University Guidelines and State Laws

Clubs and Organizations Resource Guide

Information on University policies and procedures governing all University Recognized student clubs and organizations at CSUN, use of campus grounds, event planning, reserving facilities and spaces, fundraising, financial management, and marketing can be found in the Clubs and Organizations Resource Guide.

University Relationship Statement

I. Definition of Greek Letter Organizations

Greek-Letter organizations are defined as national, international, regional or local social fraternities and sororities which attain and maintain university recognition.

Fraternity and Sorority Institutional Relationship Statement

California State University, Northridge recognizes that fraternities and sororities have made rich and significant contributions to the quality of its student life. The relationship is based on trust as well as mutual benefits that both the university and the fraternity and sorority community enjoy. The ultimate objective of the university experience, in the classroom and out, is to develop mature responsible individuals equipped intellectually, culturally and socially to become effective members of society. The rituals and values of each organization and the University Code of Ethics embody and perpetuate the personal and organizational values that distinguish fraternity and sorority participation in university life. The rituals and values should serve as the standard that the members of each organization hold themselves to in addition to the University Code of Ethics.

Purpose and Scope of the Fraternity and Sorority Community

  1. Student Development- Provide for students a balanced emphasis of leadership development, fellowship, campus and community service, and educational programming.
  2. Academic Support: Provide support for an environment that promotes a strong sense of academic integrity and excellence that encourages faculty interaction and utilizes care not to make demands which might undermine individual academic effort or detract from academic programming available to students.
  1. Retention: Provide an ongoing meaningful relationship between the student and campus that serves to enhance the quality of student life and the student's satisfaction with the challenging university environment.
  2. Development: Provide valuable ties to CSUN alumni and the surrounding community to aid the campus in its growth and development.

In order to assure order, focus and function in a social organization, rights and privileges are accompanied by responsibilities, both with the organization and the university community.

  1. University Recognition: Each organization, along with the governing organizations, must comply with the annual recognition process and all its attending policies in order to maintain official university recognition. 
  2. Organization Recognition: Each organization is expected to remain in good standing with its international, national, regional or local organization in order to maintain official university recognition.
  3. Representation: As the fraternity and sorority community shall be officially represented by the Interfraternity Council, Panhellenic Council, National Pan-Hellenic Council and the United Sorority and Fraternity Council; each chapter must maintain good standing in one governing council. Each governing council shall be responsible for monitoring the overall fraternity and sorority activity assuring that the views and needs of all chapters are fairly represented. This role includes regular assessment and coordination of leadership, recruitment, judicial, academic and recognition programs.
  4. Removal of Recognition: Failure to meet expected standards of behavior may lead to removal of recognition by the university.
  5. University Support: The university is responsible for providing an environment in which the chapters may exercise full rights as student organizations while acknowledging and supporting the full range of programs and the special role that the chapters provide in creating a unique spirit of place to CSUN. Support areas include:
  • Staff advisement, counseling and program assistance through the Office of Student Involvement and Development, the Matador Involvement Center and the entire student affairs division whose total capabilities and versatility provide an exceptional range of services.
  • All privileges accorded university-recognized student organizations.
  • Recruitment assistance in utilizing lists generated by the student database from the office of admission and records.
  • Grade reports complied each semester in compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA).
  • Use of campus facilities and services as requested and appropriate.
  • Intramural program participation.
  • Use of the name California State University, Northridge in accordance with the university policy.

Operating Principles
Due to the complex nature of the fraternity and sorority community, certain principles must be adhered to.

  1. Organizational Self-Government: Students and organizations must assume significant responsibility for their own growth and development, functioning in ways consistent with community and campus policies. It is anticipated that each chapter and governing body will encourage and motivate the members in developing and valuing academic pursuits, tolerance for individual difference, responsible behavior and leadership potential.
  2. Advisory Relations: Each organization must maintain effective communication channels with its campus, alumni, international, national, regional or local organization advisors so as to utilize all resources in developing an advisory plan that ensures consistency with local, international, national and regional goals and objectives.
  3. Judiciary System: Each chapter and governing body must utilize a judiciary system so that inappropriate conduct within the chapter is addressed whether or not it comes to the attention of university personnel. Written policies and procedures must be annually reviewed, updated as needed and distributed to the appropriate members to include the Office of Student Involvement and Development and the Matador Involvement Center in order to be effectively upheld. Due process and students' rights must be maintained.
  4. Legal Responsibilities: Each chapter and its members must comply with local, state and federal laws with regard to non-discrimination, substance abuse and hazing practices.
  5. University Regulations: All students must comply with university regulations. Therefore, the policies, procedures and guidelines of each chapter must be consistent in scope with the University Student Code, California Administrative Code, Title Five, Section 41301.

Community Relations
All students living within the surrounding community are expected to conduct themselves as responsible adults and recognize that individual and group actions reflect on the university and individual organizations. The fraternity and sorority community is recognized for enhancing this relationship with traditional philanthropic and community service events.

  • Housing: Chapters may provide housing for members where applicable and in compliance with zoning laws as well as with health and safety codes. In addition, the physical property is to be maintained, clean and in good repair in order to present a positive image of CSUN Greek life.
  • Guests: Each organization is responsible for the safety and conduct of its guests.
  • Neighbor elations: Each organization must prioritize a positive on-going relationship with the community residents taking care to comply with the agreed upon regulations concerning noise, parking, litter and traffic.

State Alcohol Beverage Code

The following California statutes regulate the use, sale, or distribution of alcoholic beverages.

1. Civil Code

a. Section 1714(c) - No social host who furnishes alcoholic beverages to any person may be held legally accountable for damages suffered by that person or for injury to the person or property of, or death of, any third person, resulting from the consumption of those beverages.

2. Business and Professionals Code

a. Section 23399.1. No license or permit shall be required for the serving and otherwise disposing of alcoholic beverages where all of the following conditions prevail: 

i. That there is no sale of an alcoholic beverage. 
ii. That the premises are not open to the general public during the time alcoholic beverages are served, consumed or otherwise disposed of.
iii. That the premises are not maintained for the purpose of keeping, serving, consuming or otherwise disposing of alcoholic beverages. Provided, however, that nothing in this section shall be construed to permit any person to violate any provision of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Act.

b. Section 23300. No person shall exercise the privilege or perform any act which a licensee may exercise or perform under the authority of a license unless the person is authorized to do so by a license issued pursuant to this division.

c. Section 23301. Any person violating Section 23300 is guilty of a misdemeanor, except that any person, without having a still license, exercising the privileges or performing any act which a still licensee may exercise or perform is guilty of a felony.

d. Section 25602 (a) Every person who sells, furnishes, gives, or causes to be sold, furnished or given away any alcoholic beverage to any habitual or common drunkard or to any obviously intoxicated person is guilty of a misdemeanor. (b) No person who sells, furnishes, gives, or causes to be sold, furnished or given away any alcoholic beverage pursuant to subdivision (a) of this section shall be civilly liable to any injured person or the estate of such person for injuries inflicted on that person as a result of intoxication by the consumer of such alcoholic beverage.

e. Section 25602.1 Notwithstanding subdivision (b) of Section 25602, a cause of action may be brought by or on behalf of any person who has suffered injury or death against any person licensed, or required to be licensed, pursuant to Section 23300, or any person authorized by the federal government to sell alcoholic beverages on a military base or other federal enclave, who sells, furnishes, gives or causes to be sold, furnished or given away any alcoholic beverage, and any other person who sells or causes to be sold any alcoholic beverage to any obviously intoxicated minor where the furnishing, sale or giving of that beverage to the minor is the proximate cause of the personal injury or death sustained by that person.

f. Section 25658(a) Except as otherwise provided in subdivision (c), every person who sells, furnishes, gives, or causes to be sold, furnished or given away, any alcoholic beverage to any person under the age of 21 years is guilty of a misdemeanor.

g. Section 25658(b) Any person under the age of 21 years who purchases any alcoholic beverage, or any person under the age of 21 years who consumes any alcoholic beverage in any on-sale premises, is guilty of a misdemeanor.

h. Section 25658(c) Any person who violates subdivision (a) by purchasing any alcoholic beverage for, or furnishing, giving or giving away any alcoholic beverage to a person under the age of 21 years, and the person under the age of 21 years thereafter consumes the alcohol and thereby proximately causes great bodily injury or death to himself, herself or any other person, is guilty of a misdemeanor.

i. Section 25662(a) Any person under the age of 21 years who has any alcoholic beverage in his or her possession on any street or highway or in any public place or in any place open to the public is guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished by a fine of two hundred fifty dollars ($250) or the person shall be required to perform not less than 24 hours or more than 32 hours of community service during hours when the person is not employed or is not attending school.

3. Vehicle Code

a. Section 21200(a): Every person riding a bicycle upon a highway has all the rights and is subject to all the provisions applicable to the driver of a vehicle by this division, including, but not limited to, provisions concerning driving under the influence of alcoholic beverages or drugs, and by Division 10 (commencing with Section 20000), Section 27400, Division 16.7 (commencing with Section 39000), Division 17 (commencing with Section 40000.1) and Division 18 (commencing with Section 42000), except those provisions which by their very nature can have no application.

b. Section 23152(a): It is unlawful for any person who is under the influence of any alcoholic beverage or drug, or under the combined influence of any alcoholic beverage and drug, to drive a vehicle.

c. Section 23220(a) No person shall drink any alcoholic beverage while driving a motor vehicle upon any road or highway.

d. Section 23222(a) No person shall have in his or her possession or on his or her person while driving a motor vehicle upon a highway or on lands, as described in subdivision (b) of Section 23220, any bottle, can or other receptacle containing any alcoholic beverage which has been opened, or a seal broken, or the contents of which have been partially removed.

e. Section 23225(a) It is unlawful for the registered owner of any motor vehicle to keep in a motor vehicle, when the vehicle is upon any highway or on lands, as described in subdivision (b) of Section 23220, any bottle, can or other receptacle containing any alcoholic beverage that has been opened, or a seal broken, or the contents of which have been partially removed, unless the container is kept in the trunk of the vehicle.

f. Section 23224(a) No person under the age of 21 years shall knowingly drive any motor vehicle carrying any alcoholic beverage, unless the person is accompanied by a parent, responsible adult relative, any other adult designated by the parent or legal guardian for the purpose of transportation of an alcoholic beverage, or is employed by a licensee under the Alcoholic Beverage Control Act (Division 9 (commencing with Section 23000) of the Business and Professions Code), and is driving the motor vehicle during regular hours and in the course of the person's employment. If the driver was unaccompanied, he or she shall have a complete defense if he or she was following, in a timely manner, the reasonable instructions of his or her parent, legal guardian, responsible adult relative or adult designee relating to disposition of the alcoholic beverage.

4. Penal Code

a. Section 307(a): Every person, firm, or corporation which sells or gives or in any way furnishes to another person, who is in fact under the age of 21 years, any candy, cake, cookie or chewing gum which contains alcohol in excess of 1/2 of 1 percent by weight, is guilty of a misdemeanor.

b. Section 529(a): Every person who manufactures, produces, sells, offers, or transfers to another any document purporting to be either a certificate of birth or certificate of baptism, knowing such document to be false or counterfeit and with the intent to deceive, is guilty of a crime, and upon conviction therefore, shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail not to exceed one year, or by imprisonment in the state prison. Every person who offers, displays, or has in his or her possession any false or counterfeit certificate of birth or certificate of baptism, or any genuine certificate of birth which describes a person then living or deceased, with intent to represent himself or herself as another or to conceal his or her true identity, is guilty of a crime, and upon conviction therefore, shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail not to exceed one year.

c. Section 529.5(a): Every person who manufactures, sells, offers for sale or transfers any document, not amounting to counterfeit, purporting to be a government-issued identification card or driver's license, which by virtue of the wording or appearance thereon could reasonably deceive an ordinary person into believing that it is issued by a government agency, and who knows that the document is not a government-issued document, is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year, or by a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both the fine and imprisonment.

CSUN Alcohol Policy

Alcohol and Other Drugs

Where to get help

Consistent with its mission of enabling students to reach their educational goals, California State University, Northridge is committed to creating a campus environment that is free from both the illegal and the harmful use of alcohol and drugs.

It is the policy of California State University, Northridge that the manufacture, possession, distribution, sale or use of alcohol or illicit drugs on-campus, or off-campus while on university business or participating in university-sponsored functions, is prohibited. Drugs may be possessed or used as legally prescribed or when lawfully permitted for the purpose of research or instruction.

The purpose of this policy is to delineate university regulations concerning alcohol and drugs, provide procedural guidelines, communicate the consequences of failing to adhere to established policies and provide guidance as to available resources. You may also download the complete text of the policy and procedural guidelines.

This policy is a significant component of the university's overall compliance with the Drug-Free Schools and Campuses regulations, which implement the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act of 1989. The university respects the rights of individuals within the university under circumstances authorized by this policy. Members of the campus community, particularly students, who elect not to use alcoholic beverages, or not to include alcohol as part of sponsored events and activities, will be fully supported in that choice. The use of alcohol or other legal drugs in a manner that undermines a campus climate of civility, collegiality, reasoned debate and adherence to the policies contained herein is not consistent with the values of California State University, Northridge and will not be tolerated.

Drug Free Campus Policy Information for Students

Drug Free Campus Policy Information

(Alcohol, Valium,


• Decreased respirations 
• Decreased blood pressure

• Sedation

• Impaired coordination 
• Lowered inhibitions

• Reduced anxiety

(Cocaine, MDMA


• Increased respirations 
• Increased pulse rate 
• Increased blood pressure

• Excitation

• Insomnia 
• Loss of appetite

• MDMA - mild hallucinogenic effects



• Increased heart rate 
• Anxiety

• Impaired learning

• Impaired memory

• Slowed reaction time

(Heroin, Morphine,
Opium, Codeine,

Vicodin, Oxycontin)

• Decreased respirations 
• Sedation

• Drowsiness

• Euphoria 
• Constipation

• Staggered gait (particularly with Heroin)

Club Drugs 

• MDMA (ecstasy) - Increased heart 
rate and blood pressure, teeth clenching, euphoria, feelings of empathy and trust 
• LSD - Increased heart rate, blood pressure and body temperature. Loss of appetite, numbness, 
weakness, tremors and


• Ketamine - Floating sensation, slowed breathing, delirium, feelings of being out of one’s body
• Rohypnol - Sedative effects 
• GHB - Decreased respiration and decreased blood pressure. Extremely easy to overdose.

Predatory Drugs
Used by some 
people to “prey” on 

• Alcohol - Decreased 
respiration, decreased 
blood pressure, sedation, 
impaired coordination, 
lowered inhibitions and reduced anxiety.

• GHB - Decreased respiration and decreased blood pressure. Extremely easy to overdose.

• Rohypnol - Sedative effects


Risks Associated with Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse

Category Potential Effects of the Drug


The term "alcohol" includes alcohol, spirits, liquor, wine, beer and every liquid or solid containing alcohol, spirits, wine or beer and which contains one-half of one percent more of alcohol by volume and which is fit for beverage purposes either alone or when diluted, mixed or combined with other substances (Business and Professions Code, Sections 23004).

The term "illicit drug" includes any dangerous drug, restricted drug or narcotic as those terms are used in California Statutes, and all substances regulated under federal law through the Controlled Substances Act, including but not limited to marijuana, cocaine derivatives, heroin, "crack," amphetamines, barbiturates, LSD, PCP and substances typically known as "designer drugs" such as "ecstasy" and "eve."


California law* defines penalties that apply to anyone convicted of the manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession or use of controlled substances. 

Misdemeanor convictions for workplace and campus drug violations can result in a fine, community service and incarceration of up to one year. 

Felony convictions for workplace and campus drug use can result in substantial fines and a lengthy sentence in state prison. Most drug-use convictions are defined as felony acts. 

Violation of campus regulations subjects students to disciplinary actions and sanctions which may include expulsion, suspension, probation, withdrawal of financial aid or lesser sanctions. 

Violation of the university policy or conviction of a drug offense while on campus or off campus when in work status by faculty or staff shall be grounds for appropriate disciplinary actions up to and including dismissal. 

*California Health and Safety Code, Chapter 6

Where to Get Help

Campus Resources for CSUN Students
Klotz Student Health Center (818) 677-3666, TTY: (818) 677-3692 
University Counseling Services (818) 677-2366, TTY: (818) 677-7834
Vice President, Student Affairs (818) 677-2391, TTY: (818) 677-7677 

Community Resources
AL-ANON (818) 760-7122 
Alcoholics Anonymous (818) 988-3001 
Cocaine Anonymous (818) 760-8402 
Marijuana Anonymous (805) 491-2431 
Matrix Institute on Addictions (800) 310-7700 
Narcotics Anonymous (818) 773-9999 
Tarzana Treatment Centers (818) 996-1051

Responsibility of Chapter Officers

  1. Chapter officers shall be responsible for ensuring that chapter members adhere to all the governing principles of the Interfraternity Council, Panhellenic Council, National Pan-Hellenic Council, or United Sorority and Fraternity Council; all policies, procedures and directives promulgated by the university and prospective organization headquarters; and all local state and federal laws regarding fraternity and sorority activities. The chapter president shall have the duty to inform chapter members of these regulations.
  2. Chapter officers shall be held accountable for all organized chapter activities. Examples of such activities include, but are not limited to, recruitment activities, initiation rites, sports competitions and parties.
  3. Although all members are personally responsible for their own behavior, a specific chapter officer may be held personally accountable for the misconduct of chapter members during organized chapter activities. Circumstances that might warrant this personal accountability include, but are not limited to:
  • Inappropriate and/or unacceptable activities that are sanctioned by the chapter by means of discussion and/or planning at chapter meetings, officers meetings or committee meetings.
  • An officer's personal participation in such an activity.
  • An officer's failure to act appropriately upon witnessing such an activity.
  • An officer's failure to act appropriately in preventing such an activity when they had prior knowledge.
  • An officer's failure to act appropriately in taking corrective action after learning of such an activity.
  • An officer's negligence in their responsibility to educate the group of established laws, regulations, policies, directives and procedures.

Interfraternity Council Resolution on Human Sexuality

WHEREAS, the attitudes and behaviors exhibited by fraternity members of the Interfraternity Council have a direct bearing on the way the entire Greek community is perceived by the general public; and

WHEREAS, the Interfraternity Council realizes that there is increased consciousness of sexual exploitation, not just on our campus but in society; and

WHEREAS, the Greek community has demonstrated its responsibility in leadership, scholarship, community service, human dignity and respect; and

WHEREAS, the Interfraternity Council is committed to advancing fraternity member awareness and sensitivity to all social issues; and

WHEREAS, the Interfraternity Council strives to foster an atmosphere of healthy and proper attitudes toward human sex roles, and wishes that all incidences not consistent with this be halted.

THEREFORE, Be it Resolved, as endorsed by the general assembly of the Interfraternity Council of California State University, Northridge on November 24, 1987, that the following statements of position on responsible promotion of human sexuality be adopted:

BE IT RESOLVED, that the Interfraternity Council will not tolerate nor condone any form of sexually exploitative or demeaning behavior or advertising techniques; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Interfraternity Council encourages individual fraternities to adopt programming that fosters a more healthy attitude toward human sexuality; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that each member fraternity of the Interfraternity Council publish material (i.e. recruitment manuals and party flyers) that reflect their sensitivity toward sexual exploitation; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Interfraternity Council will establish a public image monitoring board, consisting of the Executive Council of the IFC, whose function will be to review and approve or disapprove all fraternity publication materials; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Interfraternity Council will reward those member fraternities which foster healthy attitudes towards human sexuality and, conversely, sanction those member fraternities which violate the spirit of the standards set forth in this resolution.

Policy Concerning Hazing

California Penal Code on Hazing

1. California Penal Code Reads

245.6. (a) It shall be unlawful to engage in hazing, as defined in this section.

Hazing Defined:

245.6 (b) "Hazing" means any method of initiation or pre-initiation into a student organization or student body, whether or not the organization or body is officially recognized by an educational institution, which is likely to cause serious bodily injury to any former, current, or prospective student of any school, community college, college, university or other educational institution in this state. The term "hazing" does not include customary athletic events or school-sanctioned events.

(c) A violation of this section that does not result in serious bodily injury is a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of not less than one hundred dollars ($100), nor more than five thousand dollars ($5,000), or imprisonment in the county jail for not more than one year, or both. 

(d) Any person who personally engages in hazing that results in death or serious bodily injury as defined in paragraph (4) of subdivision (f) of Section 243 of the Penal Code, is guilty of either a misdemeanor or a felony, and shall be punished by imprisonment in county jail not exceeding one year, or by imprisonment in the state prison. 

(e) The person against whom the hazing is directed may commence a civil action for injury or damages. The action may be brought against any participants in the hazing, or any organization to which the student is seeking membership whose agents, directors, trustees, managers or officers authorized, requested, commanded, participated in or ratified the hazing. 

(f) Prosecution under this section shall not prohibit prosecution under any other provision of law.

Matt's Law:

SEC. 5. This act shall be known and may be cited as "Matt's Law" in memory of Matthew William Carrington, who died on February 2, 2005, as a result of hazing.

SEC. 6. No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.

Hazing Information

(1) What is Hazing?

Hazing is defined by the Fraternity Insurance Purchasing Group (FIPG).

No chapter, colony, student or alumnus shall conduct nor condone hazing activities. Hazing activities are defined as "Any action taken or situation created, intentionally, whether on or off fraternity premises, to produce mental or physical discomfort, embarrassment, harassment or ridicule. Such activities may include but are not limited to the following: use of alcohol; paddling in any form; creation of excessive fatigue; physical and psychological shocks; quests, treasure hunts, scavenger hunts, road trips or any other such activities carried on outside or inside of the confines of the chapter house; wearing of public apparel which is conspicuous and not normally in good taste; engaging in public stunts and buffoonery; morally degrading or humiliating games and activities; and any other activities which are not consistent with academic achievement, fraternal law, ritual or policy or the regulations and policies of the educational institution or applicable state law." 

If you have to ask if it is hazing, it is. If in doubt, call your advisor or national office.

(2) To whom does hazing apply?

Our greatest contact and familiarity with hazing comes from the active-pledge or new member relationship. If hazing is occurring, usually an active member is harassing a pledge or new member. Hazing, however, is not limited to activities harassing pledges. It is also possible for a pledge/new member to haze an active; an active to haze another active; or a pledge/new member to haze another pledge/new member even if one is willingly requesting this harassment.

(3) What kinds of hazing are there?

The following are examples of hazing by category. It is impossible to list all hazing activities, so this list is not intended to be all inclusive.

A. Psychological Hazing

Psychological hazing is any action that is against accepted sorority and fraternity standards of conduct, behavior and good taste that is mental in nature and which ridicules, humiliates or embarrasses, or which confuses, frustrates or causes undue stress. 

  • Never doing anything with the pledge(s)
  • Calling people "pledgie” or “maggot" or any other demeaning name
  • Silence periods
  • Any forms of demerits
  • Requiring to call members Mr. or Miss
  • Scavenger hunts or road trips
  • Phone or house duty if only assigned to pledges
  • Requiring pledges to carry items around at all times
  • Scaring or misleading pledges about initiation activities
  • Deprivation of privileges
  • Line ups or hot seats
  • Verbal harassments
  • Lack of study or sleep time
  • Assigned pranking activities
  • Signature books

B. Physical Hazing

Physical hazing is anything that causes mental anguish or physical discomfort to the person. 

  • Requiring pledges or members to wear ridiculous costumes or clothing
  • Nudity of any sort
  • Requiring pledges or members to enter through the back door or separate entrance
  • Requiring a person to perform personal service such as carrying books or running errands
  • Paddling
  • Cold rooms or exposure to cold and heat
  • Beating sessions
  • Pushing and shoving
  • Exercises and calisthenics
  • Forced eating and drinking
  • Bright lights

Myths and Facts About Hazing

Myth #1: Hazing is a problem for fraternities and sororities primarily. 

Fact: Hazing is a societal problem. Hazing incidents have been frequently documented in the military, athletic teams, marching bands, religious cults, professional societies and other types of clubs and/or organizations. Reports of hazing in high school are also on the rise.

Myth #2:  Hazing is no more than foolish pranks that sometimes go wrong.

Fact:  hazing is an act of power and control over others. It is victimization that is pre-meditated and not accidental. Hazing is abusive, degrading and often life-threatening.

Myth#3: As long as there is no malicious intent, a little hazing should be okay.

Fact: Even if there is no malicious "intent," safety may still be a factor in traditional hazing activities that are considered to be "all in good fun." For example, serious accidents have occurred during scavenger hunts and kidnapping trips. Besides, what purposes do such activities serve in promoting the growth and development of team members?

Myth#4: Hazing is an effective way to teach respect and develop discipline.

Fact: First of all, respect must be earned, not taught. Victims of hazing rarely have respect for those who have hazed them. Just like other forms of victimization, hazing breeds mistrust, apathy and alienation.

Myth #5: If someone agrees to participate in an activity, it can't be considered hazing. 

Fact: In states that have laws against hazing, consent of the victim can't be used as the defense in a civil suit. Even if someone agrees to participate in a potentially hazardous action, it may not be true consent when considering the pressure and desire to belong to the group.

Myth #6: It's difficult to determine whether or not a certain activity is hazing; it's such a grey area sometimes. 

Fact: It's not difficult to decide if an activity is hazing if you use common sense and ask yourself the following questions: Is alcohol involved? Will active or current members of the group refuse to participate? Does the activity risk emotional or physical abuse? Is there a risk of injury or a question of safety? Do you have reservation describing this activity to your parents, professor, advisor or university official? Would you object to the activity being photographed for the school newspaper or filmed by the local television news?

Alternatives for Hazing

Please refer to your prospective organization and/or the Office of Student Involvement and Development for ideas that will foster unity, develop leadership skills, develop problem solving abilities, instill a sense of membership, promote scholarship, build awareness of chapter history and pride, and improve the fraternity and sorority community without hazing.