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It's important that you know the resources available to you as an individual or as an organization. Below are resources for individual students and student organizations.

[RESOURCES FOR INDIVIDUALS]

A vast majority of students have been witness to or victims of hazing by the time they start college. Many of us have experienced hazing to some degree as early as middle school or high school. Which may partly explain why hazing continues to persist at the college level.

As an individual visiting this site, you've likely acknowledged that hazing exists and perhaps you've even recognized it as a problem. So what can you do?

1) Be aware of Group Think. Being part of a group often leads to a dispersement, and consequently a diffusion of, responsibility. This is true in almost any group situation, but especially in pledging situations. If you encounter a circumstance in a pledging experience that makes you uncomfortable or seems to conflict with your personal values, speak up! Studies have shown that one way to combat poor decision-making in Group Think scenarios is for one person--just one person--to voice dissent. That one voice can empower others in the group to challenge the groups' behaviors and decisions.

2) Live the life you've worked hard to earn. You've spent years developing who you are--don't let anyone or any group tell you or suggest that you should compromise your values. Live with integrity and intention.

3) Be aware of rationalization. If you find yourself working hard to find ways to rationalize your behavior or the behavior of others, there may be a problem. Group dynamics often enable us to justify or rationalize behavior we know to be wrong. If it feels wrong or uncomfortable, it probably is for others too.

4) You can be held personally liable if you haze. If you have hazed someone, you could be found liable in a court of law. The court system has found again and again that not only are organizations as a whole responsible for the hazing of new members, but so are individual members.

5) Consent is not a defense. If you have hazed someone, legally, you may be liable...even if the individual being hazed gave consent or permission. The legal system has said that no matter how many waivers, disclaimers or consent forms you ask a pledge or new member to sign, it can still be hazing...and you can still be found liable and legally responsible.

6) Knowledge of hazing activities or incidents without action is unacceptable. If you are aware of hazing activities or incidents but take no action, you can be found legally responsible and/or liable for negative outcomes from those incidents.

[RESOURCES FOR STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS]

As an organization visiting this site, you've likely acknowledged that hazing exists and perhaps you've even recognized it as a problem. So what can you do?

1) Understand the true purpose of your pledge or new member education program. Any of us who have had the privilege of participating in an organization that utilizes pledging know the great things that can come from that experience. We conduct pledge and new member education programs in order to instill unity, teamwork, loyalty, sense of identity, and respect among new members. Always keep the purpose of your program in mind!

2) Re-examine your organization's policies and procedures for new member education or pledging annually. As your organization's leadership changes from year-to-year, it will be important that they never allow inappropriate practices and/or behaviors to develop and persist. By re-examining your organization's policies and procedures, leaders can ensure the nobility of purpose for your pledge or new member education program.

3) Be aware of Group Think. Being part of a group often leads to a dispersement, and consequently a diffusion of, responsibility. This is true in almost any group situation, but especially in pledging situations. If you encounter a circumstance in a pledging experience that makes you uncomfortable or seems to conflict with your personal values, speak up! Studies have shown that one way to combat poor decision-making in Group Think scenarios is for one person--just one person--to voice dissent. That one voice can empower others in the group to challenge the groups' behaviors and decisions.

4) Be aware of rationalization. If you find yourself working hard to find ways to rationalize your behavior or the behavior of others, there may be a problem. Group dynamics often enable us to justify or rationalize behavior we know to be wrong. If it feels wrong or uncomfortable, it probably is for others too.

5) Individuals can be held personally liable if your organization hazes. If you have hazed someone, you could be found liable in a court of law. The court system has found again and again that not only are organizations as a whole responsible for the hazing of new members, but so are individual members.

6) Consent is not a defense. If you have hazed someone, legally, you may be liable...even if the individual being hazed gave consent or permission. The legal system has said that no matter how many waivers, disclaimers or consent forms you ask a pledge or new member to sign, it can still be hazing...and you can still be found liable and legally responsible.

7) Know the consequences. If your organization (or you, as an individual) are convicted of hazing, Texas state law provides the following criminal penalties:

• For failure to report an incident of hazing: a maximum fine of $2,000 and up to 180 days in jail.
• For hazing that results in no bodily harm: a maximum fine of $2,000 and up to 180 days in jail.
• For hazing that results in bodily harm: a maximum fine of $4,000 and up to 1 year in jail.
• For hazing that results in death: a maximum fine of $10,000 and up to 2 years in jail.
• For an organization found to haze: a maximum fine of $10,000 or double the amount of expenses incurred because of bodily injury or loss.

If Baylor finds your organization (or you, as an individual) guilty of hazing, the University may provide, but may not be limited to, the following sanctions:

• Written warnings
• Probation
• Substantial fines
• Suspension
• Expulsion

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