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301.5 - Hazing

University Group Policy #301.5

I.  Policy Statement

Winston-Salem State University (“University”) prohibits any form of hazing of its students, at any time, or at any location on or off campus, including University owned or leased property, private residences, or public property. The University will respond swiftly to investigate reports of hazing received from any source, and will promptly determine whether to proceed with campus disciplinary action, to forward a report to appropriate law enforcement officials for prosecution as a criminal matter, or both. University students who voluntarily consent to hazing, as well as those who inflict it, are subject to such action.

II.     Definitions

The term hazing shall include, but not be limited to, pressuring or coercing a student into violating state or federal law, any brutality of a physical nature, such as striking in any manner, whipping, beating, branding, exposure to the elements, forced consumption of food, liquor, drugs, or other substances, or other forced physical activities that would adversely affect the health or safety of the student. It also includes any activity that would subject the student to extreme mental stress, such as sleep deprivation, forced exclusion from social contacts, forced conduct that would be extremely demeaning or results in extreme embarrassment or any other forced activity that could adversely affect the mental health or dignity of the student.

For purposes of this section, any activity as described above, or any action or situation that recklessly or intentionally endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a student for purposes, including, but not limited to, recruitment, initiation, acceptance or admission into or affiliation with a university sanctioned organization, shall be presumed to be hazing and a “forced” activity, the willingness or consent of an individual to participate in such activity notwithstanding.

III.    Guidelines

Reporting Incidents of Hazing

University faculty member, staff member, or currently enrolled student who observes the physical or psychological abuse or intentional public embarrassment of any student or students should immediately report the matter to the Office of the Dean of Students or to the Department of Police and Public Safety. Students who are the victims of such behavior should also immediately report the matter to the Office of the Dean of Students or to the Department of Police and Public Safety. Those offices are charged to take appropriate action to respond to such a report.

Students and employees who know, or suspect, that hazing has taken place are strongly encouraged to report it. Individuals may confidentially report such information by, (a) providing a detailed description of the incident the individual believes to be hazing (b) providing such information to the Dean of Students. Knowingly submitting false information is a violation of university policy and will be grounds for disciplinary action, up to and including, dismissal.

Disciplinary Process

The Dean of Students may invoke the student disciplinary process upon an allegation of hazing. Campus disciplinary procedures may be initiated, regardless of whether criminal prosecution occurs. The Dean of Students may immediately refer the matter to the campus disciplinary process, or may defer referral until the outcome of the criminal proceedings has been reported. If a student is convicted of the criminal offense of hazing, then the student may be expelled from the University.

IV.     Applicability

This policy applies to any organized school group, including any society, athletic team, fraternity or sorority, or other similar group, affiliated with the University, on campus or off-campus.

V.    Compliance

Hazing is prohibited by North Carolina law which states as follows:

NCGS §14-35. Hazing; Definition and Punishment: It is unlawful for any student in attendance at any university, college, or school in this State to engage in hazing, or to aid or abet any other student in the commission of this offense. For the purpose of this section hazing is defined as follows: “ to subject another student to physical injury as part of an initiation, or as a prerequisite to membership, into any organized school group, including any society, athletic team, fraternity or sorority, or other similar group. Any violation of this section shall constitute a Class 2 misdemeanor.

NCGS §14-38. Witnesses in Hazing Trials: In all trials for the offense of hazing, any student or other person subpoenaed as a witness on behalf of the State shall be required to testify if called upon to do so: Provided, however, that no student or other person so testifying shall be amenable or subject to indictment on account of, or by reason of, such testimony.

Violations and Sanctions

Any student(s), student group(s), or student club(s)/ organization(which are affiliated with the University, on campus or off-campus, that are found responsible for hazing will be subject to appropriate sanctions by the University, which may include, but not be limited to the following and other appropriate sanctions as outlined in the Student Code of Conduct:

  • counseling,
  • disciplinary probation,
  • social suspension,
  • suspension of charter,
  • restrictions on member recruitment and/or group activity,
  • removal of the offending individual from the group,
  • rescission of permission for the University sanctioned group to operate on campus or
  • individual probation, suspension or expulsion.

All sanctions imposed by the University do not absolve the student(s), group(s) of students, or student club(s)/organization(s) from any penalty imposed for violation of criminal laws of the State of North Carolina. It shall not be a defense that the victim consented to participate, that the conduct or activity that resulted was not part of an official University organizational event or was not otherwise sanctioned or approved by the University organization or the conduct or that the activity was not done as a condition of membership to a University organization.

Responsible Division: Provost & Vice Chancellor for Academic & Student Affairs

Authority: Board of Trustees


  • Amended: December 13, 2012