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.
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 1400s. It has pervaded society and has been visible in the military, in fraternities and sororities, in college honor and secret societies, in athletics, and in many student organizations such as marching bands. Recently, it 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. This website is offered in an effort to create awareness and bring hazing into the open so that it can be addressed. Realizing that unhealthy hazing traditions do not disappear easily, the University of Michigan is committed to providing education that will change cultures that support hazing and supporting students who have concerns.