Hazing Policy & Prevention

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.

Any student or organization found responsible for hazing that meets Louisiana 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:

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

Consent is not a defense.

In accordance with Act 637 of 2018, codified at R.S. 14:502, this policy shall require any person at the scene of an emergency who knows that another person has suffered bodily injury caused by an act of hazing shall, to the extent that the person can do so without danger or peril to self or others, give reasonable assistance to the injured person.

Tulane University complies with any and all municipal, state and federal legislation, including the Louisiana hazing statutes. Reports of hazing will be turned over to local law enforcement, in compliance with applicable state laws.


Hazing includes but is not limited to any of the following acts associated with pledging, being initiated into, affiliating with, participating in, holding office in, or maintaining membership in any organization:

  • Physical brutality, such as whipping, beating, paddling, striking, branding, electric shocking, placing of a harmful substance on the body, or similar activity.
  • Physical activity, such as sleep deprivation, exposure to the elements, confinement in a small space, or calisthenics, that subjects the other person to an unreasonable risk of harm or that adversely affects the physical health or safety of the individual or causes severe emotional distress.
  • Activity involving consumption of food, liquid, or any other substance, including but not limited to an alcoholic beverage or drug, that subjects the individual to an unreasonable risk of harm or that adversely affects the physical health or safety of the individual or causes severe emotional distress.
  • Activity that induces, causes, or requires an individual to perform a duty or task that involves the commission of a crime or an act of hazing.

For purposes of this policy, hazing shall not include a physical activity that is normal, customary, and necessary for a person's training and participation in an athletic, physical education, military training, or similar program sanctioned by the postsecondary education institution.

Organization: a fraternity, sorority, association, corporation, order, society, corps, cooperative, club, service group, social group, band, spirit group, athletic team, or similar group whose members are primarily students at, or former students of, a postsecondary education institution, including the national or parent organization of which any of the underlying entities provided for in this definition is a sanctioned or recognized member at the time of the hazing.

Pledging: any action or activity related to becoming a member of an organization, including recruitment and rushing.

Appropriate authority: includes the following:

  • Any state or local law enforcement agency
  • A 911 Public Safety Answering Point as defined in Title 33 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes of 1950
  • Emergency medical personnel

Reckless behavior: an activity or behavior in which a reasonable person knew or reasonably should have known that the activity or behavior may result in injury to another, including but not limited to excessive consumption of alcohol, binge drinking, drag racing, consumption of any controlled dangerous substance, acts of hazing, or other similar activity.

Serious bodily injury: bodily injury that involves unconsciousness, extreme physical pain, or protracted and obvious disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of a bodily member, organ, or mental faculty, death, or a substantial risk of death.

These definitions apply to any Recognized Student Organization. A student acting on behalf of an unrecognized organization may also face conduct action.

Louisiana State Law

The Board of Regents (BOR) does not condone hazing in any form at any postsecondary education institution in the state. All Louisiana postsecondary institutions shall prohibit hazing and take all reasonable measures to address hazing, including without limitation: adoption of effective policies; clear communication to campus organizations, students and other stakeholders of laws and policies; prompt and faithful enforcement thereof; education; and training. All Louisiana postsecondary institutions shall be committed to providing a supportive educational environment free from hazing, one that promotes its students’ mental and physical well-being, safety and respect for one’s self and others. All Louisiana postsecondary institutions shall implement policies and procedures in compliance with this policy and shall take prompt and appropriate action to investigate and effectively discipline those accused of such conduct in a manner consistent with all applicable laws.

Hazing Statutes
  • Louisiana Revised Statute 17:1801 - Max Gruver Act
  • Act 382 - CRIME: Provides relative to hazing
  • Act 481 - CIVIL PROCEDURE: Authorizes exemplary damages in civil actions for death from hazing.
  • Act 512 - PUBLIC RECORDS: Exempts specified personally identifiable information from the Public Records Law, related to reporting violations of student codes of conduct or other policies intended for the safety of students or employees of postsecondary education institutions.
  • Act 635 - CRIME/FELONIES: Amends penalties relative to the crime of hazing.
  • Act 637 - CRIME/MISDEMEANOR: Creates a penalty for those who fail to seek medical assistance for a person who has suffered serious bodily injury.
  • Act 640 - COLLEGES/UNIVERSITIES: Requires reporting, policies, and education on hazing.
Penalties for PERSON convicted of violating any of the statues above
  • If hazing results in death or serious bodily injury—maximum of $10,000 fine and/or maximum of 5 years imprisonment.
  • Other hazing—maximum of $1000 fine and/or maximum of 6 months imprisonment.
  • Anyone who commits an act of hazing “shall be expelled, suspended, or dismissed from the education institution.”
Penalties for ORGANIZATIONS convicted of violating any of the statutes above
  • Forfeiture of any public funds.
  • Forfeiture of rights as an organization to be recognized for a court-determined period of time.
Prohibited Activities

The following are 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, 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
Report Hazing

To report a dangerous instance of hazing currently underway or anticipated to occur, call the Tulane University Police Department at 504-865-5911.

There are a variety of ways to report concerns regarding hazing:

  • Complete a Tulane Concern Report Form
  • Call the 24-hour Hazing Hotline at 504-862-3111
  • Inform a Tulane administrator or faculty member – this could include people such as your Recognized Student Organization advisor, LBC staff member, Fraternity and Sorority Programs staff member


Return to RSO Handbook