Hazing Policies

Tulane University Hazing Policy

Hazing includes, but is not limited to, acts of servitude and/or behavior that humiliates degrades, embarrasses, harasses, or ridicules an individual, or otherwise is harmful or potentially harmful to an individual’s physical, emotional, or psychological well-being, as an actual or apparent condition for initial or continued affiliation with any group. A student or organization violates this standard regardless of either the lack of intent to cause harm or the hazed individual’s own willingness to participate. Unless affirmative steps were taken by the responding student or organization to prevent the hazing behavior, conduct charges may be brought against the group, officers of the group, and members of the group who are deemed to have encouraged, witnessed, or knew about the behavior, in addition to any conduct action against persons who engaged in the hazing behavior itself.

Tulane's full policy can be found here

Louisiana Hazing Statute: RS 17:1801 Part III. MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS 1801.

Hazing Penalties

Any student or organization found responsible for hazing that meets Louisiana's statutory definition of hazing will, at a minimum, be suspended from the university, and may face imprisonment up to 5 years and/or fines up to $10,000.  Hazing is defined by the state of Louisiana as follows:   

Hazing means any intentional, knowing, or reckless act by a person acting alone or acting with others that is directed against another when both of the following apply:

(i) The person knew or should have known that such an act endangers the physical health or safety of the other person or causes severe emotional distress.

(ii) The act was associated with pledging, being initiated into, affiliating with, participating in, holding office in, or maintaining membership in any organization.

Hazing Activities

Some activities are easily categorized as hazing, while others are not. Any requirement by a member which:

  1. Compels a prospective or new member to participate in any activity which is illegal;

  2. Is known to be contrary to a prospective or new member's moral or religious beliefs, or

  3. Is contrary to the policies of Tulane University or the chapter's national policy may be considered hazing.

If you are not sure, consider the following questions:

  • What is the value/purpose of this activity?

  • Does this activity promote the founding values of the organization? The mission? The creed?

  • Do new and initiated members participate equally in this activity?

  • Will active/current members of the group refuse to do what they are asking the new members to do?

  • Would you want to do this activity yourself?

  • Does the activity risk emotional or physical abuse?

  • Is there a risk of injury or a question of safety?

  • Would you feel uncomfortable with the activity being photographed for the school newspaper or filmed by the local TV news crew?

  • Would you feel uncomfortable describing the activity to your parents, to a professor, or to University faculty?

  • Would you be able to defend the activity in a Court of Law?

  • Is this activity valued in and of itself? Why?

Emphasize the Positive

These qualities should be emphasized in the new member process or membership intake process:

  • Focus on Scholarship/Academics

  • Focus on Service/Philanthropy

  • Focus on Sisterhood/Brotherhood building the bonds (with new members and active circle)

  • Focus on Individual Growth (of each of your new members)


The president and new member educator(s)/director of intake shall be responsible for ensuring that the chapter complies with this policy.

A chapter process MUST be in place for prospective, new, or active members to question, or refuse to participate in, any activity. This questioning, or refusal to participate in an activity should not jeopardize his/her goal of initiating into the fraternity or sorority. This process should be shared in writing with the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Programs prior to the beginning of the New Member Education/Membership Intake Process.

All alleged violations of the above policies will be referred to the Office of Student Conduct.

Prohibited Activities

The following is a list of prohibited acts or activities. Other acts or activities that could be considered hazing are not limited to this list.

  • Unwanted or harmful eating, smoking, or ingesting of legal or illegal substances

  • Paddling and/or striking in any manner

  • Forcing prospective or new members to drink alcoholic beverages by threat or peer pressure

  • Placing prospective or new members in confining, uncomfortable areas or positions

  • Acts of demeaning or unreasonable servitude for active or alumni members

  • Requiring apparel of the opposite sex to be worn in public places

  • Clothing requirements in which the sole purpose is to humiliate

  • Assigning pranks such as stealing, vandalizing, or harassing other organizations

  • Required harassment and/or fighting with other sororities or fraternities

  • Calling prospective or new members demeaning names

  • Screaming, cursing, and yelling at prospective/new members

  • Tying members up in any manner

  • Activities in which the primary objective is to deprive sleep and/or food

  • Carrying an object solely for the purpose of carrying the object

  • Blindfolding of prospective or new members at any time other than actual initiation, big/little sister or big/little brother revealing, and/or trust activities

  • Scavenger hunts

  • Discriminating because of race, weight, religion, sexual orientation, or disability

  • Required marking, tattoos, or branding during the new member or membership intake process

  • Preventing/restricting/disturbing class attendance

  • Preventing personal hygiene

  • Demeaning line-ups

All chapters are expected to abide by their national guidelines in all areas of recruitment, new member processes, and membership intake. Failure to do so may result in a conduct investigation.

Possible sanctions for chapters found in violation, may include, but are not limited to:

  • Constructive: i.e. paying to bring in a speaker about hazing, preparing and executing a hazing workshop, and/or attending hazing seminars

  • Monetary

  • Loss of social privileges New member process or membership intake process to be constructed by the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Programs, not to be deviated from

  • Loss of campus recognition and/or other privileges