Hazing Policy

Traditions are important at Gonzaga and some of these traditions include rituals and rites of passage that link students to the University’s past and help them prepare for the future. These actions can build important bonds between individuals and groups. It is imperative to remember that the relationships and bonds that are created in our community are to always be deeply rooted in mutual respect, and not through senseless activities or humiliation.

Any hazing actions, including, but not limited to, those which produce mental discomfort, physical discomfort, or ridicule are expressly prohibited. Willing participation by persons suspected of being hazed does not override this policy. Hazing is a form of victimization. It is pre-meditated and not accidental. Hazing consists of a broad range of behaviors that may place another person in danger of physical or psychological discomfort or harm or of activities that demonstrate disregard for another person’s dignity or well-being. A level of coercion is often involved, i.e. those being hazed either couldn’t or didn’t feel they could opt out because of the peer pressure involved and the desire to belong to the group. Hazing incidents typically involve perpetrators (the planners and organizers), bystanders (those who participate but were not hazed or involved in the planning or organizing), and victims, (those who were hazed). All involved are responsible for their behavior, but consequences will generally differ based on the seriousness of the incident and one’s level of responsibility, planning or participation.

Hazing is a form of harassment. Hazing is not limited to group activity alone, but includes individual behavior, that subjects another to abusive conduct, or ridiculous or annoying tricks or pranks. Because hazing and some initiation- related practices threaten the self-esteem and safety of students, and subsequently the University as a whole, Gonzaga adopts the following policy statement:

  1. Hazing is defined as any act or process that endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a student, or that damages or removes public or private property for the purposes of initiation, admission into, affiliation with, or as a condition for continued membership in a group, team or organization.
  2. Hazing-related conduct includes, but is not limited to, embarrassment; ridicule; sleep deprivation; verbal or physical abuse; personal humiliation; excessive fatigue; physical and/or psychological shock; humiliation encouraging or requiring a person to consume alcohol, drugs or foreign or unusual substances; requiring the wearing of conspicuous apparel in public; requiring the carrying of “burdens” in public; and moral degradation or substantial interference with the person’s educational pursuits.
  3. Student groups, teams and organizations, as well as individual students, are expected to design their programs and policies in accordance with the principles of Gonzaga University as described in the University Mission Statement and the Student Code of Conduct.
  4. Individual members, organizational activities, and developed policies should promote the ideals of the University and its Jesuit foundations, which emphasize individual well-being, a strong academic commitment and respect for oneself and for others.
  5. Encouraged or forced violation of any University rule, policy, or expectation or of the law.

Student organizations and individuals failing to adhere to this policy statement and/or behavioral expectations will be subject to disciplinary actions and sanctions as outlined in the Student Code of Conduct, and may also be subject to criminal prosecution pursuant to Washington state law (RCW.28B.10.901).

Last Updated: 8/21/15