Types of Hazing

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Hazing activities are generally regarded as actions that are physically or emotionally abusive, sexually violating, and/or hazardous. The specific behaviors encompassed within these categories vary widely among participants, groups and settings. Hazing behaviors can be divided into the following three subcategories based on the severity of the behaviors involved.

Subtle Hazing

Behaviors that emphasize a power imbalance between new members and other members of the group. These types of hazing activities are often taken-for-granted or accepted as “harmless” or meaningless. Subtle hazing typically involves activities or attitudes that breach reasonable standards of mutual respect and place new members on the receiving end of ridicule, embarrassment, and/or humiliation tactics.

Examples of Subtle Hazing

  • Ignoring new members
  • Name calling
  • Any forms of demerits
  • Progress reports for new members
  • Requiring the formal addressing of members (Mr/Miss/Sir)
  • Duties only assigned to new members
  • Requiring new members to carry handbooks and obtain signatures of members or others
  • Trying to instill fear in new members for initiation or other group events
  • Depriving new members of privileges

Harassment Hazing 

Behaviors that cause emotional anguish or physical discomfort in order to feel like part of the group. Harassment hazing confuses, frustrates, and causes undue stress for new members/rookies. 

Examples of Harrasment Hazing 

  • Verbal abuse
  • Any form of questioning under pressure or uncomfortable situation
  • Requiring new members to wear ridiculous costumes or perform ridiculous activities
  • Requiring new members to perform personal service to active members/veterans such as carrying books or running errands

Violent Hazing

Behaviors that have the potential to cause physical and/or emotional, or psychological harm.

Examples of Violent Hazing

  • Forced alcohol consumption
  • Forced ingestion of any liquid or substance
  • Sexual violation
  • Assault including paddling, beating, burning, and branding

Lehigh University does not tolerate any type of hazing whether it be subtle, harassment, or violent hazing. If you believe you have been hazed or have witnessed hazing, please complete our Report Hazing form.

Source: Adapted from stophazing.org.