Anti-Hazing Policy

(A) Philosophy

The university of Cincinnati recognizes that participation in extracurricular activities may significantly enhance the learning and growth experiences of university students. In accordance with state and federal laws, the university shall adamantly prohibit any form of hazing associated with these activities. All student activities, including, but not limited to, student organization membership orientation and initiation, shall be expected to be unquestionable in their purpose and intention. Further, these activities shall support attainment of all purposes stated in the respective student organizations’ constitutions.

(B) Policy

Consistent with this philosophy and sections 2307.44 and 2903.31 of the Ohio Revised Code, the following hazing policy shall be adopted by the university. This policy shall be complied with by all students, recognized student organizations, university advisors, and any other person or group where the activity involving hazing, whether on or off campus, may affect or interfere with the lawful function of the university.

  1. The laws of the state of Ohio concerning hazing shall be observed. 
  2. Hazing shall be defined as participating in or allowing any or coercing another, including the victim, to do any act that creates a substantial risk of causing mental or physical harm to any person. A forced or coerced activity shall also be considered hazing when the initiation or admission into, or continued affiliation with, a university organization is directly or indirectly conditional upon performing that activity. In no event shall the willingness of an individual to participate in such activity serve as a defense in cases of hazing. 
  3. Actions and activities which are explicitly prohibited include, but shall not be limited to, the following: 
  • Any activity that creates a substantial risk of physical or mental harm to the individual. 3361:40-3-12
  • Paddling, beating, or hitting individuals. 
  • Wearing anything designed to be degrading or to cause discomfort.
  • Depriving individuals of the opportunity for obtaining a minimum of six hours of sleep per day, proper and adequate means, or access to means, of maintaining body cleanliness.
  • Activities that interfere with an individual’s academic efforts by causing exhaustion, or loss of reasonable study time.
  • Use of drugs.
  • Eating or drinking foreign or unusual substances, including alcohol or anything an individual chooses not to eat or drink.
  • Having any object or substance thrown at, poured on, attached to or otherwise applied to the bodies of individuals.
  • Any activity or game that makes an individual the object of amusement, ridicule, or intimidation or which cause the individual to be degraded or humiliated. 
  • Kidnapping, transporting and/or stranding anyone.
  • Interrogations or audible stress such as yelling or loud noises.
  • Activities which are illegal such as theft or public indecency.
  • Activities which are contrary to the policies and rules of the university.

(C) Procedure

  1. This policy shall be referenced in the university of Cincinnati student handbook, student code of conduct, and the registration packets for all student organizations. The organization’s president, with the organization’s university advisor, shall be responsible for signing the compliance form which shall be part of the registration process with the office of student activities & leadership development. Any group not filing a registration packet shall not be given recognized student organization status. The officers shall also communicate this policy to all members and new officers to see that the organization strictly adheres to the policy. Members shall also understand that not only shall the organization be responsible for preventing hazing in any form, but any and all members involved in a hazing violation shall be held personally accountable. Any participants in hazing; the local organization, local directors, trustees or officers who authorized, requested, commanded or tolerated the hazing; and any local officer who authorized, requested, commanded or tolerated the hazing shall be subject to university discipline. The national organization and its officer, and national and local directors or trustees may be subject to civil suits for injury and damages under Ohio law.
  2. Any violation of this policy shall be handled through the office of student activities & leadership development. A written complaint of alleged hazing shall be filed with this office. In cases involving a complaint against a student organization, the office of student activities & leadership development may refer the complaint to the appropriate governance board, administrative unit or handle the complaint within the office of student activities & leadership development.
  3. If the local organization is a chapter of a national organization, the office of student activities & leadership development shall inform the national headquarters of the accusation and of any disciplinary action taken.
  4. The negligence or consent of the plaintiff/victim or any assumption of risk by the plaintiff/victim shall not be a defense to a suit or disciplinary action of the university brought against a violator. 
  5. In compliance with rule 3361:10-17-02 of the Administrative Code, the office of student activities & leadership development shall report possible violations of that state hazing laws to civil authorities for prosecution. Hazing is a criminal offense in Ohio. 
  6. Sanctions that may be imposed for the violation of this policy include but shall not be limited to: 
    1. For student organizations, a warning may be served, the organization may be placed on probationary status, or the organization may be suspended.
    2. For individual students, sanctions shall include reprimanded, probations, suspension, dismissal or other disciplinary sanctions, as contained in rule 3361:40-5-05 of the Administrative Code.

Effective: July 8, 2014
Certification: Nicole S. Blount, Executive Assistant to the Board of Trustees
Date: June 26, 2014
Promulgated under: R.C. Section 111.15
Rule amplifies: R.C. 2307.44; R.C. 2903.31.
Prior effective dates: December 21, 1990