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Laws & Policies
Pennsylvania State Law on Hazing:
[P.S.] § 5352. Definitions : The following words and phrases when used in this act shall have the meanings
given to them in this section unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
"HAZING." Any action or situation which recklessly or intentionally endangers the mental or physical
health or safety of a student or which willfully destroys or removes public or private property for the
purpose of initiation or admission into or affiliation with, or as a condition for continued membership in, any
organization operating under the sanction of or recognized as an organization by an institution of higher
education. The term shall include, but not be limited to, any brutality of a physical nature, such as whipping,
beating, branding, forced calisthenics, exposure to the elements, forced consumption of any food, liquor,
drug or other substance, or any other forced physical activity which could adversely affect the physical
health and safety of the individual, and shall include any activity which would subject the individual to
extreme mental stress, such as sleep deprivation, forced exclusion from social contact, forced conduct which
could result in extreme embarrassment, or any other forced activity which could adversely affect the mental
health or dignity of the individual, or any willful destruction or removal of public or private property. For
purposes of this definition, any activity as described in this definition upon which the initiation or admission
into or affiliation with or continued membership in an organization is directly or indirectly conditioned shall
be presumed to be "forced" activity, the willingness of an individual to participate in such activity
"INSTITUTION OF HIGHER EDUCATION" or "INSTITUTION." Any public or private institution
within this Commonwealth authorized to grant an associate degree or higher academic degree.
[P.S.] § 5353. Hazing prohibited
Any person who causes or participates in hazing commits a misdemeanor of the third degree.
[P.S.] § 5354. Enforcement by institution
(A) ANTI-HAZING POLICY.-- Each institution shall adopt a written anti-hazing policy and, pursuant to
that policy, shall adopt rules prohibiting students or other persons associated with any organization operating
under the sanction of or recognized as an organization by the institution from engaging in any activity which
can be described as hazing.
(B) ENFORCEMENT AND PENALTIES.--
- Each institution shall provide a program for the enforcement of such rules and shall adopt appropriate penalties for violations of such rules to be administered by the person or agency at the institution responsible for the sanctioning or recognition of such organizations.
- Such penalties may include the imposition of fines, the withholding of diplomas or transcripts pending compliance with the rules or pending payment of fines and the imposition of probation, suspension or dismissal.
- In the case of an organization which authorizes hazing in blatant disregard of such rules, penalties may also include rescission of permission for that organization to operate on campus property or to otherwise operate under the sanction or recognition of the institution.
- All penalties imposed under the authority of this section shall be in addition to any penalty imposed for violation of section 3 or any of the criminal laws of this State or for violation of any other institutional rule to which the violator may be subject.
- Rules adopted pursuant hereto shall apply to acts conducted on or off campus whenever such acts are deemed to constitute hazing.