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Hazing Policy


New York State law and Union College policy prohibit hazing in all its forms.  Individuals, organizations, and athletic teams engaging in hazing may be subject to criminal prosecution according to the laws of the State of New York.   The College will pursue all allegations of hazing and may impose severe disciplinary action up to and including loss of recognition by the organization or club, suspension of the team’s season, and expulsion of individuals from the College.


Union College policy specifically prohibits any action taken or situation created as an explicit or implicit condition for initiation into, admission into, affiliation with, or continued membership in a group, organization, or team, that: (1) could be seen by a reasonable person as endangering the physical health of an individual or causing mental distress to an individual through, for example, humiliating, intimidating, or demeaning treatment; (2) destroys or removes public or private property; (3) involves the consumption of alcohol or drugs, or the consumption of other substances to excess; or (4) violates any College policies.  Such activities may include, but are not limited to:

  • Paddling in any form
  • Physical and psychological shocks
  • Illegally collecting souvenirs
  • Wearing of public apparel which is conspicuous and not in good taste
  • Engaging in public stunts and buffoonery
  • Morally degrading or humiliating games or activities
  • Keeping initiates up for an extended time period
  • Kidnapping 
  • Branding
  • Creation of excessive fatigue
  • Building up initiate expectations and then letting them down abruptly
  • Any other activities which are not consistent with the regulations and policies of Union College.

Alcohol is not permitted at any new member or pledge activity.  It is extremely critical to understand that acceptance of an activity on the part of a new member or individual does not justify participation in the activity.  The organization, club, or team leadership and membership maintain the responsibility to monitor appropriate behavior.  Any violation should be reported to the Dean of Students.

College's Response and Sanctions

The College’s response to hazing will vary according to the severity of the action.  In assessing the severity of each case, the investigating officer will ask whether this activity was coercive, dangerous, or disruptive to the academic process.  If the answer is yes to one or more of these questions, the College will initiate conduct charges.  Sanctions may include:

  • Notification to national office
  • Notification to Alumni Advisor
  • Notification to Athletic Director, Greek Advisor, or Student Activities Director
  • Inability to complete new membership intake
  • Inability to participate in team or club activities
  • Inability to register and host social activities
  • Loss of housing privileges for organization
  • Loss of season for team
  • Loss of recognition for club
  • Individual sanctions for officers and captains up to and including suspension or expulsion