Hazing FAQs

1. How is hazing @ NU defined?

Hazing is defined as any action taken or situation created, intentionally or unintentionally, whether on or off University premises and whether presented as optional or required, to produce: mental, physical, or emotional discomfort; servitude; degradation; embarrassment; harassment; or ridicule for the purpose of initiation into, affiliation with, or admission to, or as a condition for continued membership in a group, team, or other organization, regardless of an individual’s willingness to participate.

2. How are students aware of the hazing policy?

Each school year all students are sent an email from the Dean of Students office with the Student Code of Conduct. All students are expected to read through the material and become familiar with all community standards and expectations.

3. How can I report an incident or concern of hazing?

Visit our 'How to Report Hazing' page to learn more about and/or report a concern of hazing.

4. What is considered hazing?

Such actions and situations may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Any physical abuse expected of or inflicted upon another, including paddling, tattooing, or branding in any form;
  • Any strenuous physical activity expected of or inflicted upon another, including calisthenics;
  • Creation of excessive fatigue, sleep deprivation, or interference with scholastic activities, including late night work sessions, meetings, or sleepovers;
  • Physical and psychological shocks, including line¬ups, berating, verbal abuse, threats, and name calling;
  • Sexual violations or other required, encouraged, or expected sexual activity, whether actual or simulated;
  • Prolonged exposure to severe or inclement weather;
  • Periods of silence or social isolation;
  • Kidnapping, road trips, abandonment, scavenger hunts, or any other involuntary excursions;
  • Wearing of uniforms or apparel that is conspicuous and not normally in good taste;
  • Engaging in degrading or humiliating games, activities, stunts, or buffoonery; including requiring, encouraging, or expecting individuals to carry, possess, or maintain objects or items;
  • Requiring or compelling the consumption of liquid (including alcohol), food, drinks, or other substances;
  • Servitude or placing another in a position of servitude, including requiring, encouraging, or expecting a new member to do the tasks of, or to do tasks for, an experienced member, or to address members with honorary or formal titles;
  • Taking, withholding, or interfering with an individual’s personal property;
  • Falsely leading an individual or individuals to believe that they will be inducted or initiated by participating in particular activities;
  • Depriving an individual of any privileges of membership or affiliation to which one is entitled;
  • Removing, stealing, taking, or damaging public or private property; and
  • Requiring, encouraging, or expecting individuals to participate in activities that are illegal or unlawful or are not consistent with the group’s mission or values or the policies of the University, including the Student Code of Conduct.
5. Who can I talk to if I had questions about hazing?

If you have questions about what could be hazing or would like to discuss tradition/practices or need assistance in improving the effectiveness of your organization's new member orientation process, please contact the Office of Campus Life at hazingprevention@northwestern.edu.

6. What happens after I report an incident of hazing?

The Office of Student Conduct will investigate all concerns related to hazing and will work collaboratively with campus partners to make sure the concerning behavior stops and the individual and/or organization understands concerns around hazing and the realign their practices to NU community standards.

7. Can I report a concern of hazing anonymously?

Yes, you are welcome to report anonymously but it is important that you provide as much information as possible so follow up can be down accurately.

8. Is there an Amnesty policy for hazing?

At this time, the university does not have an Amnesty policy specific to hazing, however, the Amnesty through Responsible Action is in place to assist intoxicated/impaired individuals for seeking assistance without fear of disciplinary sanctions.

9. What trainings are available at NU around hazing prevention?

There are a variety of wellness programs student leaders, clubs and organizations can enroll that will provide the knowledge and skills necessary to prevent hazing practices.