Revised July 2022
- Hazing will not be tolerated at Roanoke College.
(a) College student groups (e.g. registered student organizations, intramural, club and varsity athletic teams, and other recognized student groups) and individual students are prohibited from hazing.
(b) Hazing is prohibited in any form both on campus and off campus.
- Definition of Hazing
(a) In accordance with Virginia Law, “Hazing” is defined as any action or situation that recklessly or intentionally endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a student for purposes including, but not limited to, initiation or admission into or affiliation with any organization operating under the sanction of a postsecondary institution. "Hazing" includes, but is not limited to, pressuring or coercing the student into violating state or federal law, any brutality of a physical nature, such as whipping, beating, branding, exposure to the elements, forced or coerced consumption of any food, liquor, drug, or other substance, or other forced or excessive physical activity that could adversely affect the physical health or safety of the student, and also includes any activity that would subject the student to extreme mental stress, such as sleep deprivation, forced exclusion from social contact, excessive cleaning or errand-running, forced conduct that could result in extreme embarrassment, or other forced activity that could adversely affect the mental health or dignity of the student.
(b) For the purposes of this policy, hazing includes observation of hazing activities by individuals in a position to intervene but who fail to intervene, including organization officers/leaders who are aware of planned hazing activities and condone or fail to prevent that hazing from occurring, regardless of their participation.
- Procedures for Implementation by Student Affairs:
(a) Allegations of Hazing – Any person having knowledge of any activity or conduct which may constitute hazing should contact the Dean of Students Office or Campus Safety.
(b) Self Reporting of Incidents - Student organization/team members and officers/captains should immediately report any hazing incidents that occur within their organization to the Dean of Students Office, providing a detailed description of the events that have transpired, the names of any individuals involved, and a description of any actions taken by the organization. Upon receiving the report, the Dean of Students Office and/or Campus Safety will investigate as described in this policy, and the organization president and advisor/coach will be notified. The investigation and adjudication will proceed related to the policy violations by the individual(s) implicated in the report, unless evidence discovered in the investigation proves the incident to have been sanctioned by the organization. If the incident appears to have been sanctioned by the organization, a follow-up investigation into the organization’s role may be undertaken. If the student organization is affiliated with a national organization, the national headquarters may be contacted depending on the severity of the incident, the organization’s involvement in the incident, and the organization’s cooperation in the investigation.
(c) Investigation of Allegations and Charges–Upon receiving a report of alleged hazing, the Dean of Students Office will assign the case to an investigator. As part of the investigation, the College will:
(1) Make contact (if possible) with the individual(s) bringing forward the allegations of hazing;
(2) Make contact with the individual(s) alleged to have perpetrated the hazing. If the conduct is organizational in nature, the investigator will contact the advisor and president of the organization under investigation;
(3) Conduct interviews with all parties, including victims, the accused student(s) and any witnesses. The investigator may, at his/her discretion, recommend interim action (as described in the Student Code of Conduct) to the Dean of Students at any point during the investigation;
(d) The investigator may, at his or her discretion, require students, or a select group of students (i.e. all new members of an organization) to participate in an investigatory meeting at a pre-determined time and location and may exercise discretion regarding the communication of students during the investigation process.
(e) The investigator may, at his or her discretion, require students to undergo a physical examination by a campus health center staff member, particularly when allegations of physical abuse are part of a hazing investigation. The results of these physical examinations will be protected by applicable health privacy laws, but a summary of any physical signs of hazing (i.e. bruises, burns, etc.) will be provided to the investigator by the medical professional conducting the examinations.
(f) The investigator will provide a written investigative report to the Dean of Students Office. Upon receipt of this report, the Dean of Students (or designee) will determine if charges are warranted. If charges are warranted, the Dean of Students Office will charge the individual student(s), the involved student group(s), and/or the President or other responsible officers of the involved student group(s) or any other complicit bystanders in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct.
(g) Adjudication. – Adjudication shall be conducted pursuant to the Student Code of Conduct.
(1) It is not a defense to a charge of hazing that:
i) Any or all participants consented to the behavior;
ii) The conduct was not part of an official organizational event or otherwise sanctioned or approved by the student group; or
iii) The conduct or activity was not done as a condition of membership to or affiliation with a student group.
(h) The University will, on a case-by-case basis, determine whether any violations of policy are individual or organizational in nature. In determining whether or not a violation is organizational in nature, the College will consider the following:
1) How many members were present when the alleged violation occurred or had specific knowledge of the alleged violation?
2) What knowledge the appropriate chapter officers and/or advisors had of the alleged violation?
3) What action the appropriate chapter officers and/or advisors took in addressing/preventing the alleged violation?
4) Were chapter members acting in concert, or did the individual’s membership in the chapter serve as an impetus for the alleged violation?
5) Did the violation arise out of a chapter sponsored, financed or endorsed event?
6) Is there a pattern of individual violations that have occurred without proper action by the chapter?
(i) Amnesty – Students who make a hazing complaint in good faith, or victims of hazing who participate in an investigation, will not be charged with other College policy violations that are brought to light in the course of the investigation that arose out of, or were committed as a direct result of, the hazing incident(s) under investigation (i.e. students forced to consume alcohol as part of a hazing incident will not be charged with violations of the College’s alcohol policy). The College reserves the right to follow up with those students related to those issues as appropriate in a non-disciplinary setting.
(a) Sanctions for violations of this policy shall be administered by the Dean of Students.
(b) Student groups subject to College jurisdiction and individual students found responsible for violations of this policy shall be sanctioned in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct. For student groups, sanctions include, but are not limited to, revocation of registration or denial of application for registration, loss of College privileges such as the ability to formally meet on campus and to use campus facilities, or to represent the College, and, in the case of fraternities and sororities, the right to be recognized or operate at the College.
(c) Sanctions imposed by the College for violations of this policy may be in addition to any penalty imposed for violation of the criminal laws of the State of and for violation of any other College regulations or policies.
(d) For groups that are formally associated with the College (i.e. varsity athletic teams, College musical groups, or any other groups supported by the College that are not required to register as student organizations), sanctioning for violations of this policy shall be determined by the Vice President of the administrative unit that sponsors/supports the group in consultation with the Dean of Students/Designee.
(a) It is a violation of this policy to retaliate or take adverse action towards any person for reporting an alleged violation of this policy or for cooperating with a College investigation related to this policy. Retaliation includes, but is not limited to, verbal or implied threats, physical or psychological abuse, intimidation, harassment (verbal or written), isolation, or any other action intended to create a hostile environment for the intended target of the retaliation.
For information on Organizational Conduct Standing for Fraternities and Sororities, click here.