The Center for Student Development and the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life has a no tolerance policy for hazing.
Being a member of an organization at the Texas Woman’s University is a great experience for students and should be an experience which enriches a student's life.
Involvement in an organization should provide positive academic, leadership and character development, as well as foster a sense of community amongst students.
It is important that all Greek organizations have read and abide by first, the Texas Hazing Law and TWU’s Hazing Policy.
Texas Hazing Law
This hazing policy was passed by the Texas State Legislature relating to offenses related to hazing at or in connection with an educational institution.
First it gives the definition of an “educational institution”, “student”, and an “organization” classify as. The next three terms are very important:
- a “pledge” is any person who has been accepted by, is considering an offer of membership from, or is in the process of qualifying for membership in any organization
- “pledging” means any action or activity related to becoming a member of an organization
- “Hazing” means any intentional knowing, or reckless act occurring on or off the campus of an educational institution, by one person alone or acting with others, directed against a student that endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a student for the purpose of pledging, being initiated into, affiliating with, holding office in, or maintaining membership in any organization whose members are students at an educational institution. The term includes but is not limited to the following activities:
- Any type of physical brutality,
- severe mental illness,
- sleep deprivation,
- alcoholic beverage, or
- any activity involving the consumption of: food, liquid or any other substance which subjects the students to an unreasonable risk of harm, mentally or physically
Under the Texas Hazing Law there are also two offenses:
- Personal – A person commits an offense if they engage in, encourage, direct or attempt to aid another engaging in hazing; if they intentionally or knowingly permitted hazing to occur; or if they had firsthand knowledge about the planning of a hazing incident at an educational institution and if they had firsthand knowledge about a hazing incident and knowingly failed to report it
- Organization – an organization commits as offense if the organizations condones or encourages hazing or if an officer or any combination of members, pledges or alumni of the organization commits or assists in the commission of hazing
Offenses under these sections are misdemeanors punishable by a fine not exceeding $1000. Offenses which cause death are a misdemeanor punishable by a fine up to $10,000, confinement in jail, or both.
TWU Hazing Policy
(pg. 125 of the Student Handbook)
According to Texas Woman’s University the definition of hazing is the same as the Texas State Law on Hazing: any action or situation, with or without consent of the participants, which recklessly, intentionally, or unintentionally endangers the mental, physical, academic, health or safety of a student. This includes, but is not limited to any situation which:
- Creates a risk of injury to any individual or group
- Causes discomfort to any individual or group
- Causes embarrassment to any individual or group
- Involves harassment of any individual or group
- Involves humiliation of an individual or group
- Involves ridicule of an individual or group
- Involves or includes the willful destruction and/or removal of public or private property for the purpose of initiation or admission into or affiliation with, or as a condition for continued membership in any organization.
Depending on the offense, persons are subject to 6 months to one year in jail and up to a $10,000 fine.