Hazing Prevention

Here at GW, the campus culture and physical setting does not support hazing activities. Recent reports show that much of the most serious hazing incidents happening today are taking place in high schools, and students are bringing that experience with them to college. In addition, there are several indicators of concern with fraternities who are operating without the recognition or support of their institution or a national organization. It is imperative that we continue to work to keep hazing out of the George Washington University, and to eliminate any hazing activities, however small, from taking root in our community.

We have established a confidential hazing reporting process for anyone who becomes aware of suspected hazing activity on campus.  Every report will be treated with respect and will be addressed by the Office of Greek Life and the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities.

GW Hazing Policy

Hazing is any action taken or situation created intentionally, with or without consent, whether on or off campus, to produce mental or physical discomfort, embarrassment, harassment, or ridicule. Groups will be held responsible for the actions of their members, including pledges, associates, and any other pre-initiates.

The negligence or consent of the student/participant or any assumption of risk by the student/participant is not a defense to an action brought pursuant to the policy.

The adjudicating officer or body, not the alleged victim, will determine whether the action taken or situation created violated university policy.

District of Columbia Law:

Hazing is any initiation of applicants to or members of a student or fraternal organization in which a person or people knowingly or recklessly organize, promote, facilitate or engage in any conduct, other than competitive athletic events, which places or may place another person in danger of bodily injury.

Any person who hazes or takes part in hazing activities on or off the property of any university located within the District of Columbia shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction, is subject to a fine of up to $1,000, or imprisonment of up to 6 months.

Any fraternity, sorority, or group recognized by any university within the District of Columbia who knowingly or recklessly permits hazing on or off the property of any university located within the District of Columbia shall be subject to a fine of not more than $5,000.

The implied or expressed consent of a student shall not be a defense under this section.

Maryland Law:

§ 268H. Hazing students prohibited

   (a) Haze defined. -- In this section "haze" means doing any act or causing any situation which recklessly or intentionally subjects a student to the risk of serious bodily injury for the purpose of initiation into a student organization of a school, college, or university.

(b) Violation constitutes misdemeanor; penalty. -- A person who hazes a student so as to cause serious bodily injury to the student at any school, college, or university is guilty of a misdemeanor and, on conviction, is subject to a fine of not more than $500, or imprisonment for not more than 6 months, or both.

(c) Consent of student not defense. -- The implied or expressed consent of a student to hazing may not be a defense under this section.

Virginia Law:

§ 18.2-56.  Hazing unlawful; civil and criminal liability; duty of school, etc., officials

It shall be unlawful to haze, or otherwise mistreat so as to cause bodily injury, any student at any school, college, or university.

Any person found guilty thereof shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor, unless the injury would be such as to constitute a felony, and in that event the punishment shall be inflicted as is otherwise provided by law for the punishment of such felony.

Any person receiving bodily injury by hazing or mistreatment shall have a right to sue, civilly, the person or persons guilty thereof, whether adults or infants.

The president, or other presiding official of any school, college or university, receiving appropriations from the state treasury shall, upon satisfactory proof of the guilt of any student found guilty of hazing or mistreating another student so as to cause bodily injury, expel such student so found guilty, and shall make report thereof to the attorney for the Commonwealth of the county or city in which such school, college or university is, who shall present the same to the grand jury of such city or county convened next after such report is made to him.

Confidential Hazing Report Form

GW does not support or tolerate hazing activies. We encourage you to use the Confidential Hazing Report Form to let us know of any suspected incidences.