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Hazing: The Impact . Dan Bureau Assistant Dean of Students University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. What I am and What I am not. Don’t love talking about hazing Have knowledge and have dealt with it quite often Not an expert on policy but I know where to look to find them

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hazing the impact

Hazing: The Impact

Dan Bureau

Assistant Dean of Students

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

what i am and what i am not
What I am and What I am not
  • Don’t love talking about hazing
  • Have knowledge and have dealt with it quite often
  • Not an expert on policy but I know where to look to find them
  • Have not done extensive research
  • Committed to the fraternal movement
  • Perception that hazing serves a purpose
hazing re defined
Hazing Re-defined
  • Denial of the problem of hazing and dismissing hazing as harmless are two major barriers to eliminating hazing and promoting positive change. The following definition is offered to help address these common myths about hazing:
    • Hazing is a serious social problem. (See problems with hazing)
    • Hazing is about power and control over others.*
    • Hazing is humiliating and degrading.*
    • Hazing harms people.
    • Hazing hurts relationships and group trust.

*Hazing is not simply about the particular activity—but the power dynamics operating within the group around the activity.

all these policies can you read the small print
All these policies! (can you read the small print?)
  • http://www.odos.uiuc.edu/greek/bfahazing.asp
  • http://www.odos.uiuc.edu/greek/bsahazing.asp
more policies
More policies!
  • FIPG Policy on Hazing
    • the Industry Standard for Fraternities
  • No chapter, colony, student (pledge or member) or alumnus shall conduct nor condone hazing activities. Hazing activities are defined as:

Any action taken or situation created, intentionally, whether on or off fraternity premises, to produce or causes mental or physical discomfort, embarrassment, harassment, or ridicule. Such activities may include but are not limited to the following: use of alcohol; paddling in any form; creation of excessive fatigue; physical and psychologicalshocks; quests, treasure hunts, scavenger hunts, road trips or any other such activities carried on outside or inside of the confines of the chapter house; kidnappings, whether by pledges or active members; wearing of public apparel which is conspicuous and not normally in good taste; engaging in public stunts and buffoonery; morally degrading or humiliating games and activities; and any other such activities that are not consistent with academic achievement, fraternal law, ritual or policy, or the regulations and policies of the educational institution, or applicable state law.

state law
State Law
  • Illinois Hazing Law
  • § 720 ILCS 120/0.01.  Short title
  •  Sec. 0.01. Short title. This Act may be cited as the Hazing Act.

§ 720 ILCS 120/5.  Hazing    Sec. 5. Hazing. A person commits hazing who knowingly requires the performance of any act by a student or other person in a school, college, university, or other educational institution of this State, for the purpose of induction or admission into any group, organization, or society associated or connected with that institution if: (a) the act is not sanctioned or authorized by that educational institution; and (b) the act results in bodily harm to any person.

  • § 720 ILCS 120/10.  Sentence    Sec. 10. Sentence. Hazing is a Class A misdemeanor, except hazing that results in death or great bodily harm is a Class 4 felony.
chapter leadership beware
Chapter Leadership Beware!
  • Criminal law has frequently resulted in chapter leadership aware of hazing being tried and sentenced for failing to stop the activity
  • Cases are emerging where “by-stander responsibility” is growing. If you are aware of activities, you have the ability to attempt to stop it. Failure to do so results in not meeting your “duty of care”.
national policies
National Policies
  • Know policies on hazing and pledging
  • Ignorance is not an excuse
  • Have dialogue with headquarters (nationals) - some activities can be adapted
the spectrum of hazing
The spectrum of hazing

Activities defined as hazing are hazing activities; however, I often will use a spectrum to determine where activities fall


the spectrum of hazing1
The spectrum of hazing

A type activities – things such as interviews, wearing the same t-shirt on a specific day of the week, cleaning the house


This does not mean that I think these are not hazing activities and you should always consult your state law, campus and headquarters policy.

Any of these instances would be investigated by me. I do think these types of activities can be preserved with some tweaking such as involving active members, not involving alcohol, and having the same expectations for all members to complete the task.

the spectrum of hazing2
The spectrum of hazing

B – this would involve kidnappings/road trips, engaging in public stunts such as streaking, keeping pledges up late, pledge swaps, any activities from A could also be here depending on context and other credentials


These will always be interpreted as hazing activities but they are probably not likely to have a long term mental impact or cause physical harm. Intent is highly evaluated in this category.

Any of these instances would be investigated by me. Context and intent would be very important to evaluate as some of these could move to an A level though most could easily move to a C, D level when involving alcohol.

the spectrum of hazing3
The spectrum of hazing

C – creation of excessive fatigue, anything that makes someone feel uncomfortable, anything that involves hitting, blindfolding, anything involving sexual connotations, restrictions on contact with individuals outside of the organization, anything that involves personal risk. Anything in A or B if it involves alcohol or drugs and requires pledges to do something risky or inappropriate to complete the task.


All of these are hazing activities that would assuredly result in a discipline hearing and sanctioning.

This is where the hazing becomes more severe and can be more harmful.

All of these could be a D or E depending on context. None of them would be a B or A in my opinion.

the spectrum of hazing4
The spectrum of hazing

D – anything physical that results in injury, any activities that mentally degrade or humiliate individuals, any effort to intentionally injure another person, hitting (wood/paddling), forced consumption of alcohol, leaving people in the woods to find their way home, taking anything on A,B and C and using force, alcohol or other manner to jeopardize a person


All of these would result in some sort of probation and/or suspension of the organization.

the spectrum of hazing5
The spectrum of hazing

E – alcohol consumption resulting in transport of individual; life placed in jeopardy. Anything that involves complete and utter humiliation of individuals. All physical hazing resulting in short-term or permanent damage to an individual.


These activities are unquestionably hazing. My recommendation would be removal from campus for a specified period of time.

  • Hazing is subjective
  • People interpret differently
  • Sanctioning could vary
  • Participants have different thresholds
  • Universities and lawyers will cover their butts!
  • Policies exist to address multifaceted issue
study done by cornell university
Study done by Cornell University
  • In the study surveying about 700 undergraduates at Cornell University, an Ivy League school, just 6.7 percent reported they had been a hazer, while almost twice as many -- 12.4 percent -- reported they had been hazed.
  • The hazing environment is one where people rarely feel empowered to impact change or walk away.
    • "People felt like they needed social support to get out of a hazing situation, and if all of your friends are in the group, it's going to be harder,"
the impact of hazing
The Impact of Hazing
  • Community (both here and nationally)
  • Organization
  • Individual
  • How would you define values?
  • What are Greek values?
    • Friendship
    • Leadership
    • Scholarship
    • Service
your organization
Your organization

What does your mission statement mean?

What purpose does it serve?

hazing contradicts with our purpose
Hazing contradicts with our purpose

Share purposes of some of Greek organizations

your greek community mission examined
Your Greek Community Mission Examined
  • Our Mission

As members of fraternities and sororities at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign,we are committed to ensuring our success as students and invested partners in ourorganizations through celebrating friendship, leadership, scholarship, service, and socialadvancement while appreciating the diversity of our member organizations.


where does hazing fit in our mission
Where does Hazing Fit in our Mission?
  • Our missions clearly state that our organizations produce friendships, advance personal and professional development, help others through service, provide leadership, assist in scholarship, and provide connections to others through common values

“Three plead guilty to charges in alleged hazing death” PLATTSBURGH, N.Y.-- Three more members of the Phi Epsilon Chi fraternity pleaded guilty Monday to charges stemming from the death of a Plattsburgh State student who police say was forced to drink pitchers of water through a funnel while pledging.



“Student sues U. Toledo, sorority for hazing incident”A University of Toledo student is suing the Sigma Gamma Rho sorority and the university for $25,000 for injuries she said resulted from a hazing incident last March.



“Scholar alleges hazing by fraternity brothers”A Woodruff Scholar who was hospitalized and arrested after spring break for issues relating to bipolar disorder, has accused some of his Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity brothers of hazing him during last year’s pledge process, and drugging him and his girlfriend during spring break this year.

Emory University 2004


“Alcohol-related deaths at colleges this fall raise long-standing question for administrators - what can be done?”“It's a sad but recurring campus story: This autumn, students are again drinking themselves to death”

A national newspaper 2004

people picking on us
People picking on us?

The Greek System Nationally Under Attack? (a.k.a. we’re doing dumb stuff and people are telling us to stop it)

There is no answer for what we are doing other than stopping it. Community Service and good grades mean jack when we’re killing people and putting them in jeopardy


Credibility happens when espoused values are congruent with actions. Leaders who state what they believe in are frequently asked to model those beliefs through their actions.

what is our reputation
What is our reputation?
  • “Reputation is human collateral, the security we pledge against the performance of our obligations as leaders, friends, colleagues, and constituents…Reputation is to be cherished…A damaged one lowers people’s estimation of a leader’s worth and their motivation to follow…”Kouzes and Posner, p. 25).

We are saying we do these amazing things…

We are being exposed for the things we don’t want to talk about that we do…

We wonder why we have no credibility with some people

hazing s impact on your organization
Hazing’s impact on your organization

Student organizations cite many "reasons" for hazing including: building character, fostering teamwork, forming a common bond among new members, proving loyalty, carrying on "tradition," testing endurance, and serving as a contrived rite of passage.

From http://tuintranet.tiffin.edu/sild/hazing.htm - Tiffin University in Ohio

hazing builds pledge class unity
Hazing Builds Pledge Class Unity
  • Some hazing activities do indeed allow for pledge classes to bond….however;
    • It is often times through fear of the unknown
    • It stratifies the organization and the pledge class can often fail to connect with older members
    • Pledging is intense, then you have no responsibilities
patterns of involvement in chapters
Patterns of Involvement in Chapters
  • Typically new members and pledges have the most work to do….
  • Gradually, as you get older you can do less and less because the pledges will do it for you. This creates a pattern where many members gradually move away from the organization.
  • Aren’t we supposed to be members for life?
pledges are viewed as providing a service
Pledges are viewed as providing a service….
  • Cleaning the house
  • Attending the events for the older members
  • Doing errands
  • Entertainment for active members
  • Bullying – have you ever seen a 5’2” man get away with yelling in the face of a 6’3” man?
  • Drinking – the more they drink the better you think your reputation is
  • "Hazing is like having a human Playstation."
aren t we based on common values
Aren’t we based on common values?
  • Then shouldn’t we “prove” the worthiness of pledges to earn membership through their actions involving:
    • Academics
    • Leadership
    • Serving others
    • Being a Good friend
    • Helping with the planning of activities and events to make the chapter look good
closet greeks
“Closet Greeks”
  • People who won’t reveal their affiliations because of what they endured or did in college
    • “I was a (fill in the blank)”
    • Parents/Siblings
      • Know the stuff that goes on
      • Won’t let their kids/brothers/sisters join
  • Long term impact of hazing is detrimental to lifelong membership (and involvement)
one bad apple
One bad apple….
  • Sometimes it is just a few people who ruin things
  • Individuals in your organizations can ruin the experience for all
  • Individuals can put your organization’s future on the line…..
if hazing is so great
If hazing is so great…..
  • If we were honest, would they join?
  • If hazing is so great, why don't we talk about it?
  • Call a spade a spade….
history in jeopardy
History in Jeopardy
  • Since 1872, 114 organizations have been a part of our Greek Community
  • 1st Fraternity: Delta Tau Delta, 1872
  • 1st Sororities: Kappa Alpha Theta & Pi Beta Phi, 1895
  • 1st historically African American Fraternity:
    • Kappa Alpha Psi, 1913
  • 1st historically African American Sorority:
    • Alpha Kappa Alpha, 1914
  • 1st Latin Co-Ed Fraternity Greek-letter organization:
    • Alpha Psi Lambda, 1986
  • 1st historically Asian-American Fraternity:
    • Lambda Phi Epsilon, 1997
  • 1st historically Asian-American Sorority:
    • Alpha Kappa Delta Phi, 2001
  • 6300 Greek Students at Illinois
  • 22% of the Undergraduate population
  • 90 chapters (32 sororities & 58 fraternities)
  • 63 Chapter Houses- Certified Housing by University
hazing impacts well being
Hazing impacts well-being
  • Health Issue vs. Policy Issue
  • Spectrum of hazing – well being is holistic and subjective; even minor hazing can have strong negative impact on individuals
mental health statistics
Mental Health Statistics
  • 1 in 3 college students are depressed
  • 1 in 4 contemplates suicide


  • 82 percent of depressed individuals drink alcohol
  • 56 percent of them indicate that they drink to get drunk
  • 23 percent of students who are depressed and drank indicate having five or more harms from drinking
    • Harvard School of Public Health
eating disorders
Eating Disorders
  • In the United States, as many as 10 million females and 1 million males are fighting a life and death battle with an eating disorder such as anorexia or bulimia. Approximately 25 million more are struggling with binge eating disorder (Crowther et al., 1992; Fairburn et al., 1993; Gordon, 1990; Hoek, 1995; Shisslak et al., 1995).
  • The Prevalence of Eating Disorders Because of the secretiveness and shame associated with eating disorders, many cases are probably not reported. In addition, many individuals struggle with body dissatisfaction and sub-clinical disordered eating attitudes and behaviors. For example, it has been shown that 80% of American women are dissatisfied with their appearance (Smolak, 1996).
  • http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/p.asp?WebPage_ID=286&Profile_ID=41138
sexual abuse
Sexual Abuse
  • 10-20 percent of all boys are sexually abused in some way


  • 80 percent of rape victims will suffer from chronic physical or psychological conditions over time (1995, Strategies for the Treatment and Prevention of Sexual Assault).
peer pressure and its influence
Peer Pressure and its influence
  • Peer Pressure is as strong in college as it is growing up.
    • First opportunity to address peer pressure without the day to day influence of parents/teachers/counselors
    • People do not walk away from the organization due to the pressure they feel to stay, sometimes to stay and save others.
    • leaving the fraternity/sorority can greatly impact your social status and relationships on the greater campus.
do you want to risk it
Do you want to risk it?
  • You never know the background of the people that are joining your organization.
  • Hazing can bring back memories of violence, self-esteem issues, and affect mental illness and disease.
  • If we’re about friendship and helping people be better, why would we risk breaking them to a point of no return?
common barriers to changing a hazing culture
Common Barriers to Changing a Hazing Culture
  • In order to make meaningful change, it is important to identify the key barriers to change and work on dismantling these. Common barriers to eliminating hazing include:
    • Denial of the problem
    • Dismissing hazing as harmless
    • Silence
    • Fear
    • Insufficient support for victims of hazing
    • Cultural norms that promote acceptance of hazing as “normal”
  • Hazing is a complex social problem with no “easy answers.” Those of us who have worked with groups to transform a hazing culture know there are many challenges to making meaningful change. However, we must not forget that every individual has an important role to play in helping to solve the problem of hazing. Each individual action can make a difference. Together, we can continue to build awareness and develop effective intervention and prevention strategies to eliminate harmful hazing!
  • Ask yourself, would you want your (mother/father/administrator) to watch the activity. If the answer is “no” or you are not sure, stop the activity.
  • Talk with administrators about how to take hazing practices and make them non-hazing practices. I have yet to meet a Greek Advisor who would turn in a chapter for coming to them with this problem. It would be the actions that follow that would or would not make me turn in the chapter.
recommendations cont d
Recommendations cont’d

3. Set mutual expectations for ALL members. You can have expectations for pledges/aspirants/new members but expectations should be the same for anyone. Ramifications for not meeting expectations should be the same for anyone.

4. Evaluate the actions your chapter takes when new members fail to meet acceptable expectations. If hazing is going on, then stop it. Create a culture where they will want to meet expectations, not one where they do so because they are afraid.

recommendations cont d1
Recommendations cont’d

5. Always ask if there is something different that can be done to accomplish the same thing as hazing activities do. If you need help coming up with these activities, ask your national organization and your Greek Advisor.

6. Know the policies.

7. Remember the mission of your organization is not to break them down and recreate them but to take good people and make them better through the mission and values of your organization

recommendations cont d2
Recommendations cont’d

8. If the only people who know and attempt to enforce your policies are your national organizations and your Greek Advisor, then they will always be the ones who hold you accountable. You don’t want this.

Councils should have a mechanism to hold their chapters responsible (honest conversation, secret warning)

recommendations cont d3
Recommendations cont’d
  • And finally..
    • Accept hazing as a serious problem that can impact your community, your organization and individuals
    • Accept that hazing is about wielding power over others and is nothing more than bullying
    • Over the long run hazing will hurt a group and will impact a person’s trust and dedication to an organization
    • Your help is needed to address this issue and preserve the future of Greek organizations