WHAT IS HAZING?

HAZING, as defined by Cal State Fullerton, is: any action or situation which recklessly or intentionally endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a student; or willfully destroys or removes public or private property for the purpose of affiliation, initiation, admission or as a condition of continued membership in any organization recognized as a fraternity, sorority, athletic team or student organization by CSU, Fullerton, on or off University, fraternity, or sorority property.

CSUF HAZING POLICY

California State University, Fullerton expects that all students, recognized student organizations, and affiliated groups will observe and fully comply with University Policy in accordance with Title 5 Education Code, Section 41301 (Standards for Student Conduct) and State of California Penal Code Section 245.6 (proscribes criminal and civil penalties for individuals who haze). The Dean of Students Office shall ensure that all students, recognized student organizations, and affiliated student groups are informed on an annual basis about education policies specific to hazing.

All recognized student organizations affiliated with a national or local governing body must adhere to regulations set forth by their respective organizations concerning hazing. It is the responsibility of all students, recognized student organizations, and affiliated student groups to be informed of all of the above mentioned regulations.

University policy with respect to hazing prohibits all students, recognized student organizations, and affiliated student groups from engaging collectively or individually in any of the following practices as part of any program or general activity, regardless of the person’s willingness to participate. This list is intended to provide examples of hazing and should not be considered all inclusive.

  1. Any type of harm such as paddling, beating, striking, branding, tattooing, body piercing, placing of a harmful substance on the body, or similar activity;
  2. Any type of physical activity, such as deprivation of sleep (6 to 8 hours per day minimum), food, or maintaining hygiene; exposure to the elements; confinement in a small space; calisthenics; or other activity that subjects the student to a risk or harm or that adversely affects the mental or physical health or safety of the student;
  3. Such activities as new member scavenger hunts, new member ditches, kidnaps, and the like, as well as any activity that is mandatory for new members only, and is not educational in nature;
  4. Any activity involving consumption of a food, liquid, alcoholic beverage, liquor, drug, or other substance which subjects the student to an unreasonable risk or harm or which adversely affects the mental or physical health of the student;
  5. Nudity or forcing or allowing students to dress in any unusual or awkward fashion;
  6. Any activity that intimidates or threatens the student with ostracism, that subjects the student to unreasonable mental stress, shame, or humiliation, or that adversely affects the mental health or dignity of the student, or discourages the student from entering or remaining registered in an educational institution, or that may reasonably be expected to cause a student to leave the organization or the institution rather than submit to acts described in this section.

Title 5. California Code of Regulations 41301 Standards for Student Conduct

“(8) Hazing, or conspiracy to haze. Hazing is defined as 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 (Penal Code 245.6), and in addition, any act likely to cause physical harm, personal degradation or disgrace resulting in physical or mental harm, to any former, current, or prospective student of any school, community college, college, university, or other educational institution. The term “hazing” does not include customary athletic events or school sanctioned events. Neither the express or implied consent of a victim of hazing, nor the lack of active participation in a particular hazing incident is a defense. Apathy or acquiescence in the presence of hazing is not a neutral act, and is also a violation of this section.”

A group of students acting together may be considered a ‘student organization’ for purposes of this section whether or not they are officially recognized.

State of California Penal Code 245.6

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

(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 commerce 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 the 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 XII 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 the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.

Reporting Allegations of Hazing

Allegations of violation of state law or university policies regarding hazing are handled by the Dean of Students Office or University Police for appropriate disciplinary and/or criminal investigation and action. As outlined in the Executive Order 1073, Student Conduct Procedures, and the Student Organization Judicial Procedures, due process will be followed including right of appeal. Nothing in this policy is intended to prevent or prohibit a victim of hazing from filing a complaint with the police in addition to reporting the event(s) to the Dean of Students Office, as described above.