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Hazing

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.

Report Hazing

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:

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

If you observe any of the following signs in someone you know, they may be experiencing 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.

Additional Resources

Useful Resources

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University Police

992 Elmer Prince Drive
Morgantown, WV 26506-6563
304-293-3136
police.wvu.edu

Carruth Center

Health and Education Building
390 Birch Street
Morgantown, WV 26506
304-293-4431
wvucccps@mail.wvu.edu
carruth.wvu.edu
Report a Concern

You can help WVU provide a safe environment by reporting student concerns, student conduct violations, sexual misconduct or other potential threats to campus safety.