Hazing is any action or situation, with or without the consent of the participants, which recklessly, intentionally, or unintentionally endangers the mental, physical, or academic health or safety of a student.
While the University of Michigan recognizes the inherent value of student organizations and teams, it condemns hazing practices as requirements for membership, advancement, or continued good standing in organizations. The chance to experience a small community with similar values and interests working together for a common purpose or goal enriches the university experience. How then does hazing become a part of such a noble endeavor? Why do students haze one another? Why do students allow themselves to be hazed? Why do parents or friends of those being hazed hesitate to report it when such silence could have deadly effects?
The history of hazing dates back as early as the 1400's. It has pervaded society and has been visible in the military, in fraternities and sororities, college honor and secret societies, in athletics, and in many student organizations such as marching bands. Recently is has garnered media attention as it has surfaced in high schools and even middle schools.
Leaders in higher education agree that a new sense of urgency exists and a united effort is needed to aggressively address hazing prevention. The University of Michigan is pleased to offer this website in an effort to create awareness and bring hazing into the open so that it can be addressed. Realizing that these unhealthy hazing traditions do not disappear easily, the University of Michigan is committed to education that will change cultures that support hazing and to supporting students who have concerns.