Philosophy of Hazing
Eastern University is committed to fostering a “genuine community where individuals show compassion and friendship towards others in the spirit of Christian love” (Eastern University Foundational Commitments, Section 5). Because this commitment is rooted in our deeply held belief that all human beings are created in the “image of God as an expression of God’s eternal love” (Eastern University Faith Statement, Section 1), we find the practice of hazing to be a distortion of true Christian community that devalues personhood and thus it is incompatible with our beliefs and practices.
Hazing is illegal in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and under Commonwealth law may be considered a “summary offense” or “misdemeanor of the third degree” (PA Senate Bill 1090). Hazing of any kind will not be tolerated at Eastern University and any acts of hazing will be considered serious violations of university policy.
Definition of Hazing
Eastern University supports and will enforce the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania definition of hazing (PA Senate Bill 1090). A person commits hazing when: ...the person intentionally, knowingly or recklessly, for the purpose of initiating, admitting or affiliating a minor or student into or with an organization, or for the purpose of continuing or enhancing a minor or student's membership or status in an organization, causes, coerces or forces a minor or student to do any of the following:
1. Violate Federal or State criminal law.
2. Consume any food, liquid, alcoholic liquid, drug or other substance which subjects the minor or student to a risk of emotional or physical harm.
3. Endure brutality of a physical nature, including whipping, beating, branding, calisthenics or exposure to the elements.
4. Endure brutality of a mental nature, including activity adversely affecting the mental health or dignity of the individual, sleep deprivation, exclusion from social contact or conduct that could result in extreme embarrassment.
5. Endure brutality of a sexual nature.
6. Endure any other activity that creates a reasonable likelihood of bodily injury to the minor or student.
Even if no malicious intent is present, an activity may still be considered hazing if it is directed at any student(s) in a group in order to subject them to abusive, humiliating, harassing, degrading, or any dangerous activity (this may also include ‘pranks’).
Reporting of Hazing
It is a violation of Eastern University antihazing policy that a student should fail to report a known or suspected incident of hazing.
A known or suspected incident of hazing may be reported to the Assistant Dean of Residence and Student Life in person at the Office for Student Development (Walton 200), by phone by calling 610-225-5575, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Limited Immunity for Self-Reporting
Eastern University offers limited immunity for individuals that report activities that may fall within the University definition of hazing even if his/her personal conduct is in violation of the hazing policy. Immunity may be granted if the individual self-reports an activity of hazing while seeking the immediate medical attention for him/herself or for another individual experiencing a medical emergency. Immunity may also be granted for self-reports of which the University had not obtained previous knowledge of the incident. However, if an individual who is a victim of the hazing incident makes a complaint, or if the University had prior knowledge of the hazing activity from another source, the University will process the incident per the standard judicial process. A decision to grant immunity means that the University will not independently pursue disciplinary action against the self-reporting individual.
Judicial Process for Violations of Antihazing Policy
Reports and complaints of hazing will be investigated thoroughly. All violations of the Eastern University Antihazing Policy will be adjudicated per the “Disciplinary Procedures” outlined in the Eastern University Student Handbook.
Pursuant to Pennsylvania law (PA Senate Bill 1090), any individual or organization which participates in hazing may face any or all of the following sanctions from the University:
1. The imposition of fines.
2. The withholding of diplomas or transcripts pending compliance with rules or payment of fines.
3. The rescission of permission for the organization to operate on campus or school property or to otherwise operate under the sanction or recognition of the institution or secondary school.
4. The imposition of probation, suspension, dismissal, or expulsion.