explicit pressure to consume alcohol underage and/or to consume controlled substances is considered hazing. Be very cognizant of the power dynamics that exist between active members and new members at any event where alcohol and/or controlled substances are present.
Report Incidents of Hazing
Stanford takes violations of the hazing policy extremely seriously, and encourages anyone who has been hazed, has witnessed hazing, or suspects someone they know has been hazed, to report these observations. Reports can be submitted anonymously or confidentially.