How Do I Know If It's Hazing?

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Lehigh University defines hazing as:

Any action taken or situation created, whether on or off campus, to produce mental or physical discomfort, embarrassment, harassment, or ridicule.

Visit our Laws & Policies page to read Lehigh’s full policies around hazing and Pennsylvania State Law on Hazing.



Could it be Hazing?

Here are some questions to help you find the red flags in your plans:
  • Does the activity require secrecy?
  • Does it reflect the values or purpose of your organization?
  • Could it result in emotional, mental, or physical abuse or injury?
  • Would you be comfortable with your family or University knowing about the activity? Would you be willing to allow your family or University to witness the activity?
  • How would you feel if the activity was photographed or videotaped and made available online?
  • Are we only doing this because this is how it’s always been done?
Still not sure if it's hazing? Consider these questions:
  • Does the activity provide an educational experience?
  • Is alcohol involved? 
  • Does the activity help the new members of your group become a better member of your team or organization? Would you be able to clearly and easily articulate how it makes them a better member to your advisor, coach, or LUPD?
  • Does the activity violate the Lehigh Student Code of Conduct, your team or organization’s policies, or federal, state, or local law?
  • Does this activity make someone feel belittled or less than?
Are you worried about someone else? Look for these signs:
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Unusual or disrupted patterns of communication or behavior 
  • Symptoms of depression, such as sudden withdrawal from relationships, sudden mood swings, change in appetite, or lack of hygiene
  • Defensiveness when hearing concerns from others
  • Describing hazing activities but calling them “traditions”, “rituals”, or “initiations”

This information was adapted from Georgetown University and the University of Virigina.