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SUNY Oswego’s Anti-Hazing Statement

Student groups, organizations, and athletic teams are an integral component of campus life. At all times participants in University programs and activities are expected to act in accordance with the Code of Conduct and treat others with respect. Hazing can happen in any organization and is not limited to fraternities and sororities. In all forms, hazing is abusive, degrading, psychologically damaging, often life-threatening, and has no place within the SUNY Oswego community. The University takes every report of hazing seriously and will investigate all complaints thoroughly and vigorously to ensure all students are treated with fairness and dignity. Those found responsible for committing, soliciting, encouraging, directing, aiding, or recklessly permitting hazing to occur will be subject to disciplinary action and could face either suspension or expulsion.

Prohibited Behaviors
  1. Activities that disrupt or interfere with an individual’s pursuit of academic endeavors. 
  2. Activities which harass or intimidate. 
  3. Any activity for human degradation, or public embarrassment and by its nature, has the potential to cause severe anxiety, distress or panic. 
  4. Activities that deprive individuals of sleep, edible meals, or personal hygiene. 
  5. Activities that involve tests of endurance including leaving a person in a location without means of identification, communication or ability to return. 
  6. Activities that expose members or prospective members to potentially dangerous or hazardous circumstances, including lockdowns, overcrowding rooms or locking exits. 
  7. Activities that involved the forced or required consumption of food, beverages, alcohol, or other drugs. 
  8. Activities which have a foreseeable potential for personal injury, impart pain or cause mutilation or alteration to the body. 
  9. Activities which involve illegal acts.

The University recognizes that students may be reluctant to report hazing activity due to a fear of potential consequences for their own conduct. Therefore, a student who acts in good faith to report activity that may fall within the definition of hazing and who cooperates fully as a witness in the investigation and student conduct process may not be subject to student conduct sanctions related to their own participation in hazing behavior, as determined by the University in its sole discretion.

In the event amnesty is granted for self-reported behaviors, if evidence is presented that the student has continued to engage in hazing behaviors, or has knowledge of hazing activity that was not reported, they may be held accountable for past behavior. Students who choose to report and request amnesty for their own conduct under this policy should know that amnesty does not apply to any criminal or civil action that may be taken by a law enforcement or other agency, including University Police.

Policy on Student Organization Affiliation

Students are prohibited from affiliating with groups/organizations that have had their campus recognition withdrawn or suspended, either temporarily or permanently. The definition of affiliation includes joining, rushing, pledging, or involvement in any activity that would normally be associated with being a member of the group. Residing in facilities owned, rented, or controlled by an unrecognized organization is also considered affiliation and is prohibited. Students are responsible for ensuring they meet eligibility criteria prior to affiliating with any recognized organizations or groups.

Reporting Options

Office of Student Conduct  
501 Culkin Hall    

General Incident Report or Community Concern

University Police  
Pathfinder Hall  

Oswego City Police 

Examples of Hazing

Hazing activities can range from mild to life-threatening. Examples from this list cover a spectrum of severity and are not all-encompassing. 

  • Requiring any form of physically demanding activity (e.g. calisthenics, sit-ups, push up, or runs). 
  • Forcing, requiring, or endorsing consumption of alcoholic beverages or other drugs.
  •  Requiring the consumption of undesirable substances (e.g. spoiled food, unusual food combinations, and noxious fluids). 
  • Verbal harassment including yelling or screaming at potential members. 
  • Requiring or compelling individuals to wear or carry unusual, uncomfortable, degrading, or physically burdensome articles or apparel. 
  • Requiring any type of personal servitude such as running errands, cleaning apartments or houses, doing laundry, etc. 
  • Scavenger hunts, treasure hunts, road trips, or any other such activities when not done for information gathering purposes consistent with educational purposes of the organization. "Kidnaps" and "drop-offs" are not permitted. 
  • Morally degrading and humiliating activities (e.g. requiring new members to scrub floors or toilets with toothbrushes or requiring new members to be indecently exposed). 
  • Assigning or endorsing pranks such as borrowing or stealing items, painting other's property or objects, chapter raids, or harassing other groups. 
  • Psychological harassment in any form. 
  • Endangerment, any activity where there is a potential for danger (e.g. tying of arms and legs, blindfolding, exchange of body fluids, exposing new members to uncomfortable or dangerous environments, etc.). 
  • Individual interrogations not consistent with legitimate testing for information of the history or purpose of the organization. 
  • Requiring new members to wear apparel that is conspicuous and/or not normally considered in good taste. 
  • Requiring new members to walk or march in formation or in line. 
  • Requiring new members to be tattooed or branded. 
  • Requiring new members to answer their phones or doors with specific greetings, chants, riddles, songs, or rhymes. 
  • Deception and/or threats told to convince the new member he or she won't be able to join the organization or group. 
  • Conducting activities that do not allow adequate time for study. 
  • Work parties without the participation of the full organizational membership. 
  • Requiring new members to be silent for prolonged periods of time. 
  • Any action which could be perceived as inflicting physical abuse/harm to an individual (e.g. paddling, application of foreign substances, burning, blowing smoke in eyes, induced vomiting, denial of food or water, etc.). 
  • Threats to life or threats of harm to life for attempting to report hazing or to those members who choose to disassociate from the organization.