WVU is committed to fostering a safe and inclusive campus community. There is no place for hazing at WVU, and it is prohibited according to the WVU Student Conduct Code as well as West Virginia state law.
A violation of this prohibition renders both the organization and participating individuals subject to discipline. Any student who is aware of or in the presence of hazing is also subject to discipline. If you or someone you know suspect hazing is occurring, please alert us so appropriate action can be taken.
Step 1: Assess the situation. Is it an emergency?
Are you or someone else in immediate danger? If so, dial 911 or call University Police at 304-293-3136 for emergency services.
Remember, the medical amnesty policy states that anyone who seeks emergency assistance for a person who appears to be experiencing an overdose from alcohol or drugs may not get in trouble. Don’t wait – call for help!
Step 2: Report hazing using one of these methods:
- Complete the Public Incident Report form.
- Contact the Office of Student Conduct by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 304-293-8111.
- If the complaint relates to Greek organizations, call the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life at 304-293-8201.
Step 3: Seek counseling
If you need counseling to deal with the effects of hazing, the Carruth Center offers free counseling to WVU students.
What Is Hazing?
“Hazing” refers to any activities or tasks expected of someone joining a group that intend to humiliate, degrade or harm them, regardless of a person’s willingness to participate. This often occurs to wrongfully make new members think they must endure these activities to gain official membership into a group. Hazing can happen in any group setting, such as sports teams, Greek organizations, bands, clubs and societies. These activities may cause physical, mental or emotional abuse – or even death.
An activity is probably hazing if:
- the activity is not educational;
- it does not represent the values of the group;
- only select members are participating;
- you do not feel like an equal member of the group;
- it puts members at risk for physical, mental or emotional trauma;
- or you would not feel comfortable having others witness your activity.
Potential Signs of Hazing
- sudden change in behavior after joining the group
- physical, mental and emotional exhaustion
- lack of communication
- avoiding sharing the experiences they’re having in the group
- claiming the experiences they’re having in the group are acceptable because “it’s their tradition” or because “it’s a rite of passage for new members”
- decreased performance in school and other activities
- physical abnormalities like scars, bruising, broken bones, illness and other injuries
- weight loss
- anger, anxiety, depression and other emotional signs
- cancelling plans with friends or family at the last minute to do something with the group instead
- an immense sense of loyalty to the group
- other irregular behavior patterns
How to Prevent Hazing
- Make your group aware of the dangers of hazing and its consequences.
- Educate all members on hazing, its signs, how to report it and ways to prevent it.
- Foster a safe, inclusive environment within your group by creating alternative group bonding and teamwork activities.
- Encourage members to report any signs of hazing.
- Take reports of hazing seriously and investigate them.
- Hold your members and leaders accountable if hazing arises. If a member knows hazing is occurring and fails to report it, they are just as responsible as those engaging in hazing.
- WVU Hazing Prevention Task Force
- Medical Amnesty Policy
- WVU Student Conduct Code, refer to Section 6 (Prohibited Conduct), Subsection 6.2 (Specific Acts), Item “s” for hazing
- WVU Anti-Hazing Agreement
- HAZE, a hazing and binge drinking prevention program offered by WellWVU
- Hazing Prevention 101, a required online education program for all new members of WVU Greek organizations