2021-2022 Student Handbook 
    Aug 11, 2022  
2021-2022 Student Handbook

Hazing Policies and Outcomes


The University defines hazing as any mental or physical requirement, request, and/or direct/indirect suggestion to act in such a way that causes or creates a substantial risk of discomfort, pain, fright, disgrace, injury, and/or personal degradation placed upon a member or prospective member of an organization (varsity team, club sport, group, Greek chapter, etc.) by other members of that organization 

People and organizations that haze may experience a response through the University conduct resolution process, as well as criminal and civil charges.  Charges of hazing can be filed not only against the person who committed the act, but witnesses to the incident, and people with firsthand knowledge of the incident.  

The president and officers of an organization, the advisor, and/or any national headquarters could be liable.  In addition to individual charges, organizational charges may be filed.

Ohio State Law on Hazing

The following is content appearing in the Ohio Revised Code Section 2903.31.

(A) As used in this section:

(1) “Hazing” means doing any act or coercing another, including the victim, to do any act of initiation into any student or other organization or any act to continue or reinstate membership in or affiliation with any student or other organization that causes or creates a substantial risk of causing mental or physical harm to any person, including coercing another to consume alcohol or a drug of abuse, as defined in section 3719.011 of the Revised Code.

(2) “Organization” includes a national or international organization with which a fraternity or sorority is affiliated.

(B)(1) No person shall recklessly participate in the hazing of another.

(2) No administrator, employee, faculty member, teacher, consultant, alumnus, or volunteer of any organization, including any primary, secondary, or post-secondary school or any other educational institution, public or private, shall recklessly permit the hazing of any person associated with the organization.

(C)(1) No person shall recklessly participate in the hazing of another when the hazing includes coerced consumption of alcohol or drugs of abuse resulting in serious physical harm to the other person.

(2) No administrator, employee, faculty member, teacher, consultant, alumnus, or volunteer of any organization, including any primary, secondary, or post-secondary school or any other educational institution, public or private, shall recklessly permit the hazing of any person associated with the organization when the hazing includes coerced consumption of alcohol or drugs of abuse resulting in serious physical harm to that person.

(D) Whoever violates this section is guilty of hazing. A violation of division (B)(1) or (2) of this section is a misdemeanor of the second degree. A violation of division (C)(1) or (2) of this section is a felony of the third degree.

Examples of Hazing

Depending on the circumstances, the activities listed below are among those construed as hazing.  These examples are not all-inclusive.

  • A requirement or encouragement that compels an individual to participate in any activity that is illegal or contrary to an individual’s genuine, moral, and/or religious beliefs or contrary to the rules and regulations of the University.

  • An activity that might reasonably bring embarrassment or emotional harm to the individual(s).

  • An activity that might reasonably bring physical harm to the individual(s).

  • An activity that requires an unreasonable or inordinate amount of the individual’s time or any manner that impairs the individual’s academic efforts.

  • An activity that requires consumption of any liquid or solid matter.

  • An activity that would degrade or otherwise compromise the dignity of the individual

  • Anything detrimental to the OWU community.

  • Blindfolding.

  • Calisthenics.

  • Clothing that is unclean or in poor taste.

  • Harassment (yelling, pushing, cursing, etc.).

  • Implication and/or references to public sex and/or nudity or indecent exposure.

  • Kidnapping or simulation of the act of kidnapping.

  • Less than six (6) hours of uninterrupted sleep nightly.

  • New member education (pledge) programs that run past the designated eight (8) week deadline without consent of the Interfraternity or Panhellenic councils and chapter house corporation (this includes falsely ending the program).

  • New members/prospective new members/members standing, walking, ambulating in formation (line ups).

  • Paddling or striking in any manner.

  • Posting signs in/on a University building or property which indicates poor taste (all signs must be approved by the office in charge of that organization).

  • Preventing/restricting normal personal hygiene.

  • Psychological shock.

  • Public humiliation.

  • Public/private obscenities.

  • Requiring or encouraging the carrying of items, such as rocks, helmets, books, paddles, matches, etc..

  • Restricting personal freedoms such as eating proper meals, using the phone, returning to or sleeping in their rooms, showering, etc..

  • The use of alcohol.

  • Throwing anything at an individual.

  • Treasure or scavenger hunts, road trips.

All acts of hazing, both on and off campus by an organization or any of its members, are strictly forbidden.

If you become aware of incidents of hazing and/or suspicious behavior, please contact:

  • The Dean of Students Office: (740) 368-3135
  • Office of Student Integrity and Community Standards: (740) 368-3178
  • Public Safety: (740) 368-2222
  • Or submit report via the online reporting form.

Student Organizations as Respondents

If a complaint is filed against a student organization as a Respondent, the University will notify the President and Vice President of the organization of the alleged violations. The University may also contact the organization’s advisor(s) and/or national office, if relevant. The President and Vice President, or equal role/title of the organization, will serve as the representative for the case and will be given the opportunity to be present at conduct resolution meetings to speak on behalf of the organization.

In some situations, an investigation will be initiated and all relevant parties in the organization will be interviewed. The University expects full, transparent, and truthful cooperation among members of an organization that is under investigation. Organizations that are found to be colluding or providing false information to University officials will be held accountable and may lose their recognition from the University depending on the severity of the original complaint and allegations against the organization. Outcomes that may result from the conduct under investigation are described under the subheading “Outcomes and Interventions” below.

Student Organizations with Parallel Processes

The University recognizes that some organizations have parallel accountability processes within their organization.  Student organizations that become aware of a behavior that may also require University responses must act in collaboration with the University to address the behavior.  Student organizations may not investigate complaints without support and guidance from their sponsoring “headquarters” and University staff.  This includes ensuring that investigations are conducted by staff that are trained to manage complaints of a sensitive nature (i.e.: sexual assault).  Organizations may not require participation of complainants in their process. 

Organizations may not impede University investigations and/or withhold information that would aid in a complete investigation with the University. 

Hazing Outcomes

OWU is committed to a progressive learning-based system of outcomes during a conduct resolution process.

OWU utilizes a range of outcomes and interventions that will support student education and growth. The goal is to develop outcomes that are appropriate for each individual or organization to empower them to take responsibility for their actions and role in the community.

The range of potential outcomes include:

  • Conduct Hold:  a hold on an organization’s record that prevents the organization from returning to the University for the following semester or participating in certain activities.

  • Community restitution/service to the community: repayment to the community through service projects or shadowing a department on campus that was impacted by respondent’s behavior.

  • Educational/health interventions: requirement to complete a consultation appointment with a medical professional or licensed counselor to assess risks to personal health due to substance use and/or abuse.

  • Expulsion: permanent separation from the University. 

  • Learning-Based intervention: outcomes that encourage self-reflection and enable the individual and/ or organization to evaluate decision making and impact on their community.

  • Loss of Housing Privileges: this includes opportunity to select and/or live in specific housing on-campus or the ability to reside in residential spaces.

  • Loss of Privileges: for organizations, it is typically a denial of the right to host social gatherings and engage in other activities for a specified period of time. For individuals, it might include residence hall relocation, restrictions on being in designated areas of campus, and loss of other privileges.

  • Parental/Guardian Notification: The University reserves the right to notify parents or legal guardians of dependent students under the age of 21 for any violations of University policy that endanger the health and well-being of a student or other individuals in the community, in cases where other conduct modification approaches have not been successful, or when the conduct is sufficiently severe.

  • Probation:  a specified period of time during which a student or organization’s conduct is expected to be exemplary.  Any additional violations of the Student Handbook by a student or organization on probation will result in more severe outcomes, including possible suspension or expulsion.   Individual students and organizations are subject to the loss of privileges while on probation.

  • Referral to law enforcement: per Ohio Revised Code, OWU staff are obligated to refer any reports that could rise to the level of a felony to local law enforcement.

  • Restitution: repayment for financial loss to an individual or the University.

  • Warnings:  an official letter of warning that is placed in the file of a student or organization that has been found responsible for a violation.

  • Suspension: removal from the University for a stated period of time and/or until a stated condition(s) is met. Students under suspension are not permitted on campus without written permission from the Dean of Students, or designee, or to participate in any University activity. Students that are suspended will not receive a University reimbursement for their semester bill. Readmission to the University following the end of the period of suspension is contingent upon demonstrating to the Dean of Students that measures have been taken to correct the problems that resulted in the suspension. The Dean may impose restrictions on individuals or organizations as conditions of their reinstatement. Parents/Guardians of students who have been suspended may be notified.

Notification of Outcomes to Parties Other than Respondent

The outcome of a conduct resolution process is part of the education record of the responding student and is protected from release under the Federal Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), except under certain conditions.