TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE ON HAZING

1. Students at Florida Atlantic University are minimally expected to act in accordance with State and federal laws and FAU’s Regulation 4.007: Student Code of Conduct. True or False

  • True. All students enrolled at Florida Atlantic University are expected to act in accordance with State and federal laws and FAU’s Regulation 4.007: Student Code of Conduct. Hazing is illegal in Florida (misdemeanor and felony violation), against the Student Code of Conduct at FAU, and against the rules of fraternities and sororities, athletic teams, sport clubs and all student organizations.

2. It is not considered hazing in Florida if a prospective/new member willingly participates in an activity and signs a waiver of liability stating this fact. True or False

  • False. The Chad Meredith Act, the State of Florida’s law on hazing, specifically states that willing participation is not an acceptable defense to hazing. Even if prospective/new members agree to participate in an activity, individuals and organizations can still be found responsible for hazing. It is the law.

3. If I anonymously report that hazing is occurring, the University may not be able to take action. True or False

  • True. When it comes to reporting hazing, remember this: Reporting an incident of hazing is not about getting people in trouble – it is about keeping people safe. If you are truly concerned about the personal health and safety of someone, we know that you would do anything to get them out of harm’s way. Reporting a hazing activity to the FAU Police is the best way to do this. However, reporting hazing without providing your name limits the University’s ability to stop the behavior. Reporting a hazing incident without leaving a name or contact number is considered ‘anonymous reporting.’ Providing limited information with no contact information may not be enough to prevent hazing activities or hold individuals and organizations accountable.

4. It is difficult to instill a sense of membership within a group without hazing. True or False

  • False. It is not difficult to instill membership within a group without hazing. In fact, it is the minimum expectation of all students and student organizations at FAU that membership and affiliation will be developed without hazing.   The faculty and staff at FAU believe that all students should be able to participate in campus activities free of concerns of hazing.   There are many ways to accomplish group commitment without engaging in hazing activities. Small businesses, large corporations, and non-profit organizations concerned about these same issues have found multiple ways to increase commitment levels and create a sense of ‘team’ without hazing. For ideas contact Student Involvement & Leadership.

5. It cannot be considered hazing if an organization’s leaders are not informed about, or involved in, a hazing activity that a small group of members organize. True or False

  • False. Organizations can be held accountable for hazing even if the leaders of the group are not informed or involved in the activity. This was true in Chad Meredith’s case, and his organization was ordered to pay $12.6 million to his family. That is why it is essential that EVERY student in your organization understand that they hold the future of the group in their hands – even when they act alone. We strongly recommend that every group discuss Florida’s laws and FAU’s policies about hazing openly and often.

6. As long as there is no malicious intent, a little hazing should be O.K.? True or False

  • False. Even if there's no malicious "intent", safety may still be a factor in traditional hazing activities that are considered to be "all in good fun." For example, serious accidents have occurred during scavenger hunts and kidnapping trips. Besides, what purpose do such activities serve in promoting the growth and development of group team members?

7. If you were hazed, it's OK to haze other members, because it is tradition. True or False

  • False. Tradition is a dangerous word when used with activities like hazing. In many cases, the reasons have been lost as to why traditions even happen. Hazing never serves a positive purpose and whether it happens because it always has or not, it is still a crime and must be stopped. It takes a stronger person to stand up and stop traditions that are wrong, than it does to uphold even the most difficult of traditions.

8. The Chad Meredith Act, Florida’s hazing law, was passed by the State legislature in 2005 after a tragic incident in 2001.  The organization Chad Meredith was joining held no activities on the evening of the incident, yet the organization was found responsible for hazing and ordered to pay more than $10 million to his family. True or False

  • True. The circumstances surrounding Chad Meredith’s death and hazing are: (a) Mr. Meredith was joining a social fraternity that was in good standing at the University of Miami; (b) He and several members of the organization drank alcohol, and then while still intoxicated, tried to swim across a lake near campus; (c) Mr. Meredith drowned in six feet of water; (d) The fraternity had not sponsored any official fraternity activities that evening, nor were members of the fraternity’s executive board present at the incident. Although, the fraternity officers protested that the incident was not a fraternity-sanctioned event, a jury found otherwise, and awarded the deceased student’s family a $12.6 million verdict in a negligence suit based on hazing. All members of student organizations need to be educated on the consequences of hazing. It should be emphasized that all members hold the future of their organization in their hands when they participate in hazing activities.

9. Hazing is a problem for Fraternities and Sororities primarily. True or False

  • False. Hazing is a societal problem. Hazing incidents have been frequently documented in the military, athletic teams, marching bands, religious cults, professional schools, and other types of clubs and/or, organizations. Reports of hazing activities in high schools are on the rise.

10. Someone has died on a college campus every year since 1970 because of hazing. True or False

  • True. Since 1970, at least one person has died every year on a college campus as a result of a hazing incident. As of February 12, 2010, the number of recorded hazing/pledging/rushing-related deaths in fraternities and sororities stands at 96 – 90 males and 6 females.

11. According to Florida State law and FAU policy, which of the following would not be considered hazing?

a. an organization plans activities for new members between 12:00 am – 3:00 am

b. an organization requires new members to learn the history and values of the organization, interview alumni of the group, and then conduct a public presentation demonstrating their knowledge

c. an organization requires new members to perform a skit or dance in public

d. none of the above

e. all of the above

  • b. Organizations that are accepting new members may ask the new members to learn the history of the organization and present this information to other members of the organization (including alumni members).  But, the process of learning and sharing the information cannot demean, disgrace, degrade, or cause discomfort to the new members.  Also, it may not occur at times that would interrupt normal patterns of sleep.

12. What can happen at FAU if an allegation of hazing is made?

a. a police officer may contact students to investigate the incident

b. a criminal charge may be filed by the Office of the State Attorney

c. the university judicial process may be initiated by the Dean of Student’s Office

d. none of the above

e. all of the above

  • e. All of the above choices are correct. If an allegation of hazing can be substantiated, (a) members of the FAU Police can contact students to investigate the incident; (b) The State Attorney’s office may file criminal charges under the Chad Meredith Act, and FAU can pursue judicial charges against individuals and/or the organization through the Dean of Student’s Office.   FAU treats hazing allegations very seriously and will take the actions necessary to stop hazing and hold individuals and organizations accountable for their actions.

13. In the State of Florida, when an activity furthers a legal and legitimate objective it is not considered hazing.  Which of the following would not be considered hazing?

a. being told to run three miles as part of ROTC

b. being told to do 100 pushups by a coach in Athletics

c. being told to clean an item or room by a leader in your group

d. A and B

e. all of the above

  • d. Since physical conditioning is a required component of participation in ROTC or any athletic team, it is not considered hazing when completed at reasonable hours of the day, supervised by a staff member, and in accordance with the normal functioning of the organization.  However, asking new members to complete unnecessary tasks for certain members of the organization could be considered hazing.

14. In which of the following venues can hazing occur?

a. the military

b. athletic teams and sport clubs

c. student organization

d. marching band

e. b and c

f. all of the above

  • f. Hazing can occur in any type of organization with any type of structure. Members of all organizations must be informed about FAU’s Regulation 4.007: Student Code of Conduct and the state and federal laws regarding hazing.

15. Which of the following is an acceptable defense against a charge of hazing?

a. the consent of the victim had been obtained

b. the activity was not a part of an official organizational event

c. the activity was not done as a condition of membership

d. none of the above

e. all of the above

  • d. There is no acceptable defense against hazing.

16. If someone is found responsible for hazing in a court of law, what is a possible criminal offense?

a. hazing is not a criminal offense

b. first degree misdemeanor

c. third degree felony

d. both b and c

  • d. The Chad Meredith Act of 2005 is the state of Florida’s anti-hazing law which clarified the criminal code in the State, making it easier to hold individuals accountable for hazing. Depending on the severity of the incident, people charged with hazing can be tried for a first degree misdemeanor or a third degree felony.

17. Possible outcomes or sanctions of FAU’s judicial process for hazing are:

a. a reprimand

b. disciplinary probation (i.e., a defined period of time during which any subsequent violation of the Regulation 4.007: Student Code of Conduct will result in serious consideration given to suspension, dismissal, or expulsion).

c. suspension (i.e., separation from FAU for a specified period)

d. the closing down of your organization for at least seven years

e. none of the above

f. all of the above

  • f. The Student Judicial process is completed on a case by case basis; therefore it is difficult to say what sanction an individual would receive if found in violation of Regulation 4.007: Student Code of Conduct.   One thing is certain, regardless of responsibility the Student Judicial process will try to help charged students and organizations better understand the decisions that he/she made, ways to deter this behavior in the future, and the greater context about how consequences for hazing have been elevated in Florida since passage of the Chad Meredith Act.

18. Florida law specifically states that an act of hazing will be considered a first degree misdemeanor if:

a. the conduct subjected an individual to extreme mental stress and/or embarrassment

b. the conduct created a substantial risk of bodily injury or death

c. the conduct adversely affected the mental health or dignity of an individual

d. the conduct involved pressure or coercion to violate state or federal laws

  • b. Hazing that causes a substantial risk of physical injury or death can be tried in a court of law as a first degree misdemeanor.

19. According to Regulation 4.007: Student Code of Conduct, victims of hazing are afforded specific rights in FAU’s judicial process. These are:

a. a victim can submit a ‘victim impact statement’ to the hearing body for consideration in the sanctioning phase

b. a victim can participate in the hearing, present information and arrange for witnesses

c. a victim can hear and question adverse witnesses who voluntarily testify at the hearing

d. a victim will be notified of the outcome or finding of the hearing body

e. none of the above

f. all of the above

  • f. A victim of hazing can submit a “victim impact statement” to assist with the sanctioning phase of deliberations once an individual or organization has been found in violation of the Student Code of Conduct. This statement will help the hearing body understand the victim’s experience so that an appropriate sanction can be identified. During the judicial hearing, the victim can participate by presenting information and arranging for witnesses as well can hear and question adverse witnesses who voluntarily testify at the hearing. After the hearing, victims are notified of the outcome or finding of the hearing body. For more information about a victim’s rights, please visit contact the Dean of Student’s Office.

20. If I am concerned that I, or someone I care about, is being hazed by an organization I should contact:

a. my organization advisor and/or coach

b. the Dean of Students Office (561.297.3546)

c. the Florida State University Police Department (561.297.3500)

d. any and/or all of the above

  • d. While advisors, coaches, and the Dean of Students office are all important people to inform about hazing, the most important point of contact is the FAU Police Department (561.297.3500).  Hazing can be reported directly online by sending an e-mail correspondence to:  hazing address?

This Test Your Knowledge Quiz has been adapted from several sources, including Florida State University, Texas A & M University, Louisiana State University and Babson College.

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 Last Modified 3/19/13