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Seton Hall University

Non-Hazing Policy

I. Purpose

Hazing is contrary to the principles and Catholic mission of Seton Hall University. The purpose of this policy is to prohibit acts of hazing in connection with the admission, acceptance, or retention process of any group, organization, or athletic activity and to prohibit retaliation for bringing a claim alleging a violation of this policy or participating in a review of any such claim.

II. Scope

This policy applies to all University students and to all Trustees, Regents, officers, faculty, administrators, staff members, employees, vendors and guests, on and off campus. This policy does not abridge or supersede an individual’s rights and remedies under the law.

III. Definitions

A. Seton Hall University Policy. Seton Hall University defines hazing as any action taken or situation created (on or off campus) to cause, or place, a student in jeopardy of physical or mental harm, discomfort, embarrassment, ridicule or mistreatment, for the purpose of admission, acceptance, or retention in an organizational setting.

Hazing is often required or implied as a condition of inclusion or exclusion from a group, whether formal or informal. Hazing may be perpetuated by individual(s) against individual(s), individual(s) against group, group against individual(s) or group against group. Examples of hazing in violation of this policy may include, but are not limited to:

  1. Physical Training: requiring calisthenics (including sit-ups, running, or any form of physically abusive or excessive exercise); any physical action or restraint that may inflict harm or pain on an individual(s), or placing a person in a position or situation of possible harm or threat.
  2. Forcing, requiring, recommending and/or coercing consumption of any alcoholic beverage or drug;
  3. Requiring ingestion of an undesirable or unwanted substance (food, drink, concoction).
  4. Harassment (whether verbal, mental or physical) of individual(s) or group(s).
  5. Scavenger hunts that require or result in theft; forced or coerced road trips and/or kidnapping.
  6. Endorsing or conducting pranks such as borrowing or stealing items, destruction of property or objects, pulling false fire alarms, or any other activity in violation of the law.
  7. Personal servitude (doing chores or errands for the group(s) or individual members).
  8. Sleep interruption or deprivation; conducting activities that do not allow adequate time to study.
  9. Any required or recommended activity taking place between midnight and 7 a.m. during the weekday (1 a.m. on weekends), or series of activities that do not allow for 8 hours of sleep per night.
  10. Morally degrading, humiliating or embarrassing games or activities.
  11. Requiring or recommending the wearing of apparel or hairstyles that are conspicuous and/or normally in bad taste. This includes unusual clothing styles, repetitious wearing of uniforms or repetitious "dressing up" (coat and tie, dresses, etc.) Clothing that refers directly to the wearer as "pledge" or other terms is not acceptable.
  12. Line-ups or any interrogation for information about the history, purpose or direction of the organization that is not consistent with legitimate testing
  13. Requiring or recommending the carrying of unusual items (rocks, plants, pumpkins, pillows, etc.).
  14. Forced isolation from other members, friends or the rest of the campus. This includes any prohibition on speaking or social interaction, including public marching or walking in lines or "on line."
  15. Deception and/or threats contrived to convince the individual he/she will not be able to join the organization, or that purposely inflicts mental stress by not revealing the requirements or basic timetable for joining.

B. State Law. Hazing is also a serious criminal offense and is prosecuted under the New Jersey Criminal Code, N.J.S.A. 2C:40-3 et seq:

a. Hazing: A person is guilty of hazing, a disorderly offense, if in connection with initiation of a student or fraternal organization, he/she knowingly or recklessly organizes, promotes, facilitates or engages in any conduct other than competitive athletic events, which places or may place another person in danger of bodily injury.

b. A person is guilty of aggravated hazing, a crime of the fourth degree, if he/she commits an act prohibited in subsection "a", which results in serious bodily injury to another person.

Under New Jersey law, a person's consent is not a defense against prosecution. In addition, anyone who suppresses or conceals evidence of hazing could be charged with hindering apprehension or prosecution. Finally, conduct that constitutes hazing may also be prosecuted under any other provision of the New Jersey Criminal Code in the Prosecutor's discretion.

IV. Policy

Under this policy, hazing is strictly prohibited. A person(s) or organization(s) may be charged with hazing under the University's Student Code of Conduct. Sanctions to persons found guilty of hazing range up to and include expulsion. Sanctions for organizations found guilty of hazing range up to and include permanent loss of recognition and possible criminal charges against the individual(s). Reports of hazing should be brought to the attention of the Dean of Students Office and any charges of hazing are referred to and investigated by that Office.

The consent of the person hazed is not a defense under this policy, nor is it a defense under criminal law. Retaliation and any effort to conceal information, hinder the investigation of a violation of this policy, or retaliate against anyone participating in an investigation are prohibited and subject to disciplinary action and/or criminal prosecution.

V. Responsible Offices

Student Services

VI. Related Policies

Student Code of Conduct
Student Athlete Handbook

VII. Approved

Approved by Mary J. Meehan, Ph.D., Interim President, on the recommendation of the Executive Cabinet on August 30, 2018

VIII. Effective Date

August 30, 2018

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