Hazing Definition

Hazing means any behavior or activity that endangers the physical and/or mental health or safety of an individual (including, without limitation, an act intended to cause personal degradation or humiliation), for the purpose of initiation in, admission to, affiliation with, or as a condition for continued membership in a student group or University athletic team. (Student Conduct Code – Subd. 17)

Types of Hazing

While some activities are clearly understood as hazing, others may be less clear. It’s important to consider that any act that subjects a specific student or group of students to conditions poorer than those of current members of the organization can be considered hazing.

Violent hazing

Behaviors that have the potential to cause physical and/or emotional, or psychological harm.

Harassment hazing

Behaviors that cause emotional anguish or physical discomfort in order to feel like part of the group. Harassment hazing confuses, frustrates, and causes undue stress for new members.

Subtle hazing

Behaviors that emphasize a power imbalance between new members and other members of the group or team. 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 on the receiving end of ridicule, embarrassment, and/or humiliation tactics. New members often feel the need to endure subtle hazing to feel like part of the group or team.


Individuals who violate the Student Conduct Code’s section on Hazing may be placed on disciplinary probation, suspended from a team or student group, or dismissed from the University. Students may also be subject to criminal liability for violating the Minnesota State Statute.

Student Groups found to be conducting hazing as part of practice may lose University privileges, be placed on probation, suspended, or dismissed from the University.


If you are asked to take part in hazing activities, or if you are uncomfortable with the instructions you are given as a new member, you have the right to say no. If the organization you are a part of engages in behaviors that you believe are hazing, you do not have to participate or support such activities and need to report them.

Staff, faculty, students, and individuals external to the University have a responsibility to report hazing activities. If an individual is aware of or witnessed a potential hazing activity, a report should be filed.

  1. Complete the online Incident Report Form to make a report to Student Unions & Activities and the Office for Student Conduct and Academic Integrity.
  2. Talk to the student group’s advisor.
  3. Talk to an advisor in Student Unions & Activities, 612-626-6919 or e-mail sao@umn.edu.
  4. Talk to staff in the Office for Fraternity and Sorority Life, 612-625-8405, or email fsl@umn.edu.


Please visit the following sites for the latest news on hazing, up to date resources on hazing prevention and alternative activities for groups.