Kean University Statement on Hazing
Hazing, or any activity that subjects a student to harassment, intimidation, physical exhaustion or mental distress, is entirely contrary to the Kean University student Code of Conduct. University policy and state law forbid hazing by fraternities and sororities, athletes, individuals or any other Kean University recognized student group.
Hazing is defined as any activity that endangers the physical safety of another person, or produces mental or physical discomfort; causes embarrassment, fright, humiliation or ridicule; or degrades the individual. Any organization suspected of hazing will be investigated and subject to judicial and criminal action.
Kean University complies with New Jersey State Law prohibiting hazing.
A Statement of Fraternal Values and Ethics
In an effort to lessen the disparity between fraternity/sorority ideals and individual behavior and to personalize these ideals in the daily undergraduate experience, the following Basic Expectations of the fraternity/sorority membership have been established by the Commission of Values and Ethics of the National Interfraternity Conference, with acceptance by the National Panhellenic Conference.
- I will know and understand the ideals expressed in my fraternity Ritual and will strive to incorporate them in my daily life.
- I will strive for academic achievement and practice academic integrity.
- I will respect the dignity of all persons; therefore, I will not physically, mentally, psychologically or sexually abuse or haze any human being.
- I will protect the health and safety of all human beings.
- I will respect my property and the property of others; therefore, I will neither abuse nor tolerate the abuse of property.
- I will meet my financial obligations in a timely manner.
- I will neither use nor support the use of illegal drugs; I will neither abuse or nor support the abuse of alcohol.
- I acknowledge that a clean and attractive environment is essential to both physical and mental health; therefore, I will do all in my power to see that the chapter's property is cleaned and maintained.
- I will challenge all fraternity members to abide by their fraternal expectations and will confront those who violate them.
Prepared by Joanne Shaffer Meloro for NEPC, 2.96
The New Member’s Bill of Rights
The following shall serve as a Bill of Rights for all students who choose to participate in a new member education process for a fraternity or sorority at Kean University. These rights shall be construed as the minimum rights to be afforded to each and every new member. It is assumed that a Bill of Rights is a basic document in which free men and women are guaranteed freedom from any type of irresponsible action on the part of individuals or an organization. It is also assumed that such a document will serve to reassure a new member that his or her initiating process will be enhanced rather than hindered.
Therefore, each new member shall know that he or she is not required to submit to any form of activity or requirement that may endanger his or her life, health, or physical or psychological well being. Activities that are strictly forbidden include:
- Stroking or physical touching in any manner that may be construed as indecent.
- Beating or physical abuse of any kind.
- Any indecent acts against the new member or any indecent acts required of the new member.
- Morally degrading or humiliating games or activities wherein a new member is required to perform acts that he or she feels would cause themselves extreme embarrassment, damage their reputations, and be something they consider abhorrent and against their moral code.
- Physical activities that may endanger the safety of the new member or others.
- Late work activities or any extended type of activity that may interfere with the new member’s scholastic work.
- Any public display that may create extreme embarrassment for the new member.
- Any type of quest, treasure hunt, scavenger hunt, road trip or activity carried on outside the campus that would endanger a new member or that will make it necessary for him or her to travel extreme distances, to return from isolated areas, or to be in a position where financial resources are insufficient to allow his or her return to the campus.
- Any type of activity that may be in violation of legal statutes or policies of the University.
To learn more about the Kean University Greek New Member Education Guidelines, please click here.
Statement of Position on Hazing and Pre-Initiation Activities, as Adopted from the Fraternity Executives Association:
“... a fraternity/sorority has a solemn obligation in the development of its new members and existing members and that this responsibility extends alike to the institutions where it is represented; to the parents and others who make possible the education of new members and members; to the communities where chapters are accountable for good citizenship; and to the university fraternity/sorority system of which it is a part.”
“... despite the fact that much progress has been made, one of the most damaging instruments to the fraternity/sorority system is the employment of a program of education, which includes hazing, and this unproductive, ridiculous and hazardous custom has no rightful place in the fraternity/sorority system.”
New Jersey State Criminal Statute
2C: 40 - 3 Hazing
a. A person is guilty of hazing, a disorderly persons offense, if in connection with initiation of applicants to members of a student or fraternal organization, he or she knowingly or recklessly organizes, promotes, facilitates or engages in any conduct, other than competitive athletic events, that places or may place another person in danger of bodily injury.
b. A person is guilty of aggravated hazing, a crime of the fourth degree, if he or she commits an act prohibited in subsection a, which results in serious bodily injury to another person.
2C: 40 - 4 Consent
Notwithstanding any other provision of Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes to the contrary, consent shall not be applicable as a defense to a prosecution under this Act. (Added by L. 1980, chap. 169 (2); eff. 12/18/80.)
2C: 40 - 5 Prosecution
Conduct constituting an offense under this Act may, at the discretion of the prosecuting attorney, be prosecuted under any other applicable provision of the Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes. (Added by L.1980, chap. 169 (3); eff. 12/18/80.) *(Added by L. 1980, chap. 169 (1); eff. 12/18/80.) (rev. ‘84) 141-a)
Kean University Hazing Guidelines
Hazing includes, but is not limited to:
- Actions that recklessly or intentionally endanger the physical and mental health or safety of students.
- Forced or required consumption of any food, liquor, drugs or any other substance.
- Forced or required participation in physical activities, such as calisthenics, exercises or so-called games.
- Exposure to extreme weather conditions (i.e., snow, heat, rain, etc.).
- Excessive fatigue resulting from sleep deprivation, physical activities or exercises.
- Assignment of activities that would be illegal or unlawful, or might be morally offensive to individual new members.
- Physical brutality, including paddling; striking with fists, open hands or objects; and branding.
- Kidnapping, unauthorized road trips, transporting a person against his or her will or stranding of individuals.
- Verbal abuse, including “lineups” and berating of individuals.
- Forced or required conduct that could embarrass or adversely affect the dignity of the individual, including the wearing of apparel that is conspicuous or extraordinary, and the performance of public activities.
- The intentional creation of cleanup work or labor for new members by active members or alumni.
- Denial of sufficient time to study.
- Nudity or lewd behavior.
- Walking on line.
- Wearing of uniform.
* All New Member Education must stop at 11 p.m.
(adapted from the NASPA Journal, vol. 24, no. 4, spring 1987, in “Putting an End to Fraternity Hazing”)
Hazing — What You Should Know
A Guide for the Well-Informed Greek
What is Hazing?
Hazing is defined as any activity that endangers the physical safety of another person, or produces mental or physical discomfort; causes embarrassment, fright, humiliation or ridicule; or degrades the individual.
Why is Hazing Bad?
The Greek System is a target for widespread criticism. While most of it comes from people who have never experienced the manifold values inherent in fraternity or sorority membership, its spokespeople are so numerous, and their audience is so predominately made up of non-fraternity men and women lacking in understanding of what a fraternity or sorority really stands for, it is difficult to counteract the unfavorable publicity.
There is a more practical side, however. In the past, pre-initiation horseplay in the Greek world has led to numerous physical injuries and even some deaths. By a famous decision of the highest court in Colorado, it has now been established, as a matter of law, that the chapters that conduct these “activities” are liable in damages for the injuries inflicted, and that similar liability is incurred by the chapter members who actively participate in hazing.
Finally, and most importantly as an individual, you should have the same freedoms as an active member; the only difference between you and an active member is that you do not know the secret ritual (basically, an oath of loyalty and secrecy) and the history of the organization. If that is all you have to learn, why is it necessary to be treated as a second-class citizen until “they” allow you to learn it? Unfortunately, many active members of fraternities and sororities have the idea that the New Member Education Process is their chance to put the new members through the same degrading program that they had to endure. A new education process that treats you as a second-class member is one that does not respect your rights. Instead of treating the new member with respect and as a friend, the active members who haze are in fact ignoring his or her rights. Therefore, you should always expect to be treated with the respect that every individual deserves.
How Did Hazing Get Started?
Hazing as we know it is strictly an American phenomenon -- arising from the crude behavior of the 19th-century “cowboy” towns on the frontier, and from some forms of military discipline imposed during “boot camp” or “basic training.” Hazing did have parallels in Medieval Europe and the British prep schools of the 1700s, but these practices disappeared long before the American version developed.
Hazing persists today because it is a “TRADITION.” It’s a “rite of passage,” which entitles the survivor to special recognition. It needs to be replaced!
To Whom Does Hazing Apply?
Our greatest contact and familiarity with hazing comes from the active new member relationship. If hazing is occurring, usually an active member is harassing a new member.
Hazing, however, is not limited to active members harassing new members. It is also possible for a new member to haze an active member; an active member to haze another active member; or a new member to haze another new member.
What Kinds of Hazing Are There?
There are two basic types of hazing: Physical and Mental. Listed below are some examples of each:
*Can be classified under both types of hazing
Hazing, both mental and physical, can range from Mild Discomfort to Intense Stress and Physical Exertion.
How Will I Know If I’m Being Hazed?
If you have to ask if a particular activity is hazing... then it probably is. The key here is sensitivity to others, and doing activities on a cooperative basis. Some of the activities listed wouldn’t be hazing if everyone did them together, and no one was forced to do something they didn’t want to. Think about it! You (and your chapter) could start a whole new tradition -- one of NO HAZING.
(Credits: ΑΦ, ΑΤΩ, ΔΤΔ, ΛΧΑ, ΦΓΔ, Fraternity Executives Associations) (Adapted from the Office of Greek Affairs/Colorado State University)
Examples of Hazing
The following are some examples of hazing by category. Do your new member education activities fall into any of these categories?
A. Subtle Hazing:
Actions that are against accepted fraternity and sorority standards of conduct, behavior and good tastes. An activity or attitude directed toward a new member or an act that ridicules, humiliates or embarrasses.
- Never doing anything with the new members.
- Calling you “pledgee” or any other demeaning name.
- Silence periods for new members.
- Any form of demerits.
- Active members writing progress reports on new members.
- Requiring new members to call active members “Miss" or "Sir.”
- Scavenger hunts for meaningless objects.
- Phone/house duties, if only assigned to new members.
- Requiring new members to carry pledge handbook or paddles everywhere to get signatures.
- Scaring new members with what may happen at initiation.
- Deprivation of privileges.
B. Embarrassment Hazing:
Anything that causes mental anguish or physical discomfort to the new members. Any activity which confuses, frustrates or causes undue stress.
- Verbal abuse.
- Any form of questioning under pressure or in an uncomfortable position.
- Requiring new members to wear ridiculous costumes or perform ridiculous activities.
- Requiring only new members to enter by back door or go up by back staircase.
- Stunt or skit nights/events with demeaning and/or crude skits and/or poems.
- Requiring new members to perform personal service for active members such as carrying books, running errands, performing maid duties, etc.
- Refusing to allow time for good grooming.
- Requiring new members to sing embarrassing songs.
- Lineups and interrogations of any type.
C. Dangerous Hazing:
Anything which may endanger the life or health of a new member or active member. Any action which has the potential to cause bodily injury or permanent psychological damage.
- Restricting bodily movement in any way such as tying feet or hands.
- Taking a “ride" or "walk.”
- Requiring calisthenics.
- Requiring walking, standing, sitting or lying in any unpleasant substance or uncomfortable position.
- Allowing a fraternity/sorority to haze a new member, including sexual harassment.
- Requiring eating or drinking of anything, at any time or place.
- Leaving campus secretly.
- Requiring new members to jump from objects, or over an object.
- Requiring outdoor activities in unfavorable weather.
- Requiring new members to consume any amount of alcohol.
- Requiring new members to attend any function where nonalcoholic beverages are not available or where beverages are “spiked” without their knowledge.
(Credits: ΔΖ, ΣΚ)
Are We Hazing?
If you can answer yes to all these questions and your new member education activities do not violate any policy outlined in this document, then you are not hazing.
- Will this activity achieve one or more of the aims of the fraternity/sorority?
- Would you be willing to describe the details of every activity to your chapter advisor?
- Would you be willing to perform this activity in front of a Kean University administrator?
- Would you be willing to send a photograph of the activity to the parents of the member or new member involved? Written details?
- Would you be prepared to go to court to defend the merit of this activity?
- Would you be willing to share a written description of the activity for the other chapters to use?
(Credit: ΚΑΘ Fraternity, Inc.)
Members of the University community who are made aware of an alleged hazing incident, who witness a hazing incident or who wish to make a claim of alleged hazing should contact the Center for Leadership and Service, located in the Miron Student Center, Room 219 by calling (908) 737-5170 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.