I:  Policy Statement

Saint Joseph’s University (“the University”) does not tolerate hazing in any form. The University believes that hazing is contrary to the Christian teaching of human dignity and contradicts an environment of friendship, maturity and charity within its collegiate community. Anyone found responsible for violating this Antihazing Policy (“the Policy”) may face disciplinary action from the University, and may also face criminal charges under state law, including The Timothy J. Piazza Antihazing Law, 18 Pa. C.S. § 2801, et seq.

II:  Purpose

The purpose of this document is to state the University’s Antihazing Policy; identify how the University will enforce this Policy; and identify resources for reporting violations of this Policy.

III:  Application & Jurisdiction

This Policy applies to (a) all student members of the University (as defined below); (b) all Student Organizations (as defined below); and (c) other persons associated with a Student Organization, which could include employees or volunteers.

Student members includes students who have been notified of their admission to the University and/or who are matriculated, enrolled or registered in any University academic program or activity, at the graduate or undergraduate level. Students on a leave of absence and persons who were students when they allegedly violated this Policy are also included. Students are also responsible for the behavior of their guests.

Student Organizations includes recognized or unrecognized student organizations, groups, or clubs, all athletic teams, including club sports, and all fraternity and sorority chapters (collectively “Student Organizations”).

This Policy applies to conduct that occurs on or off-campus.

IV:  Prohibited Conduct

The University adheres to Pennsylvania’s Antihazing Law, which defines hazing to include: Hazing, Aggravated Hazing, and Organizational Hazing. Hazing, Aggravated Hazing, and Organizational Hazing (defined below) are each prohibited by the University’s Policy. It is not a defense that the consent of the minor-victim or student-victim was sought or obtained.  It is also not a defense for any student that the conduct was sanctioned or approved by a Student Organization. 

  • Hazing: Intentionally, knowingly or recklessly, for the purpose of initiating, admitting or affiliating a minor or student into or with a Student Organization, or for the purpose of continuing or enhancing a minor or student’s membership or status in a Student Organization, causes, coerces or forces a minor or student to do any of the items listed below in (1) – (6).  Hazing shall NOT include “reasonable and customary” athletic, law enforcement or military training, contests, competitions or events.
  1. Violate Federal or State criminal law, or the University’s Community Standards;
  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.

For the purposes of this Policy, the terms “risk” and “brutality” should be read broadly. Risk includes potential risks, however slight. Brutality includes any activity with a reasonable likelihood of endangering another person’s mental or physical health or safety [including but not limited to those specific activities listed above in (3) – (5)].

  • Aggravated Hazing: Hazing that results in serious bodily injury or death to a minor or student; and where:
  1. The person acts with reckless indifference to the health and safety of the minor or student; or
  2. The person causes, coerces, or forces the consumption of an alcoholic liquid or drug by the minor or student.
  • Organizational Hazing: Hazing or Aggravated Hazing that a Student Organization intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly promotes or facilitates.

V:  Additional Definitions Applicable to this Policy

  • Bodily injury: Impairment of physical condition or substantial pain.
  • Serious bodily injury: Bodily injury which creates a substantial risk of death or which causes serious, permanent disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ.

VI:  How to Report Violations of this Policy

The University encourages all members of the University community who believe that they have witnessed, experienced, or are aware of conduct that constitutes Hazing, Aggravated Hazing, or Organizational Hazing in violation of this Policy to report the violation to the Office of Public Safety and Security, Office of Community Standards, Office of Student Leadership and Activities, Campus Recreation and Club Sports, Athletics or use the Hazing Reporting tool found at https://sites.sju.edu/hazing/online-hazing-report.

VII:  Enforcement of this Policy

Any violation of this Policy by a student or Student Organization shall be deemed a violation of the Student Handbook and the University’s Community Standards.  All allegations of Hazing, Aggravated Hazing, or Organizational Hazing involving a student or Student Organization shall be addressed consistent with the Community Standards process, found in the Student Handbook.

Any violation of this Policy by an employee or volunteer who is associated with a Student Organization shall be deemed a violation of the “Code of Conduct” and “Responsibilities Toward Students” as set forth in the Staff and Administrative Handbook and Faculty Handbook, respectively. All allegations of Hazing, Aggravated Hazing, or Organizational Hazing involving an employee or volunteer who is associated with a Student Organization shall be addressed by the division or department head, in consultation with the Chief Human Resources Officer.

VIII:  Sanctions

Anyone found responsible for violating this Policy may face disciplinary action. Individual students found responsible for violating this Policy may be placed on probation, suspended and/or dismissed, or issued any other sanction(s) found in the Student Handbook. Student Organizations may be placed on probation or deferred suspension, lose privileges, lose University recognition, and/or issued any other sanction(s) found in the Student Handbook. Student Organizations may also face sanctions by University departments under which they function.  For fraternity and sorority chapters, this includes sanctions from national/international organizations. Employees found responsible for violating this Policy may be subject to corrective or disciplinary action, up to and including termination.

IX:  Institutional Bi-Annual Report

The University will maintain a report of all violations of this Policy (or of Federal or State laws related to hazing) that are reported to and adjudicated by the University. For purposes of that report, the University will include “violations” only, meaning those instances where an individual student(s), a Student Organization(s), or a person associated with a Student Organization was found responsible for violating this Policy (or found guilty of violating Federal or State laws related to hazing and reported to the University). The University will update the report bi-annually on January 1 and August 1 of each year and will post the updated report here [http://sju.edu/Hazing].