Dear Registered Student Organization Officers and Advisors,
PLEASE REVIEW WITH ALL MEMBERS OF YOUR ORGANIZATION THIS IMPORTANT MESSAGE ABOUT HAZING:
90% of Cornell students believe it’s never okay to humiliate or intimidate new group members. However, you may be surprised to learn that some club traditions—including activities you may never have thought to question—actually fit the university definition of hazing (see details below) and can be referred to the Office of the Judicial Administrator for review and sanctioning. It is up to you to make sure your members do not engage in hazing or other unacceptable activities throughout the year.
As a student leader (or as an advisor), you must take proactive steps to ensure members of your organization feel welcome and safe. Learn all you can about hazing and help others to understand that what may seem fun or non-threatening for some members may be experienced as physically or emotionally harmful to others. Even simple pranks and jokes can rise to the category of hazing if not considered carefully.
- Please review and consider this list of activities for ideas on replacing questionable and/or potentially problematic traditions and to help safeguard the health and well-being of your members.
- If you need help understanding the issues or brainstorming options, you may request a free Cornell hazing prevention program for yourself and your group members.
Hazing is a violation of the Campus Code of Conduct and is defined as follows by Cornell:
HAZING: To haze another person, regardless of the person's consent to participate. Hazing means an act that, as an explicit or implicit condition for initiation to, admission into, affiliation with, or continued membership in a group or organization, (1) could be seen by a reasonable person as endangering the physical health of an individual or as causing mental distress to an individual through, for example, humiliating, intimidating, or demeaning treatment, (2) destroys or removes public or private property, (3) involves the consumption of alcohol or drugs, or the consumption of other substances to excess, or (4) violates any University policy.
- Please note that “informed consent” does not apply to hazing. Activities can be considered hazing regardless of a person or group’s “consent” to participate.
- Registered organizations and their officers are referred to the Office of the Judicial Administrator for any alleged hazing incident.
- Detailed descriptions of previous campus hazing violations can be viewed on Cornell’s Hazing website.
It is up to you to ensure your group members are aware of how to report hazing violations. Any student subjected to hazing or who has knowledge of anyone else being hazed should immediately report the incident:
- online via Cornell University’s hazing website
- by phone (or in person) with one of these university resources
- Remember, hazing is never okay. For more detailed information about this topic—including care and support for those who have been hazed—please visit hazing.cornell.edu
Cornell University Council on Hazing Prevention