Aerial view of campus with Williamsport, the Susquehanna River and Bald Eagle Mountain as a backdrop

Hazing Policy

Introduction and Philosophy

Lycoming College is committed to promoting a campus environment that is just, open, disciplined, and caring. This philosophy supports the educational mission of the institution and our standards for co-curricular programs that facilitate students' development. Lycoming College is opposed to any activity that involves the hazing of any member of the college community.

Definition of Hazing

Hazing is any action or situation which intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes, coerces or forces a student to do any of the following:

  • Violate federal or state criminal law;
  • Consume any food, liquid, alcoholic liquid, drug or other substance which subjects the student to a risk of emotional or physical harm;
  • Endure brutality of a physical nature, including whipping, beating, branding, calisthenics, or exposure to the elements;
  • 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.;
  • Endure brutality of a sexual nature; or
  • Endure any other activity that creates a reasonable likelihood of bodily injury to the student.

For purposes of this definition, any activity as described in this definition upon which the initiation or admission into or affiliation with or continued membership in an organization is directly or indirectly conditioned shall be considered to be “forced” activity. A student may not choose (give consent) to be hazed. The giving of consent does not excuse hazing activities. The good intention or the end result being positive will not be taken into consideration; if the action is considered hazing it is still in violation of the policy.

This applies to behavior on or off the Lycoming College campus. Events that are optional can be considered hazing due to the emotional status of the student and the fear of not being initiated for not participating.

All students should read and understand the Lycoming College Hazing Policy. Any questions or needed clarification should be directed to the Director of Fraternity and Sorority Life and Student Involvement, the Dean of Students, the Associate Dean of Students, or the Director of Community Standards.

Questions to ask when planning an activity:

  • Does the activity promote and conform to the ideals, values, and the mission of both the College and organization?
  • Is it an activity that all members (current and initiates) can participate in together?
  • Would the group’s adviser, the national headquarters or founders of the fraternity/sorority, and/or other College officials approve of the activity?
  • Would your parents approve of the activity?
  • Would you like to see a story about the activity in the campus newspaper?
  • Will this activity increase new members’ respect for the group and all members of the group?
  • Is the activity free of mental anguish or physical discomfort?
  • Does the activity have inherent value in and of itself?

Activities that are considered to be hazing include but is not limited:

  • Physical acts such as running or calisthenics
  • Forced or coerced carrying of unusual items such as buckets, paddles, rocks, pledge kits, etc.
  • Paddling (striking an individual with the hand or board)
  • Branding (burning or scarring of the skin)
  • Forced or coerced eating or drinking of any substance, including alcohol
  • Applying of any substance to an associate member’s body or belongings
  • Forced listening to any loud or repetitious music or noise
  • Physical harassment such as pushing, tickling, yelling, etc.
  • Deprivation of sleep or normal sleeping patterns
  • Deprivation of normal amounts of food and/or water
  • Individual or group interrogations such as line-ups
  • Forced or coerced trips such as kidnaps, drop-offs, dumps, etc.
  • Putting potential members in any uncomfortable settings such as cold or hot rooms, smoke filled rooms, etc.
  • Personal servitude (forcing members to provide services to an active member such as cleaning their house, shopping for them, etc.)
  • Assigning pranks such as streaking, painting objects, panty raids, harassing other individuals or organizations, etc.
  • Calling potential members derogatory names such as plebe, scum, fags, bitch, maggots, worms, etc.
  • Deprivation of adequate study time
  • Potential members expected to do anything for the entertainment of the brothers/sisters
  • Treasure or scavenger hunts that are not educational and not approved
  • Forced or coerced wearing of conspicuous clothing not normally in good taste
  • Forcing an individual to perform sexual acts

Sanctions for hazing may include the imposition of fines; the withholding of diplomas or transcripts pending compliance with the rules, or pending payment of fines; and the imposition of probation, suspension, dismissal, and any other sanctions the Office of the Director of Community Standards deems appropriate.

In the case of a College organization which authorizes hazing in blatant disregard of such rules, penalties may also include rescission of permission for that organization to operate on campus property or to otherwise operate under the sanction of the College.

Safe Harbor

Safe Harbor (Lycoming College)

Lycoming College encourages all students to act responsibly and in particular for the well-being of another that can be helped to prevent bodily injury or other harm. As such, students who act on the behalf of another while engaged in an alleged act(s) of hazing will not be held responsible for violations of section 5. Hazing or section 8. Misconduct Involving Alcohol subsections a – k of the Lycoming College Code of Conduct.

This immunity will be provided for the student that takes the initial action in notifying a College official (including a Resident Assistant) or any first responder e.g., law enforcement, ambulance, etc. based on a reasonable belief that another person needed immediate medical attention to prevent bodily injury or other harm.

To qualify for immunity, a student must provide their name and remain with the person requiring the medical attention until a college official or first responder arrives, and their presence is no longer required.

Individuals for whom medical response is required are also provided immunity for violations of section 5. Hazing and section 8. Misconduct Involving Alcohol subsections a-k of the Lycoming College Code of Conduct.

Safe Harbor (Commonwealth of Pennsylvania)

Students should familiarize themselves with the Timothy Piazza Anti-Hazing Law to best understand civil and criminal liability as it relates to acts of Hazing in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Reporting Requirements

In accordance with the Timothy Piazza Anti-Hazing Law, Lycoming College publishes an anti-hazing report on actual findings of Lycoming College student organization conduct violations by organizations formally affiliated with the institution.

The report includes name of the organization, the date charges assessed, the actual charge, a general description of the incident, findings and sanctions (action plans) placed on the organization, and the date it was resolved. For additional information regarding Student Organization conduct processes, please review the Student Code of Conduct.

Lycoming College will maintain this anti-hazing report for the past 5 years of any and all information concerning violations of the Timothy Piazza Anti-Hazing Law on the College’s website. This report will be updated twice a year on January 1 and August 1.