Hazing is prohibited by both the University of Richmond and the Code of Virginia § 18.2-56.

Hazing is an act that, as an explicit or implicit condition for initiation to, admission into, affiliation with, or continued membership in a group organization, could be seen by a reasonable person as conduct that: endangers the physical health of an individual or causes mental distress to an individual through, for example, humiliating, intimidating, or demeaning treatment; destroys or removes public or private property; involves the consumption of alcohol, other drugs, or other substances; or violates any of the policies of the University of Richmond.

Reporting Hazing

Any suspected hazing by an individual, group, or registered student organization should be reported to the University through any of the following methods:

Resources and Education

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  • Examples of Hazing

    Examples of forbidden hazing activities include, but are not limited to:

    • Intimidation, threats and verbal hostility
    • Rough wrestling matches and football games
    • Hitting an individual with paddles, even in so-called fun exchanges, and other types of beatings
    • Sexually degrading activities, including stripping, simulation of sexual acts, improper touching, or sexually explicit chants and songs
    • Pressuring an individual to get a brand or tattoo or to shave his or her head
    • Dousing an individual with dangerous substances
    • Requiring an individual to eat unpleasant-tasting food
    • Requiring an individual to sleep in uncomfortable places or depriving them of sleep
    • Requiring an individual to carry an item with them
    • Requiring an individual to participate in a scavenger hunt
    • Not disclosing to an individual the activity they are required to participate in
    • Forcing an individual to do physical exercise
    • Forcing an individual to swim, which can result in drowning
    • Forcing an individual to wear unusual clothing
    • The keeping of pledge books and/or forcing an individual to get member’s or alumni’s signatures
    • Requiring an individual to memorize non-essential information
    • Isolating an individual from other group members
    • An activity that intentionally or unintentionally subjects an individual to mental or physical harm, embarrassment, harassment, or ridicule
    • Forcing an individual to do personal errands of any kind
  • Required Training and Education

    The University will conduct in-person hazing prevention training that includes, among other topics, the dangers of hazing, including alcohol intoxication, applicable hazing laws, the content of this policy and other applicable policies, the University’s conduct process for hazing, the fact that the conduct process is not a substitute for a criminal investigation or prosecution.

    Pursuant to Va. Code § 23.1-822 (Adam’s Law), selective registered student organizations (RSO) are required to attend hazing prevention and alcohol misuse education seminars. The University of Richmond defines a selective RSO as any student organization that has a barrier to entry (could include new member periods, auditions, elections, etc.). 

    All current members of the selective RSO are required to complete the training; attendance is tracked to ensure all members attend the training. If all current members do not complete the mandatory training by the end of the academic year, the RSO will be placed in an "inactive" status.

    When a selective RSO extends an offer to a student to join their organization, those new members are also required to attend a hazing prevention and alcohol misuse education seminar. If a new member does not complete the mandatory training, the new member will not be permitted to join the organization.

    Selective organizations with new member periods are required to have all members attend hazing prevention training each academic year. Selective organizations without a new member period are required to have all members only attend training once. 

    All new students (first-year and transfer) receive hazing prevention and alcohol misuse education during New Spider Orientation

  • Advisors to Organizations

    All advisors for selective Registered Student Organizations (RSOs) are required to participate in in-person hazing prevention training provided by the University.

    All advisors to Registered Student Organizations (RSOs) are required to promptly report allegations of or information regarding potential hazing.

  • Immunity from Conduct Sanctions

    In order to encourage reporting of hazing, the University will not charge a student under the Standards of Student Conduct for violations of the Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drug Policy, that involve the consumption of alcohol, public intoxication, and ingestion of illegal drugs if the student discloses such violations in connection with a prompt and good faith report hazing or while participating, in good faith, in an investigation or hearing process involving allegations or charges of hazing.

    The University will not charge a student under the Standards of Student Conduct for hazing if such student is a bystander to and does not participate in such hazing and makes a prompt report of hazing in the manner specified by this policy or to the University Police Department.

    This provision does not apply to allegations of more serious conduct such as physical abuse of another or illicit drug or alcohol distribution, or direct participation in or encouragement of hazing. The University also considers retaliation against parties and witnesses to be a serious violation and will investigate and hold accountable students found to have retaliated against another student as a result of that student’s reporting of, or participation in an investigation or adjudication of, hazing.