Hazing is prohibited by Washington and Lee University and the Code of Virginia § 18.2-56. This policy applies to all University students and student organizations.
The Code of Virginia § 18.2-56 defines "Hazing" to mean "to recklessly or intentionally endanger the health or safety of a student or students or to inflict bodily injury on a student or students in connection with or for the purpose of initiation, admission into or affiliation with or as a condition for continued membership in a club, organization, association, fraternity, sorority, or student body regardless of whether the student or students so endangered or injured participated voluntarily in the relevant activity."
Hazing can manifest as but is not limited to: (a) fatigue, physical shock, or injury; (b) destruction or removal of property; (c) consumption of alcohol, drugs, or other substances; or (d) the violation of university policies or local, state, and federal laws. Hazing can occur with or without the participant's consent and may occur on or off university property.
The Code of Virginia § 18.2-56 provides that it shall be unlawful to haze so as to cause bodily injury. Any person found guilty thereof shall be guilty of a class I misdemeanor. Any person receiving bodily injury by hazing or mistreatment shall have a right to sue, civilly, the person or persons guilty thereof, whether adults or infants. More information can be found by reviewing Code of Virginia § 18.2-56.
As of July 1, 2022 "Adam's Law" applies in the Commonwealth of Virginia. What does that mean for you as a W&L student?
- The University will facilitate training as required by Adam's law. For example, there will be in-person hazing prevention education for various groups such as all current members, new members, and potential new members of student organizations with a new member process, as well as coaches and advisors of organizations/teams with a new member process.
- The University has updated its policy to be compliant with Adam's law concerning immunity from disciplinary action for certain individuals who report an act of hazing.
- To comply with Adam's law reporting requirements, the University will report hazing violations and provide a hardcopy notice of the availability of the reports, including a weblink. Our weblink also includes hazing definitions, relevant policies, and information about how to report.