Any action taken, created, or intended, to produce mental or physical discomfort, embarrassment, harassment, or ridicule that is directed at new or prospective members of a recognized student organization. Such actions may be perpetrated by an individual, an individual against an organization, or an organization against an individual. In case of violations, individuals and an organization as a whole may be subject to disciplinary action. In addition to Washington College’s Anti-Hazing policy, students must also comply with the Maryland Anti-Hazing law.
The State of Maryland also prohibits hazing and defines it as such:
- Prohibited — A person may not recklessly or intentionally do an act or create a situation that subjects a student to the risk of serious bodily injury or mental or emotional distress for the purpose of initiation into a student organization of a school, college, or university.
- Penalty — A person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, on conviction, is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 9 months or a fine not exceeding $2,500 or both.
- Prohibited defense — The implied or expressed consent of a student to hazing is not a defense under this section.
The College’s anti-hazing policies apply to any and all student groups and organizations on campus. The consent of those being hazed will not be accepted as a defense for those who have been found to violate college policies on hazing.
Examples of Hazing
Note that this list is not intended to be all-inclusive. Please contact the Office of Student Affairs (ext. 7752) for clarification on any action that may be considered hazing.
- Causing extreme physical fatigue through physical and psychological shocks
- Forcing, requiring, or endorsing calisthenics, such as sit-ups, push-ups or running
- Forcing, requiring, or endorsing participation in study halls for new members
- Conducting a new member-related activity between the hours of midnight and 7:00 a.m.. or awakening individuals during these hours
- Forcing, requiring, or endorsing less than seven (7) continuous hours of sleep for associates/pledges/new members each night
- Any 24/7 activity that requires constant monitoring
- Pushing, shoving, tackling, paddle swats, or any other act which may cause harm
- Forcing, requiring, or endorsing pledges/associate members/new members to purchase or consume alcohol, drugs, food, or any other substance
- Dropping food (e.g.. eggs, grapes, liver, etc.) into mouths
- Forcing, requiring, or endorsing branding, scarring, or tattooing
- Throwing anything (whipped cream, garbage, water, paint, etc) at or on an individual
- Forcing, requiring, or endorsing theft of any physical property under any circumstances
- Assigning or endorsing "pranks" or harassing another organization
- Forcing, requiring, or endorsing the defacing of trees, ground, or buildings on or off campus
- Conducting quests, treasure hunts, scavenger hunts, paddle hunts, big sister/brother or little sister/brother hunts
- Forcing, requiring, or endorsing the carrying of items besides new member guidebook (i.e.. porn magazines, candy for initiated members, cigarettes, stuffed animals, rocks, etc.)
- Conducting activities that do not allow adequate time for study during the pledge period
- Yelling and screaming or directing negative comments at associates/pledges/new members
- Deceiving new members prior to the ritual designed to convince an associate/pledge/new member that they will not be initiated or will be hurt
- Forcing, requiring, or endorsing the playing of extremely loud music repeated over and over, or any other audible harassment
- Not permitting pledges/associates/new members to talk for periods of time
- Messing up the house or a room for the associate members/pledges/new members to clean
- Forcing, requiring, or endorsing the running of personal errands (servitude)
- Forcing, requiring, or endorsing engagement in an activity that involves compelling an individual or group to remain at a certain pace or transporting anyone anywhere, withing or outside Chestertown (drop offs, kidnaps, etc.)
- Forcing, requiring, or endorsing engagement in public stunts or shenanigans
- Forcing, requiring, or endorsing shaving of head or body hair
- Forcing, requiring, or encouraging pledges/associate members/new members to interview older members and take notes
- Wearing apparel that is conspicuous and not "normally" in good taste
Reporting an Incident of Hazing
You may report hazing allegations online or by contacting any of the below staff members:
Hazing incidents may be reported to any of the following:
- Sarah Feyerherm, Vice President for Student Affairs, ext. 7752
- Candace Wannamaker, Associate Vice President for Student Affairs, ext. 7752
- Ursula Herz, Associate Dean of Students and Director of Residence Life, ext. 7752
- Director of Student Engagement, ext. 7146
- Brandon McFayden, Director of Public Safety, ext. 7810
- Sue Golinski, Associate Director of Public Safety, ext. 7810
All individual students have a responsibility to decline to participate in hazing activities and report hazing activities if they become aware of them.
An individual student or student group found responsible for hazing or participating in hazing activities is subject to disciplinary action by the College as well as possible criminal prosecution under Maryland State Law.
Any allegations of hazing reported to the College will be investigated. If the investigation yields evidence of hazing, the College will then take appropriate disciplinary action against the individuals and/or organizations deemed responsible for the hazing. The Honor Board may hear charges against organizations and individuals. Disciplinary action may include both accountability sanctions (e.g.. fines, loss of privileges, disciplinary probation, suspension or expulsion of the organization, loss of College housing) and educational sanctions (e.g.. programs, workshops, community service).
Any retaliatory measures taken against a student who reports a hazing incident are prohibited and may result in additional sanctions taken against the group or individual responsible.
The College will also support any victim of hazing if he or she wants to speak to the local police about the possibility of pressing criminal charges.
New Member Education Programs in Relation to Hazing
It is assumed that once a student organization submits all Anti-Hazing Compliance Forms there is a clear understanding of the Anti-Hazing Policy and therefore New Member Education Programs will not include any form of hazing.
A suggested format for a new member education program should include the following:
- Goals and objectives
- Organization of the new member class (e.g.. meetings, officers, length of program)
- Advisor and Alumni role in the program
- Scholarship Development
- Leadership Development
- Campus Community Service
- Education about traditions and purpose of the organization
- Getting to know members
- Social activities
All activities of a new member education program should be positive in nature. Each organization should ask if their activities and behaviors could be publicly justified to College officials. If they cannot, other alternatives should be considered.
Student Organizations are encouraged to consult with their National/International Headquarters, the Assistant Director of Student Engagement, and/or the Associate Vice President of Student Affairs for New Member Program development. In addition, this consultation is also encouraged if there are any questions regarding activities which might be in potential violation of the Anti-Hazing Policy.
All student organizations that have a new member education period are required to inform members, new members, associate members and affiliates of the Anti-Hazing Policy at the first meeting of the new member education period. This responsibility is directly charged to the President and other appropriate executive officers of the organization. At this meeting, each member must receive a copy of the written document.
At the same first meeting of the new member education period, all those students affiliating must complete an "Anti-Hazing Compliance Form". In addition, the officers and current members of the student organization must also complete an "Anti-Hazing Compliance Form", (see the Assistant Director of Student Engagement for these forms). These forms must be forwarded to the Office of Student Engagement in Hodson Hall within three (3) days after the commencement of the new member education period for each semester in which the organization has such activities, to certify recognition of and compliance with the College's Anti-Hazing Policy. If an organization has a second new member education period in a semester, arrangements are to be made with the Assistant Director of Student Engagement to certify the organization's compliance with the Anti-Hazing Policy.
Failure to file the Compliance Forms may result in possible judicial action as outlined in the Anti-Hazing Policy.