Hazing Prevention Education


Image: Students waving on campus

OUR PHILOSOPHY

Hiram College believes in providing a safe and accountable campus community free of all forms of hazing. Since hazing can cause irreversible harm to victims, including death, we have adopted a zero-tolerance policy. Hazing is prohibited both on and off campus and applies to admitted and enrolled students, clubs and student organizations, athletics, advisors, volunteers, faculty or staff members, and alumni. The safety and wellbeing of our community relies on a common understanding of our policy, encouragement to report potential violations, and swift investigative action on behalf of the College and local law enforcement.

The College will maintain a log of all reported violations of the policy, as well as those individuals or entities that are found in violation of hazing per the Student Code of Conduct. The College is committed to updating this report as required by Ohio law, twice yearly, on January 1 and August 1. Updated reports will be made available on this webpage by the above deadlines.

DEFINITION OF HAZING

The Ohio Revised Code, Section 2903.31, defines hazing as: (1) doing any act or coercing another, including the victim, to do any act of initiation into any student or other organization or any act to continue or reinstate membership in or affiliation with any student or other organization that causes or creates a substantial risk of causing mental or physical harm to any person, including coercing another to consume alcohol or a drug of abuse, as defined in section 3719.011 of the Revised Code.

  • (2) “Organization” includes a national or international organization with which a fraternity or sorority is affiliated.
  • (B)(1) No person shall recklessly participate in the hazing of another.
  • (2) No administrator, employee, faculty member, teacher, consultant, alumnus, or volunteer of any organization, including any primary, secondary, or post-secondary school or any other educational institution, public or private, shall recklessly permit the hazing of any person associated with the organization.
  • (C)(1) No person shall recklessly participate in the hazing of another when the hazing includes coerced consumption of alcohol or drugs of abuse resulting in serious physical harm to the other person.
  • (2) No administrator, employee, faculty member, teacher, consultant, alumnus, or volunteer of any organization, including any primary, secondary, or post-secondary school or any other educational institution, public or private, shall recklessly permit the hazing of any person associated with the organization when the hazing includes coerced consumption of alcohol or drugs of abuse resulting in serious physical harm to that person.
  • (D) Whoever violates this section is guilty of hazing. A violation of division (B)(1) or (2) of this section is a misdemeanor of the second degree. A violation of division (C)(1) or (2) of this section is a felony of the third degree.

CAMPUS POLICY

Expanding upon the above definition, Hiram defines hazing as any activity, action, or situation, on or off the College’s premises that is expected of someone to join or continue membership in an affiliated NCAC team or club sport, fraternity or sorority, honorary, sanctioned or non-sanctioned club or student organization, or employment site that humiliates, degrades, abuses or endangers them, or that violates the dignity of another person, regardless of intention or willingness to participate.

Hazing activities may include but are not limited to forced consumption of any food, alcohol, drugs or any other substance, forced physical activity or calisthenics, deprivation of food or sleep, kidnapping and abandonment, paddling, branding or shaving, wearing of apparel that is conspicuous and not normally in good taste, singing on command in public places, and other activities that are not consistent with the policies outlined in the Hiram College Student Handbook. Student organizations under investigation for hazing are also subject to the policies of the Office of Campus Involvement.

IDENTIFYING HAZING

To help members of our community identify whether or not an act may be considered hazing, consider asking yourself the following questions:

  • Would active/current members of the group refuse to take part in this activity with the new members?
  • Does the activity risk emotional or physical harm/abuse?
  • Would I object to this activity being photographed for the school newspaper, filmed by the local TV news crew, or shared openly on social media?
  • Would I feel comfortable participating in this activity if my parents, professor, coach, or other administrator of the College were watching?
  • Does the activity put me at risk for violating the Student Code of Conduct?
  • Am I being asked to keep these activities a secret?
  • Am I doing anything illegal?
  • Does participation in this activity violate my values, or those of my organization?
  • Is this activity causing emotional distress or stress of any kind to myself or others?
  • If someone were injured, would I feel comfortable being investigated by the police or an insurance provider?

If the answer is “yes” to any of these questions, the activity is likely hazing. (Adapted from stophazing.org).

COLLIN’S LAW

Implemented on October 7, 2021, Collin’s Law, The Ohio Anti-Hazing Act was named after an Ohio University student who passed away after being subjected to hazing. Collin’s Law requires additional training, awareness, and reporting obligations for those affiliated with Ohio’s colleges and universities.

Collin’s Law requires universities to report hazing violations for the last five years starting in the 2022 – 2023 academic year.

REPORTING

Last Published: January 1, 2024

Report Definitions:

  • Subject – Name of an individual or organized group that was reported.
  • Date of Report – Date that the Dean of Students Office was first notified of alleged misconduct and the corresponding semester.
  • Description of Violation – A summary of the conduct and alleged violations.
  • Investigation Findings – Outcome of the investigation including the date.
  • Sanctions – Status at the College and educational opportunities for learning and growth.
  • Resolution Date – The date the conduct case was fully resolved.
5 Year Summary Report

All incidents of reported hazing since October 7, 2021

SubjectDate of Report (Semester)Description of ViolationInvestigation Findings (Date)SanctionsResolution Date
No reported
incidents of
hazing.
Ongoing Report

Reported hazing during the 2023 – 2024 Academic Year

SubjectDate of Report (Semester)Description of ViolationInvestigation Findings (Date)SanctionsResolution Date
No reported
incidents of
hazing.

HOW TO REPORT INSTANCES OF HAZING

All of us at the College have a responsibility for the safety of one another and should follow a “see something, say something, do something” mentality. Members of the community who have knowledge of anticipated or executed hazing are required to report the behavior immediately to college authorities. Faculty or staff members who have questions about their reporting obligations should contact the Dean of Student’s Office. For an emergency or a concern for one’s health and safety, please call 911 immediately and before attempting to reach College personnel.

  • Dee West, Dean of Students/Chief Diversity Officer: 330.569.5237
  • Mick Steiner, Assistant Dean of Students: 330.569.5321
  • Campus Safety Officer on-Duty*: 330.469.4119
  • Residence Life Professional Staff Member on-Call*: 330.569.4025
  • Judy West, Executive Director of Human Resources: 330.569.5109

*Indicates 24-hour staffing.

Anyone may report instances of hazing via the public Incident Report Form found on the Campus Safety website while Resident Assistants should complete an incident report on eRezLife. Please note that anonymous reports do not satisfy the obligations found under Collin’s Law.

We welcome all knowledge around hazing. A hazing incident may be reported by someone who is/was directly affected by the activity, a person who was directly or indirectly involved in the incident; faculty, staff, parents, friends, alumni, or community members; or anyone who is generally concerned about the safety, health, and welfare of a Hiram student or Hiram College-sponsored group.

When preparing to report, gathering as much of the following information will be helpful in the investigation process:

  • What is the name of the student or campus entity that you are reporting for committing acts of hazing, or that you suspect may be a victim of such actions?
  • When did the activity occur?
  • Where did the activity take place?
  • Who was involved in this activity?
  • How did you become aware of the activity?
  • Describe the activity in as much detail as possible.
  • Provide any documentation or photographs you may have.
  • Your name, phone number, and e-mail address (optional)
  • Are there any other people that were present or can corroborate your information? Please provide names and contact information.

INVESTIGATION PROCESS

Incident reports will be reviewed by the Dean of Student’s Office, in conjunction with the Office of Campus Safety and the local law enforcement agency where the alleged hazing occurred. Those who file a report may be contacted to partake in the investigation process. We strive to protect reporters from instances of retaliation.

AMNESTY

The safety and wellbeing of our students is of utmost importance. The College encourages students to offer help and assistance to others in need and follow the philosophy of “if you see something, say something, or do something.” Sometimes, students may be hesitant to engage in the call to action for fear that one may get into trouble for violating a policy. For example, a student who has been drinking underage may be hesitant to request help for a student who has been hazed.

Hiram supports a philosophy of limited immunity for those who in good faith, seek the assistance for those in need, such as emergency services, Campus Safety, or a Resident Assistant. While policy violations cannot be overlooked, the College will explore informal and education resolutions, rather than punitive sanctions for those good Samaritans.

Additional Resources

www.hazingprevention.org

www.stophazing.org