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 teaching of long-standing religious and moral principles that underscore 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 all (a) 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, volunteers or contractors.

All “student members” of the University are expected to comply with this Policy. “Student members” means 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 (including non-degree seeking academic certificates and other programs). Students on a leave of absence and persons who were students when they allegedly violated this Policy are also included. For purposes of this Policy only, the definition of “student members” includes applicants who have applied to attend the University but who are not yet enrolled. Finally, students are 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, Organizational Hazing and Institutional Hazing.  Hazing, Aggravated Hazing, Organizational Hazing and Institutional 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.
  • Institutional Hazing: Hazing or Aggravated Hazing that an institution – through one more of its employees or authorized agents — 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:  Help Seeker and Safe Harbor

A. University Help Seeker Statement

This Antihazing Policy will be administered consistent with the University Help Seeker Statement, which states:

The welfare of each person in the Saint Joseph’s University community is paramount, and SJU encourages students to act as bystanders and offer help and assistance to others in need. Because the University understands that fear of disciplinary action may deter requests for emergency assistance, this statement was created to alleviate such concerns and reduce hesitation by SJU students to seek help.  Students are expected to immediately report conduct or activity which poses a danger to the community or its members. For example, all students are expected to seek appropriate assistance for themselves or others in situations where help is needed to ensure proper care of a person who is significantly intoxicated or under the influence of drugs. Students should not hesitate to seek help because of fear of disciplinary action.

In most circumstances, the help seeker and the student in need will not be charged with a policy violation through the University’s Community Standards process. In good faith reports regarding hazing or retaliation of the aforementioned, witness(es) and complainant(s)/victim(s) will not be charged with policy violations through the University’s Community Standards process for personal use of alcohol or drugs which are disclosed in the report.

Although students may be required to meet with a University official regarding the incident, Saint Joseph’s University will support and encourage this behavior by treating it as a health and safety matter, not as a disciplinary incident. In rare circumstances, such as cases of repeated, flagrant, or serious violations of the Community Standards (e.g., bodily harm, sexual misconduct, physical or verbal abuse or harassment, distribution of drugs, hazing, theft) or violations that caused harm to another person requiring emergency response, conduct may be considered more than a health and safety matter.

B. Safe Harbor

Reporting Party: Under the Pennsylvania antihazing law, an individual shall not be prosecuted for a criminal offense under the law if the individual can establish all of the following:

  1. A law enforcement officer first became aware of the individual’s violation of the antihazing law because the individual placed a 911 call or contacted campus security, police, or emergency services, based on a reasonable belief that another individual was in need of immediate medical attention to prevent death or serious bodily injury;
  2. The individual reasonably believed the individual was the first individual to make a 911 call or contact campus security, police, or emergency services and report that an individual needed immediate medical attention to prevent death or serious bodily injury;
  3. The individual provided the individual’s own name to the 911 operator or equivalent campus security officer, police, or emergency services personnel; and
  4. The individual remained with the individual needing medical assistance until a campus security officer, police or emergency services personnel arrived and the need for the individual’s presence had ended.

Individual Needing Assistance: In addition, under the Pennsylvania antihazing law, an individual needing medical attention is immune from prosecution for an offense under the antihazing law or under Pennsylvania state law related to purchase, consumption, possession or transportation of liquor or malt or brewed beverages only if another individual reported the incident, remained with the individual needing medical attention, and otherwise qualifies for the safe harbor set forth in Section VI.B.

VII:  How to Report Violations of this Policy

The University expects all members of the University community who believe that they have witnessed, experienced, or are aware of conduct that constitutes Hazing, Aggravated Hazing,  Organizational Hazing or Institutional Hazing in violation of this Policy to report the conduct directly to Public Safety at 610-660-1111, or by using the Hazing Report Form found at https://sites.sju.edu/hazing/online-hazing-report/. The Hazing Report Form allows for both anonymous and personally identifiable reports.

Members of the community who are seeking additional information regarding this Policy are welcome to contact the Office of Public Safety and Security, Office of Community Standards, Office of Student Leadership and Activities, Campus Recreation and Club Sports, or Athletics. Please note that, in some situations, individuals in those offices will be required to report the conduct.

VIII:  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, Organizational Hazing, or Institutional 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, Organizational Hazing or Institutional 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. Any violation of this Policy by a University contractor will be addressed in accordance with the provisions of the applicable contract.

IX:  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 that may be imposed by national/international organizations. Employees found responsible for violating this Policy may be subject to corrective or disciplinary action, up to and including termination. Any violation of this Policy by a University contractor will be addressed in accordance with the provisions of the applicable contract and policies applicable to contractors.

Anyone who engages in conduct in violation of this Policy may also face criminal charges under Pennsylvania state law, including but not limited to charges and sanctions associated with a criminal misdemeanor (for Hazing) or felony (for Aggravated Hazing), and monetary fines (for Organizational Hazing or Institutional Hazing) and forfeiture of property (for Organizational Hazing).

X:  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 https://sites.sju.edu/hazing/.