The following are some examples of hazing divided into three categories: subtle, harassment, and violent. It is impossible to list all possible hazing behaviors because many are context-specific. While this is not an all-inclusive list, it provides some common examples of hazing traditions.
Subtle HazingSubtle hazing is behavior that emphasizes a power imbalance between new members/rookies and other members of the group or team. Termed “subtle hazing” because these types of hazing are often taken for granted or accepted as “harmless” or meaningless. Subtle hazing typically involves activities or attitudes that breach reasonable standards of mutual respect and place new members/rookies on the receiving end of ridicule, embarrassment, and/or humiliation tactics. New members/rookies often feel the need to endure subtle hazing to feel like part of the group or team. (Some types of subtle hazing may also be considered harassment hazing).
• Assigning demerits
• Silence periods with implied threats for violation
• Deprivation of privileges granted to other members
• Requiring new members/rookies to perform duties not assigned to other members
• Socially isolating new members/rookies
• Line-ups and drills/tests on meaningless information
• Name calling
• Requiring new members/rookies to refer to other members with titles (e.g. “Mr.,” “Miss”)
while they are identified with demeaning terms
• Expecting certain items to always be in one's possession
Harassment HazingHarassment hazing is behavior that causes emotional anguish or physical discomfort to feel like part of the group. Harassment hazing confuses, frustrates, and causes undue stress for new members/rookies. (Some types of harassment hazing can also be considered violent hazing).
• Verbal abuse
• Threats or implied threats
• Asking new members to wear embarrassing or humiliating attire
• Stunt or skit nights with degrading, crude, or humiliating acts
• Expecting new members/rookies to perform personal service to other members such as
carrying books, errands, cooking, cleaning, etc.
• Sleep deprivation
• Sexual simulations
• Expecting new members/rookies to be deprived of maintaining a normal schedule of bodily
• Be expected to harass others
Violent HazingViolent hazing is behavior that has the potential to cause physical and/or emotional, or psychological harm.
• Forced or coerced alcohol or other drug consumption
• Beating, paddling, or other forms of assault
• Forced or coerced ingestion of vile substances or concoctions
• Refusal of food or water
• Water intoxication
• Expecting abuse or mistreatment of animals
• Public nudity
• Expecting illegal activity
• Exposure to cold weather or extreme heat without appropriate protection
Students can easily determine wheter or not certain activities are considered hazing by using common sense and answering the following questions:
• Does the activity involve mental distress such as humiliation or intimidation?
• Does it involve physical abuse or substance abuse?
• Would you have any reservations describing the activity to your parents or a Illinois College
• Would you have reservations describing the activity to your advisor/coach/professor/national
• Is alcohol involved?
• Would you be worried if the activity was shown on the evening news?
• Does the activity single out new members for a purpose that is not in alignment with the mission
or values of your student group?
If the answer to any of the above questions is YES, the activity is hazing.