University of Maryland-Baltimore County Hazing Policy

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Type: Policy

Status: In Effect

Source File: http://www.umbc.edu/saf/policies/hazing.html

Text:

The University of Maryland Baltimore County recognizes the role which student organizations play in creating and supporting a positive co-curricular atmosphere on campus. These organizations are a credit to UMBC when their activities foster academic and personal growth, generate loyalty to and pride in the University, and help prepare students to make productive contributions to society.

The University of Maryland Baltimore County recognizes the role which student organizations play in creating and supporting a positive co-curricular atmosphere on campus. These organizations are a credit to UMBC when their activities foster academic and personal growth, generate loyalty to and pride in the University, and help prepare students to make productive contributions to society.

The University unconditionally opposes doing any act or causing any situation which recklessly or intentionally subjects a student to the risk of psychological or physical mistreatment or harm, including embarrassment, harassment, or ridicule, for the purposes of gaining or maintaining membership in any student organization.

Therefore, this policy is formulated to:

1. Insure University, organizational, and individual compliance with State and local law governing hazing, and with the UMBC Code of Student Conduct.
2. Define hazing.
3. Define culpability for hazing violations.
4. Establish procedures to protect the rights of students when gaining or maintaining membership and/or association with a student organization.

Policy

1. Hazing in any form is prohibited.

2. For the purposes of this policy, hazing is defined as:

a. recklessly or intentionally doing any act or causing any situation which, for the purpose of gaining or maintaining membership and/or association with a student organization:
1. involves, causes, or results in the physical mistreatment or harm of any person;
2. involves, causes, or results in the psychological mistreatment or harm of any person;
3. has the potential for causing harm to the health of any person;
4. interferes with academic pursuits of any person;
5. involves, causes, or results in the abuse and/or theft of the personal property and/or effects of any person; or
b. doing any act or causing any situation which recklessly or intentionally subjects a student to the risk of serious bodily injury for the purpose of initiation into a student organization (Annotated Code of Maryland, Article 27, Section 268H);
c. prohibited actions and activities including, but not limited to, the following:
1. any activity that might reasonably bring physical harm to the individual;
2. paddling, beating or otherwise permitting members to hit new, prospective, or continuing members;
3. requiring new, prospective, or continuing members to wear degrading or uncomfortable garments;
4. depriving new, prospective, or continuing members of the opportunity for sufficient sleep (8 consecutive hours per day minimum) and decent and edible meals;
5. activities that interfere in any way with a new, prospective, or continuing member's academic efforts; e.g., causing of exhaustion, loss of sleep, or loss of reasonable study time;
6. activities that interfere with a new, prospective, or continuing member's employment or family obligation;
7. requiring or encouraging new, prospective, or continuing members to consume amounts of alcohol or other drugs;
8. forcing, coercing, or permitting new, prospective, or continuing members to eat or drink foreign or unusual substances such as raw meat, raw eggs, salt water, onions, etc.;
9. having substances such as eggs, mud, paint, honey, etc. thrown at, poured on, or otherwise applied to bodies of new, prospective, or continuing members;
10. morally degrading or humiliating games or any other activity that make a new, prospective, or continuing member the object of amusement, ridicule, or intimidation;
11. kidnaps, road trips (a mandatory/forced off-campus trip as part of a new, prospective, or continuing member activity) including such activities performed by new, prospective, or continuing members;
12. subjecting a new, prospective, or continuing member to cruel and unusual psychological conditions for any reason.

3. The implied or expressed consent of a student to hazing is not a defense under applicable State law or this policy.

4. Culpability for any violations of this policy may be attributed to the perpetrators, the student organization, and/or its members, and elected or appointed officers. A student organization may be found culpable upon satisfactory proof that the organization did not discourage or did not take reasonable steps to prevent hazing by its members or affiliates.

5. Within the time period specified by the appropriate member of the Student Life, Residential Life, or Athletics offices, all elected or appointed student organization officers shall register with the appropriate University office and sign a statement indicating that they will comply with the terms of the UMBC Hazing Policy. Compliance is required from the time they take office.

6. All elected or appointed student organization officers shall educate their respective organization members on the applicable Maryland law and University policies concerning hazing. Records should be maintained of such activities as well as of distribution lists and attendance. Members who cannot verify or establish their knowledge of the policies will not be permitted to participate in any organizational activities.

7. Prior to the beginning of any pledge or probationary period or activities, elected or appointed student organization officers are responsible for submitting statements signed by each pledge, probationary, or potential member indicating that they have been informed of and understand this policy and their rights related to activities regulated by this policy.

Policy Enforcement
All individuals, organizations, and departments are expected to comply with this policy and support its intent. Copies of the policy and related forms will be provided to each student organization and will be included in the Student Organization Handbook. Additional copies may be requested from the Student Life Office.

The Student Life Office monitors the implementation of this policy. Complaints or reports of activities believed to be hazing should be reported to the University Police Department ((410) 455-3133). Alleged policy violations should also be directed to the Office of Student Judicial Programs (Student Development Success Center, 118 (410) 455-2453) who will then work with the appropriate University officials to investigate the report. Any questions concerning the interpretation or application of this policy should be referred to the Office of Student Judicial Programs for resolution.

Violations of this policy are subject to referral to appropriate law enforcement and/or campus agencies, as well as to regional and national affiliated offices, for action or prosecution.

Interim Suspension of Organizational Activities
An organization may be suspended or restricted from University Property for an interim period pending disciplinary proceedings. This action may be initiated by the Vice President for Student Affairs, or a designee. The interim suspension or restriction is effective without prior notice, when there is evidence that the continued presence of the organization on the University campus, or in specific facilities, poses a substantial threat to persons, or to the stability and continuance of normal University functions.

An organization may request a review of the interim action. This request must be in writing to the Vice President for Student Affairs, or designee. A response will made within five (5) days from the date of receipt of the request. The review shall examine the following issues only:

1. The reliability of the information concerning the organization's conduct, including the matter of identity; and
2. Whether the alleged conduct and surrounding circumstances reasonably indicate that the continued presence of the organization on the University campus, or in a specific campus facility, poses a substantial threat to persons or the stability and continuance of normal University functions.

Interim suspension or restriction from University Property shall be followed, within ten (10) days, by a Disciplinary Conference or Judicial Board Hearing as described in the Code of Student Conduct.

Sanctions
Violations of this policy shall be treated as violations of the UMBC Code of Student Conduct. Any member of the University community who observes or is aware of any violation of the policy shall promptly refer the matter to the Office of Student Judicial Programs, University Police or Student Life Office.

Student organizations, groups, clubs, societies, or other segments of the University community are responsible for compliance with the rules and regulations outlined in the Code of Student Conduct. Violation of this policy or the Code of Student Conduct will result in appropriate sanctioning including, but not limited to, permanent or temporary suspension of recognition, social probation, denial of use of University facilities, or other similar sanctions available under the Code of Student Conduct. Such determination of fault shall be done through the procedures outlined in the Code. A University Organization that is suspended or expelled loses the status and privileges provided to recognized organizations. Students continuing to act in the name of the suspended or expelled University Organization may be in violation of a sanction imposed under this Code and be subjected to Code of Student Conduct charges as individuals.

Violation of the Maryland Law prohibiting Hazing (Annotated Code of Maryland, Article 27, Section 268H) is a misdemeanor subject to a fine of not more than $500, or imprisonment for not more than 6 months, or both.

Policy Review
This policy shall be reviewed as necessary by the Student Life Office, in conjunction with the Student Affairs Office and the University Police Department. Other departments, organizations, and related national offices may be surveyed to assess the policy's clarity and effect. The Director of the Student Life Office will recommend revisions to the Vice President for Student Affairs.

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