Hazing Prevention

Hazing can occur across a wide range of student groups, including athletics, fraternal organizations, club sports, marching bands, service organizations, and honor societies to name a few.  There is a misconception that hazing creates unity and promotes bonding among a group. This is not true; hazing is a form of abuse and violence. Hazing capitalizes on power and control while decreasing a sense of belonging, trust amount members, and interest in continuing involvement. Hazing of any kind can lead to:

  • Academic issues
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Physical injury or illness
  • Mental health concerns, including anxiety, depression, and PTSD
  • Substance abuse disorders
  • Loss of relationships
  • Isolation and feelings of hopelessness

Hazing can lead to significant consequences for those who participate in the hazing of others, including dismissal from the university, criminal action, and civil litigation. Hazing others can cause you to feel shame and guilt, lose relationships, and damage your personal reputation. Simply put, hazing is not tolerated and has harmful consequences for all involved. 

What is Hazing?

Definitions of hazing vary between states, universities, inter/national organizations, and agencies. However, the Clery Center has identified three core components of hazing: 

  • Group context: Associated with the process for joining and maintaining membership
  • Abusive behavior: Activities that are potentially humiliating and degrading, with potential to cause physical, psychological and/or emotional harm
  • Regardless of an individual’s willingness to participate: The “choice” to participate may be offset by the peer pressure and coercive power dynamics that often exist in the context of gaining membership 

UW's Definition of Hazing

UW defines hazing in the Student Code of Conduct as:

  • Any intentional act or situation that (a) causes embarrassment, harassment, or ridicule and/or,
    (b) risks emotional, mental, or physical harm, and is committed for the purpose of membership into,
    affiliation with, or continuation of membership with a group or team, regardless of the person(s)’s
    willingness to participate. Apathy or deference in the presence of hazing is not neutral; both are also

Activities and situations that may occur as part of hazing include, but are not limited to:

  • Sleep deprivation or causing excessive fatigue;
  • Physical or psychological shock;
  • Public stunts or jokes;
  • Compelled ingestion of any substance;
  • Degrading or humiliating games or activities;
  • Activities that have an adverse effect on academic progress;
  • Forced servitude;
  • Activities which are not consistent with the parent organization's rules and regulations; or
  • Other activities which violate federal, state, or local laws or University of Wyoming policy.

Signs of Hazing

When you see something happening that you know is wrong, you have the opportunity to step in and help. Hazing can be difficult to see from the outside because it is rooted in secrecy and those who have been hazed may feel ashamed, scared, or guilty. Here are some signs you can look for in your friends, classmates, and neighbors:

  • Intoxication and/or overdose following organizational events or activities 
  • Carrying around random items everywhere they go
  • Branding, cutting, or odd writing on body 
  • New members or teammates walking across campus, or to specific locations, as a group 
  • Being away from home or residence hall room for days or weeks at a time
  • Loss of voice (from required yelling or screaming)
  • Performing odd tasks or completing chores for more senior teammates or members
  • Being dropped off somewhere and made to find their way back
  • Extreme fatigue or lack of concentration from sleep deprivation
  • Signs of injury or illness following organizational events or activities
  • Physical exertion from unnecessary wall sits, planking, running, or other calisthenics
  • Change in personality or increased isolation
  • Sudden or increased feeling of sadness and inferiority

How to Report Hazing and Seek Support

You can report incidents or concerns about hazing to the Dean of Students Office by completing the online hazing report form, emailing dos@uwyo.edu, calling our office at 307-766-3296, or scheduling to speak with a staff member. Our office is in Knight Hall 128.


More information about hazing can be found at:

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