Definitions of Hazing

Spectrum of Hazing

There is a spectrum of hazing centered around two principles: Recognition and Frequency, and three actions: Intimidation, Harassment, and Violent.

There is a wide range of behaviors that fit the definition of hazing. For this reason, it can often go unrecognized and unreported. The spectrum of hazing illustrates the reality that the most violent forms of hazing (e.g. forced consumption of alcohol, drugs, or vile substances or beatings) occur at a lower frequency but are highly recognized; whereas, intimidation hazing (e.g. demeaning names or expecting items to always be in one's possession) or harassment hazing (e.g. verbal abuse or sleep deprivation) happen far more frequently but are often not recognized as harmful hazing behaviors.

Increasing awareness of low recognition, high frequency intimidation and harassment hazing could reduce a community's tolerance of such behaviors and shift the culture towards more positive, less harmful ways of welcoming new members into organizations.

Definitions of Hazing

Hazing is strictly prohibited at Dartmouth College, by both College policy and New Hampshire law. All students follow the College's Hazing Policy, which includes sections on Accomplice Responsibility and Group Accountability.

Dartmouth Hazing Policy

New Hampshire Hazing Definition

Ask Yourself: Could It Be Hazing?

If conditions of membership involve any of these activities, it could qualify as hazing. These questions are not exhaustive in determining if a behavior is hazing, but may help individuals reflect on the nature of the activity.

  • Did the incident involve physical abuse?
  • Sleep deprivation, physical strain, hitting/slapping?
  • Was alcohol consumed? Drugs?
  • Would the student be willing to describe the event to the President or in a public forum?
  • Was safety at risk? Could it have been?
  • Was there an injury?
  • Is there the possibility of psychological effects from the event?