All student organizations are responsible for encouraging an atmosphere of learning, social responsibility, and respect for human dignity and for providing a positive influence and constructive development for members and aspiring members. All organizations are expected to utilize good judgment to determine the abilities of individual students as they relate to organizational activities and requirements. Hazing is unproductive and hazardous behavior that is incongruous with this responsibility and has no place in our college life on or off campus. Consequently, hazing as defined in this statement is prohibited by Lynchburg College and the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Section 18.2-56 of the Code of Virginia provides as follows:
- It shall be unlawful to haze 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.
- Any person receiving bodily injury by hazing 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 hazing another student, sanction and discipline such student in accordance with the institution’s policies and procedures. The institution’s policies and procedures shall provide for expulsions or other appropriate discipline based on the facts and circumstances of each case….The president or other presiding official of any school, college, or university receiving appropriations from the state treasury shall report hazing which causes bodily injury to the attorney for the Commonwealth of the county or city in which such school, college, or university is, who shall take such action as he deems appropriate.
- For the purposes of this section, “hazing” means to recklessly or intentionally endanger the health or safety of a student or students or to inflict bodily injury on a student or students in connection with or for the purpose of initiation, admission into or affiliation with, or as a condition for continued membership in a club, organization, association, fraternity, sorority, or student body regardless of whether the student or students so endangered or injured participated voluntarily in the relevant activity.
At Lynchburg College, hazing is further defined as any action taken or situation created intentionally, whether on or off campus, to produce mental or physical discomfort, embarrassment, harassment, or ridicule. Such activities and situations include paddling in any form; creation of excessive fatigue; physical and psychological shocks; quests, treasure hunts, scavenger hunts, road trips, or any other such activities; wearing publicly apparel that is conspicuous and not normally in good taste; engaging in public stunts of buffoonery; morally degrading or humiliating games and activities; late work sessions that interfere with scholastic activities; and any other activities that are not consistent with the regulations and policies of Lynchburg College. Acts of hazing are prohibited in any circumstance, whether in the context of a structured organization, an informal group, or by an individual.
Hazing shall be identified in two categories: physical and psychological.
Physical hazing includes:
- all forms of physical activity that are used to harass or are not part of an organized athletic context and not specifically directed toward constructive work;
- road trips (involuntary excursions);
- spraying, painting, or pelting with any substance;
- burying in any substance;
- requiring or compelling activities creating unnecessary work, duties, detention, or any duties that impair or do not allow adequate time for study;
- requiring or compelling the forced consumption of any liquid (including alcohol) or solid substance;
- burning, branding, or tattooing any part of the body, or any other activity, whether voluntary or involuntary, that may cause physical injury or endanger the life of the individual being hazed;
- binding or restricting any person’s arms or legs in any fashion that would prohibit them from moving on their own;
- requiring or suggesting prospective members or members to obtain articles that would be illegal to obtain or possess (items for a scavenger hunt).
Psychological hazing includes:
- any act that is likely to: (a) compromise the dignity of a member or prospective member, (b) cause embarrassment or shame to a member or prospective member, (c) cause a member or prospective member to be the object of malicious amusement or ridicule, or (d) cause psychological harm or substantial emotional strain;
- confinement in any room or compartment;
- nudity at any time;
- requiring or compelling exposure to uncomfortable elements;
- verbal harassment;
- requiring or compelling the wearing in public of apparel that is not in good taste;
- depriving students of sufficient sleep (six consecutive hours per day is normally considered to be minimal);
- misleading prospective members in an effort to convince them that they will not become members, that they will be hurt during induction/initiation, or any other activity that would cause extreme mental stress;
- carrying any item (shields, paddles, bricks, hammers, etc.) that serve no constructive purpose or that are designed to punish or embarrass the carrier;
- blindfolding and parading individuals in public areas, blindfolding and transporting in a motor vehicle, or privately conducting blindfolding activities that serve no constructive purpose.
Any organization of Lynchburg College found to be in violation of this policy may face sanctions ranging from a warning to loss of status as a recognized student organization. Campus privileges may be revoked, charters rescinded, and/or disciplinary sanctions imposed on individual officers or members. Individuals found to be in violation of this policy may face sanctions from warning to expulsion.