Faculty Code, Chapter VI, Article V, Section 5

The state of Washington defines hazing as “any method of initiation into a student organization or living group, or any pastime or amusement engaged in with respect to such an organization or living group that causes, or is likely to cause, bodily danger or physical harm, or serious mental or emotional harm, to any student or other person attending a public or private institution of higher education or other postsecondary educational institution in this state. No student, or other person in attendance at any public or private institution of higher education, or any other postsecondary educational institution, may conspire to engage in hazing or participate in hazing of another.” (RCW 2B.10.900)

“Hazing is a misdemeanor and punishable under state law.” (RCW 9A.20.021)

In states that have laws against hazing, such as the sState of Washington, the defendant(s) cannot use consent of the victim as a defense in a civil suit.

Consent is not a defense because a participant’s agreement to participate in a potentially hazardous activity may not be true consent when considering peer pressure and the desire to be part of a group. 

The following behaviors and activities would constitute hazing on this campus. It is important to note that social pressure can constitute forced or requisite participation, even if the organizers claim that the activity is voluntary.

  • Actions that recklessly or intentionally endanger the physical and mental health or safety of students.
  • Forced, coerced or required consumption of any food, liquor, drug, beverage, water or any other substance.
  • Forced, coerced or required participation in physical activities, such as calisthenics, exercises or so-called games.
  • Forced or required conduct that could embarrass or adversely affect the dignity of the individual, including the performance of public stunts and activities.
  • Forced exposure to the weather.
  • Excessive fatigue resulting from sleep deprivation, physical activities or exercise.
  • Assignment of activities that would be illegal or unlawful, or might be morally offensive to new members.
  • Physical brutality, including paddling; striking with fists, open hands, or objects; and branding.
  • Kidnapping against a person’s will, and forced transportation or stranding of individuals.
  • Verbal abuse, including “line-ups” and berating of individuals.
  • Forced or required clean-up work or labor created for new members.
  • Denial of sufficient time to study.
  • Forced or required nudity or lewd behavior.

“Any organization, association, or student living group that knowingly permits hazing is strictly liable for harm caused to persons or property resulting from hazing. If the organization, association, or student living group is a corporation whether for profit or nonprofit, the individual directors of the corporation may be held individually liable for damages.” (RCW 28B.10.901)