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Student Handbook

Hazing

Students should be aware that hazing violates campus regulations and state law. Monmouth has a zero tolerance policy when it comes to hazing. Students and/or organizations involved in such acts will be charged under the Code of Conduct as appropriate. The following information has been prepared by the Office of Student Activities. The information is designed to assist members of the University community in understanding University and state positions on hazing activities. The information is intended to be educational and should not be viewed as all-inclusive in its content and definitions. Specific questions should be referred to the Office of Student Activities at 732-571-3586. 

Statement on Hazing 

Monmouth University recognizes that student groups and associations including, but not limited to, clubs and organizations, fraternities and sororities, and intercollegiate or club sport teams are an integral part of the University. They contribute to the academic and social experience of the students and the Monmouth community. This relationship carries with it certain rights of the University to protect and preserve an appropriate environment in which all students and student associations may operate. As such, all students are expected to conduct themselves as responsible members of the University community and to respect their fellow citizens. Any departure from these standards as defined in the Student Handbook, the national fraternity/sorority documents, and state regulations may subject any individual(s) or group(s) to disciplinary action. 

Hazing: A Definition 

An Act passed by the New Jersey State Legislature in 1980 with regard to hazing and aggravated hazing under the New Jersey Criminal codes provides the following definitions. 

§ 2C:40-3. Hazing; aggravated hazing  

  1. A person is guilty of hazing, a disorderly persons offense, if, in connection with initiation of applicants to or members of a student or fraternal organization, he knowingly or recklessly organizes, promotes, facilitates or engages in any conduct, other than competitive athletic events, which places or may place another person in danger of bodily injury. 
  2. A person is guilty of aggravated hazing, a crime of the fourth degree, if he commits an act prohibited in subsection (a) which results in serious bodily injury to another person. 

Monmouth University Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life, the Greek Senate, the IFC, MGC and PHC define hazing as: 

  1. Any action or situation, on or off campus, which includes any mental or physical requirement, request or obligation placed upon any person (pledge, new member, associate member, member, affiliate, guest) which could cause discomfort, pain, fright, disgrace, injury, or which is personally degrading or which violates any federal, state or local statute/law or University policy, and  
  2. Upon which the initiation, or admission into, or affiliation with, or continued membership in an organization is directly or indirectly conditional. 

Furthermore, 

  1. No person shall participate in the hazing of another. 
  2. No student or advisor shall knowingly permit the hazing of another. 
  3. No student or advisor shall fail to report hazing. 
  4. The negligence or consent of the student/participant or any assumption of risk by the student/participant is not a defense to any action brought pursuant to this policy. 

The following offices are available to you as a resource to report allegations of hazing: 

  • The Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life 732-263-5319 
  • The Office of Student Activities and Student Center Operations 732-571-3586 
  • The Office of the Vice President for Student Life and Leadership Engagement  
    732-571-3417 
  • The Office of the General Counsel 732-571-3598 
  • The University Police 732-571-4444 

Examples of Hazing 

Depending upon circumstances, these activities have at one time or another been construed as hazing by the courts and/or institutions of higher education. Such actions are often required or implied as conditions of inclusion or exclusion from a group, formal or informal. Thus, hazing may be perpetrated by individual(s), individual against group, or group against individual.  

  1. Requiring calisthenics such as sit-ups, push-ups, running, or any form of physically abusive exercise. 
  2. Forcing, requiring, or endorsing consumption of alcoholic beverages or any  
    other drug. 
  3. Requiring the ingestion of an undesirable, unwanted substance (e.g., spoiled food, drink concoctions, etc.). 
  4. Requiring the carrying of items, such as rocks, bricks, or pumpkins. 
  5. Scavenger hunts, treasure hunts, road trips, kidnappings, drop-offs, or any other such activities. 
  6. Morally degrading or humiliating games and activities such as requiring members to sing in public or act like animals. 
  7. Assigning or endorsing pranks such as borrowing or stealing items, painting property and objects, or harassing other individuals or groups. 
  8. Deprivation of sleep. 
  9. Blindfolding or hand-tying. 
  10. Verbal harassment including yelling and screaming. 
  11. Requiring any personal servitude such as running errands. 
  12. Line-ups, kangaroo courts, or any interrogations not consistent with legitimate testing for information about history, purpose, or direction. 
  13. Requiring new members to wear publicly, apparel that is conspicuous and/or not normally in good taste.  
  14. Requiring new members to be branded. 
  15. Requiring new members to answer phones or doors with chants, riddles, songs, or rhymes. 
  16. Deceptions and/or threats contrived to convince the new member he or she won’t be able to join the organization. 
  17. Conducting activities that do not allow adequate time for study or sleep. 
  18. Requiring new members to enter the house or building through a side door or entrance not normally used to enter. 
  19. Requiring new members to yell when entering or leaving the house or building. 
  20. Work projects without the participation of the full membership. 
  21. Any action which would be perceived as inflicting physical abuse/harm to an individual, for example, paddling or throwing things at new members. 

Please note: This list by no means covers all activities and actions that can be considered hazing. Should you have questions or desire clarification of any of these items, please contact the Office of Student Activities: stop by the Student Center, second floor office suite, or call 732-571-3586. 

Approval of New Member Activities 

The Office of Student Activities recognizes that while the University policy regarding hazing attempts to set appropriate standards for new member activities that support the state’s laws against hazing and the University’s standard of conduct, it is impossible to list every possible pledge activity.  

Thus, it is recognized that the list of prohibited activities in the policy by no means covers all activities and actions which can be considered hazing. Furthermore, certain activities that technically fall within the above prohibited categories may be permissible if carried out within certain guidelines. 

Therefore, in order to prevent organizations from engaging in hazing activities, while not overly restricting organizations from engaging in new member activities (which would not violate the principles of the institutional policy on hazing), the Office of Student Activities has established the following approval process: 

  1. If an organization is unsure whether a certain activity is permissible or if it believes that a planned activity technically violates the policy list of prohibited activities but should not be banned as a violation of this policy, it should be submitted as a written request for approval of the proposed activity to the Office of Student Activities. 
  2. The written request for approval shall set forth a full description of the nature of the proposed new member activity. 
  3. The Office of Student Activities will quickly review each written request and inform the organization in writing whether its request has been approved. The Office of Student Activities shall have authority to request further information or clarification and to place any appropriate conditions it believes necessary upon any such approvals. 
  4. If the request is approved, the organization and its members will not be charged with hazing for such new member activity so long as the new member activities conform to the description set forth in the written request and any conditions imposed by the Office of Student Activities. This protection will not apply for any activity that takes place prior to the receipt of approval from the Office of Student Activities or for any activity that falls outside the scope of the written request for approval or any conditions imposed thereon. 
  5. This procedure is subject to revocation if the Office of Student Activities determines that it is not operating in the best interests of the University community.