E&H believes that fraternity and sorority membership in college can help students. We also strive to be proactive in our efforts to educate our community on the consequences of risky behaviors. E&H Greek Life knows that parents, friends and families of Greek students are important members of the E&H Greek community. Because of this, we would like to provide you with the following information on hazing.
Emory & Henry College defines hazing as any mental or physical requirement, request or obligation placed or imposed on a pledge or any other person which could cause discomfort, pain, fright, disgrace, injury, or which is personally degrading or which violates any federal, state or local statutes or College regulations.
Charges of violation of the policy may be brought to the attention of the Student Government Department of Student Conduct and Honor Affairs or the Associate Dean of Students. In all such cases, all parties will be notified and involved. The Dean of Students or Student Government Department of Student Conduct and Honor Affairs may elect to refer such cases to the Student Conduct Board (previously referred to as the Judicial Board).
According to Virginia State Law 18.2-56, It shall be unlawful to haze, so as to cause bodily injury, any student at any school, college, or university. Any person found guilty thereof shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor, unless the injury would be such as to constitute a felony, and in that event the punishment shall be inflicted as is otherwise provided by law for the punishment of such felony. Any person receiving bodily injury by hazing shall have a right to sue, civilly, the person or persons guilty thereof, whether adults or infants. The president, or other presiding official of any school, college or university, receiving appropriations from the state treasury shall, upon satisfactory proof of the guilt of any student found guilty of hazing another student so as to cause bodily injury, expel such student so found guilty, and shall make report thereof to the attorney for the Commonwealth of the county or city in which such school, college or university is, who shall present the same to the grand jury of such city or county convened next after such report is made to them.
Note: Voluntary or willful participation in hazing activities by the victim is not a defense against a College hazing policy violation.
Hazing and why it still exists
Hazing has been around for more than a century. It’s constantly evolving and changing. Some approve of it, but some say nothing. Although many students (and some of their guardians) believe that hazing builds respect and discipline, research has shown that it more often results in apathy, alienation, and mistrust. Hazing is, however, ingrained in different degrees in college cultures, and because it is done secretly, it can be a challenging problem to address. Hazing is inconsistent with the values of the College, and the stated values and purposes of Greek organizations.
It is our hope that the fraternities and sororities at E&H do not haze their new members. But in the event that you suspect hazing or learn about it, it’s important that you take action to prevent and confront a potentially dangerous or uncomfortable situation. It is important that you know that E&H is committed to preventing it, addressing it, educating about it, and eradicating it.
Signs to look and listen for in Greek organizations
- Sleep deprivation
- Excessive absence from class
- Declining academic performance
- Not showered/clean
- Wearing unusual or similar/identical clothing with members of the new member class
- Pulling away emotionally and physically from friends and family
- Defensive responses about fraternity/sorority membership when explaining unusual events or activities
- Lengthy weekend commitments
- Loss of privileges that may sound unnatural, like having the cell phone taken away for a few days, eating, sleeping
- Forced activities for new recruits to ‘prove’ their worth to join
- Forced or required consumption of alcohol
- Requirement to eat spicy foods, other substances
- Requirement to endure hardships such as staying awake, menial tasks, physical labor, running while blindfolded, etc.
- Humiliation of new or potential members
- Isolation of new or potential members
- Beatings, paddling, or other physical acts against new or potential members
- Forced sexual acts
- Requirements for new or potential members to do things established members are not required to do
- Illegal activities such as requirement to steal local items as part of a scavenger hunt
What to do if you are a Greek student experiencing hazing
The E&H Greek Life office is here to support and advocate for the safe and positive experience of all members. Unfortunately, there is no one size fits all approach for students experiencing hazing. If you are a student experiencing hazing, we encourage you to submit a Hazing Incident Report or to contact the Director of Student Activities, Emily Richardson and/or Dean of Students, Fred George immediately. They will assist you with steps to take to address the behavior and support your experience. It’s important to recognize what hazing behavior is and understand that it is not OK. In some cases, you may want to leave the organization quietly, in other cases you may want to report your experience. E&H Greek Life is committed to helping you through this.
Additional forms if you or someone you know has experienced any of these incidents:
What to do if you are a parent, friend, family member, faculty or staff of a Greek student
- You might start a conversation by asking your student about their experience, i.e., explain the things the group is requiring them to do to become a member. If they do not or simply won’t answer your questions about new member activities, that should be a red flag.
- Ask for the chapter advisor’s contact information to obtain answers. If they are unable to provide that information, our office can also provide that information.
- New member activities should include meetings to learn about the organization’s history, the activities of the chapter on campus, community service, going to campus events together, and brotherhood events like camping, hiking, and social events. They should not include long hours of memorizing members’ names, birth dates, personal servitude, activities that require physical endurance of any kind, drinking games, sexual exploits, sleep deprivation, mandatory class skipping, withholding of privileges like using the front door, or certain rooms being off limits, not walking on grass, etc. Any of these activities should trigger an alarm and you should first discuss the issue with your student, and reach out for assistance to the chapter advisor and/or Greek Life.