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We have no tolerance for hazing at Oklahoma State University.
Hazing violates the Student Code of Conduct and the Cowboy Community Standard of Respect. Activities that involve forced consumption of alcohol, cause physical or mental distress, or put a student’s well-being in danger will result in action from the University. For more information on Hazing, please review the Student Code of Conduct.
Oklahoma State University defines hazing as any activity that causes or is likely to cause physical or mental discomfort or distress, that may demean, degrade, or disgrace any person, regardless of location, intent or consent of participants, for the purpose of initiation, admission into, affiliation with, or as a condition for continued membership in a group or organization. Apathy or acquiescence in the presence of hazing are not neutral acts; they are violations of this rule.
Oklahoma State Law classifies hazing as a crime, Title 21 Oklahoma Statutes Section 1190. More information on State Law can be found here.
Hazing can occur at any point in one’s membership experience. It happens most commonly during the new member period or just after someone has been initiated or becomes an “official” member. Although hazing may occur in an organized way via the chapter or entire organization it is more likely that hazing will ensue among a small group of members. Hazing is always rooted in a power-dynamic and a need to exert power over others. When you receive an invitation to membership you are considered deserving of membership and do not have to “earn” your way into an organization.
Subtle hazing could be activities that are often accepted as “harmless” or “meaningless.” There is often a power imbalance found between new members and other members of the organization and subtle acts of hazing are activities or attitudes that breach reasonable standards of mutual respect. New Members may feel like they must endure the subtle hazing to feel like they belong to the organization. Examples of subtle hazing include:
- Requiring new members to perform unnecessary duties that existing members are not assigned
- Mowing lawns, cleaning houses, serving as Designated Drivers (DDs)
- Required calisthenics
- Running, sit-ups, push-ups, other forms of physical exercise
- Sleep deprivation
- Assigning meaningless and often impossible tasks
- “Greeting” members in a specific manner when interacting with each other on campus
- Being required to carry around certain items
- Restriction of communication
- Setting of a curfew
The most common type of hazing on our campus is subtle hazing. These types of hazing activities are often overlooked and accepted as “harmless” or meaningless. They can be rooted in tradition or portrayed as bonding activities.
Harassment hazing is used to confuse, frustrate, or cause unnecessary stress for new members. This behavior has the potential to cause emotional anguish and/or physical discomfort. Examples of harassment hazing include:
- Yelling or screaming
- Personal servitude or chores
- Lineups for the purpose of interrogating, demeaning, or intimidating
- Wearing embarrassing or uncomfortable clothing
- Assigning pranks that involve stealing, vandalism, or harassing other organizations
- Forced confinement
- Being dropped off somewhere unfamiliar and being forced to find one’s way back
Violent hazing is behavior that has the potential to cause physical, emotional, and/or psychological harm. It is often the most extreme types of hazing. Examples of violent hazing include:
- Capturing or kidnapping
- Total or partial nudity
- Forced sexual activities
- Pushing, shoving, tackling or any other physical contact
- Branding, cutting, labeling, or shaving parts of the body
- Forced consumption of any liquid or food, including involving alcohol and/or unusual food combinations
- Paddling or whipping
WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE BEING HAZED
If you or someone you know has been hazed, report it. Don’t be a bystander.
- Stay connected with friends outside of your student organization. Organizations that haze may try to isolate new members from others who might question what they are going through.
- Talk with others about what you are experiencing and don’t keep it a secret. Even if you made a promise or took a pledge to keep things a secret, you have a right to tell others what you are going through. You may prevent harm done to yourself or others.
- Seek guidance from your parents/guardians, other family members, trusted friends, or other University officials.
- Refuse to participate in any activity that do not want to participate in that would be considered hazing.
- Band together with other new members that also refuse to be hazed. There is power in numbers.
- Leave the group if you want to. It may be a hard decision to make but walking away from hazing takes strength. Leaving a dangerous situation is not weak and doesn’t mean that you aren’t tough enough to “take it.” Quitting when you are being hazed takes integrity and other values that are Cowboy Community Standards. There are likely others in the group that will leave with you but may need someone like you to take the first step.
- Talk to a healthcare provider or mental health professional to help you sort out what to do.
- Report your experiences to Student Support & Conduct or Fraternity & Sorority Affairs.
- Call 911 if there is an immediate threat to your health & safety or the health & safety of others.
Concerns or reports of hazing can also be reported using our online reporting form found here. Be as detailed as possible when completing this form as all information is important in order for Student Support & Conduct to properly follow-up with the allegation. We may follow up with you after you submit a report to gather more information or provide resources. To the best extent possible, we will keep reports anonymous.
If you are in an emergency situation, dial 911.
Hazing or suspicion of hazing can also be reported to the Anti-Hazing Hotline: 1-888-NOT-HAZE (1-888-668-4293)