Skip to main content

Hazing Prevention

Syracuse University Anti-Hazing Policy

Syracuse University is dedicated to promoting a safe and healthy campus environment for its students, faculty, staff and visitors. In addition, Syracuse University is committed to promoting an environment that fosters respect for the dignity and rights of all its community members. As such, the University will not tolerate hazing activities by any individuals, groups, teams, or recognized student organizations. For more information regarding Syracuse University's Statement of Student Rights and Responsibilities, call the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities at 315.443.3728 or the Office of the Senior Vice President for Enrollment and the Student Experience at 315.443.4357 for more information.

Enforcement: Syracuse University will enforce this policy through internal disciplinary procedures, the external prosecution of alleged offenders, or both. Individuals who participate in acts of hazing will be held accountable under this policy and the Code of Student Conduct. For more information regarding the Code of Student Conduct, call the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities at 315.443.3728.

Definitions (as of August 13, 2018): Hazing is punishable under New York State Law as follows:

New York Penal Law 120.16; Hazing in the First Degree: A person is guilty of hazing in the first degree when in the course of another person's initiation into or affiliation with any organization when such person engages in intentionally or recklessly conduct. This includes engaging physical contact or requiring physical activity during the initiation or affiliation ceremonies, which creates a substantial risk of physical injury to such other person or a third person and thereby causes such injury.

Hazing in the First Degree is a class A misdemeanor.

New York Penal Law 120.17; Hazing in the Second Degree:   A  person is guilty of hazing in the second degree when, in the course of another person's initiation or affiliation with any organization, he  intentionally  or  recklessly  engages  in  conduct,  including, but not  limited to, making physical contact with or requiring physical  activity of such other person, which creates a substantial risk of physical injury to such other person or a third person. Hazing in the Second Degree is a violation.

In addition, Syracuse University defines hazing to include any action that intentionally or recklessly causes or poses a substantial risk of harm to the mental or physical health or safety of one or more persons. Subjecting any person to and/or encouraging any person to commit an act that violates human dignity, the Code of Student Conduct, or the law for the purpose of initiating, promoting, fostering, or confirming any form of affiliation with a group or organization is prohibited. The express or implied consent of participants or reporting individuals will not be a defense.

Examples: Examples of hazing include, but are not limited to:

  • Forced or coerced consumption of alcohol or other substances,
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Threats of harm
  • Actual physical harm (e.g., paddling, beating, branding),
  • Verbal abuse( calling, yelling, screaming, berating)
  • Participation in physical activities such as calisthenics or other exercises
  • Requiring new members to perform skits with degrading, crude or humiliating acts
  • Performing any service or action under coercion or duress (e.g. running errands, cooking, cleaning)
  • Expecting certain items to always be in one’s possession
  • Forcing new members to be deprived of maintaining their normal class study or schedule

Sanctions: Hazing poses substantial risks to the safety and well-being of individual students and the University community. As such, violations of this policy will result in referral to the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities.  Possible disciplinary action may include, but is not limited to, any or all of the following: suspension or expulsion from the University, loss of University recognition and privileges, referral to law enforcement, participation in educational programs, and other educational or remedial action appropriate to the circumstances. Sanctions imposed under this policy do not diminish or replace the penalties available under generally applicable federal, state, and local laws.

Reporting: To make a report of hazing, or to determine whether a proposed activity constitutes or will constitute hazing, the following resources are available via telephone:

  • Department of Public Safety at 315.443.2224
  • Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs at 315.443.2718
  • Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities at 315.443.3728
  • Anonymous reporting via 315.443.TIPS (8477)

Online reporting forms can be found: