What is Hazing?

Hazing means any act committed by a person, whether individually or in concert with others, against a student in connection with joining/pledging, being initiated into, affiliating with, holding office in, or gaining or maintaining membership in any organization that is affiliated with the University; and has the effect of socially or physically isolating, humiliating, intimidating, or demeaning the student or having the effect of harming or potentially harming the mental or physical health of a student.

Hazing also includes soliciting, directing, aiding, or otherwise participating actively or passively in such acts.

  • Hazing occurs regardless of the consent or willingness of a person to participate in the activity.

  • Hazing may occur on or off campus.

  • Hazing unreasonably interferes with academic, programmatic, and employment activities.

  • Hazing includes activities that are in violation of University policies and Vermont law.

Hazing does not include any activity or conduct that furthers legitimate curricular, extracurricular, or military training program goals, provided that:

  1. The goals are approved by the organizations’ official university advisor, coach, etc.
  2. The activity or conduct furthers the goals in a manner that is appropriate, contemplated by the University, and typical and customary for similar programs at other educational institutions.

Confused? Ask yourself these questions:

  • Would I feel comfortable participating in this activity if my parents were watching?
  • Would we get in trouble if the Dean of Students walked by?
  • Am I being asked to keep these activities a secret?
  • Am I doing anything illegal?
  • Does participation violate my values or those of my organization?
  • Is it causing emotional distress or stress of any kind to myself or others?
  • If someone were injured, would I feel comfortable being investigated by the insurance carrier?
  • When I apply for jobs, can I take the onus of having a criminal arrest on my record?

Types of Behavior (not an exhaustive list) that constitute hazing:

The following set of examples (conducted as a condition of joining, affiliating with, or maintaining membership) represents hazing conduct that can diminish one’s sense of membership and/or breach reasonable standards of mutual respect within the team or organization. These activities can also be a warning sign of the risk of more dangerous behaviors being undertaken by member(s) of the group or organization:

  • Participating in exercise unrelated to a sport, or considered extreme
  • Associating with specific people, but not others
  • Performing acts of servitude
  • Shaving of the head or any other part of the body
  • Conducting scavenger hunts or quests
  • Engaging in public stunts that are potentially humiliating or degrading
  • Wearing apparel that is conspicuous and not within community norms
  • Making prank calls
  • Needing to possess certain items at all times
  • Depriving privileges granted to other members

The following set of examples (conducted as a condition of joining, affiliating with or maintaining membership) represents hazing conduct considered aggravated due to the risk of harm created. These activities can place persons at risk of serious physical and/or psychological harm. Such conduct may result in more serious University sanctions as well as criminal prosecution.

  • Undergoing tattooing, piercing, or branding
  • Engaging in or simulating sexual acts
  • Engaging in sexually violent or sexually harassing behavior
  • Threatening or causing physical restraint or abuse (including but not limited to being held down, tied up, taped, or confined in a small space)
  • Consuming any substance
  • Kidnapping, or transporting and/or abandoning, a person
  • Conducting interrogations
  • Being nude in a public or private place
  • Causing excessive fatigue through physical or psychological abuse
  • Furnishing alcohol or illegal substances to minors, or facilitating consumption of alcohol or use of illegal substances by any person
  • Damaging, destroying, or stealing property
  • Identifying hazing targets or subjects on the basis of their actual or perceived race, color, religion, national or ethnic origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, gender identity and expression, veteran status, or other legally protected classification.

Hazing Prevention and Education

Varsity Athletics

With 18 teams competing at the NCAA Division I level, Varsity Athletics participates in a number of anti-hazing educational initiatives including:

  • All intercollegiate student-athletes sign Hazing Prevention Pledge annually as a part of the Student-Athlete Code of Conduct
  • Hazing prevention education with all first-year student-athletes and student-athlete leaders
  • Leadership training for student-athletes focused on bystander behaviors and intervention

Fraternity & Sorority Life

The fraternity and sorority community believes that true sisterhood and brotherhood is fostered in an atmosphere where social and moral responsibility, respect and commitment to higher standards is valued and practiced.  Therefore, a fraternity or sorority program which includes hazing is contrary and detrimental to the purpose of the University of Vermont, the educational and personal development of it’s students, and has no place within the fraternity and sorority community.

Fraternity & Sorority Educational Initiatives:

  • All members sign anti-hazing forms
  • Hazing prevention educational programs throughout the academic year
  • New Member Orientation
  • Each inter/national organization may have additional requirements for their chapters and members

Club & Recreational Sports

Club and Recreational sports informs and educates it's 1,700 + students who participate in one of their 54 recognized club sports in a variety of ways, including:

  • All Club and Recreational Sports Participants must sign a Hazing Pledge.
  • Club Sports Workshops discuss the topic of Hazing Prevention at the start of each semester.
  • Hazing Prevention is a focus in SGA Club Policy Workshops.
  • First Year Students
  • Nearly half of all college students experience Hazing before they get to college. New students, anxious to find friends and community, are also at highest risk for experiencing unhealthy group orientations, rituals, or new member processes.


UVM C.A.R.E. Form:

The University of Vermont's number one priority is to support a healthy and safe community. Occasionally, members of our community find themselves or others in need of additional help and support. If you are concerned about a UVM community member or are concerned about a specific event, we encourage you to contact the Vice Provost and Dean of Students Office (802-656-3380).
If you would like to remain anonymous, you can report your concerns on the University C.A.R.E. Form.
UVM Reporting - Rights via our Policy:

  • Individuals who are victims of hazing and who truthfully report the activities shall not be individually charged with a violation of this regulation.
  • Individuals who have knowledge of a hazing incident, but who did not participate, and truthfully report the activities shall not be individually charged with a violation of this regulation in relation to that particular incident.
  • When reviewing a case, consideration will be given to whether an organization or group has self-reported a hazing behavior and identified individuals who are responsible.

Mandatory Reporting - CSA Reminder

University officials are required to report possible hazing incidents in a prompt and effective manner to University Police Services. Students and other members of the University community are strongly encouraged to report possible hazing incidents as soon as possible to University Police Services.

  • To maximize safety, all reports of hazing should first be directed to University Police Services.
  • The Chief of Police Services, or designee, will promptly take steps to investigate and respond to hazing reports consistent with the exercise of reasonable professional discretion, including the convening of responsible University administrators.

National Reporting

You can call the national toll-free anti-hazing hotline at 1-888-NOT-HAZE (1-888-668-4293). If you have an iPhone, you can use the free GIN Anti-Hazing iPhone App.


On Campus
Victim’s Advocate: (802) 656-9538
Counseling & Psychiatry Services: (802) 656-3340
UVM Rope Course: (802) 656-2060

Online Resources
RISE Partnerships
Stop Hazing
Response Ability (Free Team Building Activities website)