What is Hazing?

Please report any inappropriate behavior or concerns about activities.


Hazing, as defined in Garret’s Law (M.C.L. 750.411t), includes the following willful acts, with or without the consent of the individual involved: physical injury; assault or battery; kidnapping or imprisonment; physical activity that knowingly or recklessly subjects a person or persons to an unreasonable risk of physical harm or to severe mental or emotional harm; degradation, humiliation, or compromising of moral or religious values; forced consumption of any substance; placing an individual in physical danger, which includes abandonment; and undue interference with academic endeavors. Acts of hazing only include those acts which are done for the purpose of pledging, being initiated into, affiliating with, participating in, holding office in, or maintaining membership in any organization. Acts of hazing include acts inflicted by an individual onto one or more people.
This includes, but is not limited to any situation which:

  • Creates a risk of injury to any individual or group
  • Causes discomfort to any individual or group
  • Causes embarrassment to any individual or group
  • Involves harassment of any individual or group
  • Involves degradation of any individual or group
  • Involves humiliation of an individual or group
  • Involves ridicule of an individual or group
  • Involves or includes the willful destruction or removal of public or private property for the purpose of initiation or admission into, affiliation with, or as a condition for continued membership in an organization

It includes physical injury, assault or battery, kidnapping or imprisonment, intentionally placing at risk of mental or emotional harm (putting "over the edge"), degradation, humiliation, the compromising of moral or religious values, forced consumption of any liquid or solid, placing an individual in physical danger (at risk), which includes abandonment, and impairment of physical liberties which include curfews or other interference with academic endeavors.

Signs that hazing may be occurring:

  • Cutting, branding, labeling, or shaving parts of the body
  • Required "greeting" of members in a specific manner when seen on campus
  • Required walking in groups to class, the dining hall, etc.
  • Required carrying of certain items
  • Loss of voice due to having to yell
  • Performing of special tasks for the members or others
  • Required attendance at late night work sessions, resulting in sleep deprivation
  • Not coming home for days or weeks at a time
  • Not being able to sit down or soreness from paddling
  • Physical exhaustion from multiple sit ups, running, or other calisthenics
  • Appearance of mental exhaustion or withdrawal from normal lifestyle; change in personality
  • Appearance of sadness or expressions of inferiority
  • Withdrawal from normal activities or friends
  • Being dropped off and made to find the way back

Things to know about hazing:

  • 82% of deaths from hazing involve alcohol, according to noted hazing expert Hank Nuwer
  • Hazing is often about power and control as hazers have a need to feel powerful and in control
  • Individuals cannot consent to being hazed because hazing is illegal
  • Hazing motivates no one, it hinders academic achievement, destroys self-esteem and causes emotional strain and physical harm
  • Hazing builds animosity between people and does nothing to foster trust, unity or respect, it simply makes better hazers
  • You can never be sure you know the physical or mental background of an individual and what the effects of hazing for that person might be
  • Just because a majority of the members of an organization are not involved in a hazing incident does not mean the organization is not responsible
  • Hazing is not just associated with athletes and Greek–letter organizations. It occurs across a wide spectrum of organizations
  • One class can break the "tradition" of hazing- it just takes some courage and integrity to do what is right