Hazing Prevention Education
W&L conducts in-person hazing prevention education to all current members, new members, and potential new members of student organizations with a new member process, and advisors and coaches of such organizations.
Three Various Forms: Intimidation, Harassment, and Violence:
- Intimidation: Emphasizes a power imbalance between new members and other members of the group/team. Often involves the breach of reasonable standards of mutual respect and place new members on the receiving end of ridicule, embarrassment, and/or humiliation tasks.
- Harassment: Causes emotional anguish or physical discomfort. Harassment hazing confuses, frustrates, and causes undue stress for new members.
- Violence: Have the potential to cause physical and/or emotional, or psychological harm to new members.
It's important to remember that certain hazing behaviors may fit into multiple categories.
The below references are based on national data, not specific to Washington and Lee.
- "Hazing doesn't actually hurt anyone." The Truth: Approximately 30 people have died in hazing incidents during the past five years and numerous others have been severely injured, physically or mentally.
- "Hazing builds unity." The Truth: Unity will be created within the people being hazed but they will be unified against the organization. The end result is a number of unified groups within one disunited organization. Why not strive for complete unity instead?
- "Hazing only exists in fraternities and sororities." The Truth: Hazing incidents have occurred across the country in athletic teams, military units, performing arts groups, religious groups, and other types of clubs and organizations. Hazing occurs in high schools, on college campuses, and within many professional settings.
- "It's tradition. It's not hazing." The Truth: Some people defend their activities as being time honored tradition that somehow prepare new members for life challenges. "Tradition" does not justify subjecting new members to mental or physical abuse. Traditions are created by groups, and groups hold the power to change or eliminate them. It only takes one year and often one strong member to break a hazing tradition.