Appendix C: Hazing
The College prohibits hazing on the part of any individual, organization, group or team. Hazing, for purposes of College policy, is defined as any action or situation, regardless of intention, whether on or off Kenyon premises, that results in or has the potential of resulting in physical, mental or emotional harm; discomfort; embarrassment; harassment; or distress to a group’s members or prospective members.
Furthermore, being a member or prospective member of any student organization, group, sports team or activity does not excuse hazing in any form. It is not a defense to a hazing charge that the person against whom the hazing was directed consented to or acquiesced in the hazing activity. Forms of hazing include, but are not limited to: personal servitude; tests of physical endurance; kidnapping, transporting or stranding anyone; private or public skits; loss of personal dignity or self-worth; activities or attitudes that breach reasonable standards of mutual respect; lowering of one’s personal standards; exposure to the elements without appropriate protection; sleep deprivation and creation of excessive fatigue; consumption of a food, liquid, alcohol, drug or other substance; social isolation; expecting certain items to always be in one’s possession; restrictions on personal hygiene; calisthenics; academic dishonesty; threats or implied threats; destroying or removing public or private property; behaviors which emphasize a power imbalance; wearing of any public apparel which is conspicuous and not normally in good taste; activities which are not consistent with personal growth and academic achievement; and violations of federal, state or local laws. The College will treat the hazing action of even one member of a group as constituting hazing by the group.
Individuals or groups believed to be in violation of this policy will be subject to Kenyon disciplinary action. An individual commits an offense if the person: engages in hazing; solicits, encourages, directs, aids or attempts to aid another in engaging in hazing; recklessly permits hazing to occur; or has firsthand knowledge of the planning of a specific hazing incident or has firsthand knowledge that a specific hazing incident has occurred and knowingly fails to report that knowledge through the Report of Concern (found on the Office of Student Engagement website) or an appropriate official of the institution. Individuals who are found to be responsible for hazing face sanctions up to and including suspension or dismissal from the College. An organization commits an offense if the organization condones or encourages hazing or if an officer or any combination of members, pledges, or alumni(ae) of the organization commits or assists in the commission of hazing. Groups or organizations found to be responsible for violations of this policy face sanctions up to and including suspension, dismissal or removal of their recognition by Kenyon. Individual members of a group are subject to sanctions up to and including suspension or dismissal from the College for allowing such violations to occur.
Applicable State Hazing Law
Ohio is one of 44 states with laws against hazing. Collin's Law: The Ohio Anti-Hazing Act, effective October 7, 2021, makes acts of hazing a second-degree misdemeanor and acts of hazing that include coerced consumption of alcohol or drugs or abuse that result in serious physical harm a felony of the third degree. Collin's Law also requires reporting to law enforcement and prevention education offered by the college to students, employees, and advisors.
The Ohio Revised Code, Section 2903.31 defines hazing as "doing any act or coercing another, including the victim, to do any act of initiation into any student or other organization or any act to continue or reinstate membership in or affiliation with any student or other organization that causes or creates a substantial risk of causing mental or physical harm to any person, including coercing another to consume alcohol or a drug of abuse, as defined in section 3719.011 of the Revised Code."
Hazing can subject individuals to criminal and civil penalties.
So what did Collin's Law: Ohio's Anti-hazing Act Do?
Collin’s Law made several changes to Ohio law. It:
- Expands the definition of hazing and specifies that hazing may include “coercing another to consume alcohol or a drug of abuse."
- Increases the penalty for hazing to a 2nd-degree misdemeanor.
- Expands the list of officials required to report hazing.
- Widens the scope of those who can be punished for participating in or permitting hazing. (A violation that results in serious harm is a 3rd-degree felony.)
- Requires that those aware of hazing report it to authorities, with penalties up to a 1st-degree misdemeanor for failing to do so.
- Requires the Ohio Department of Higher Education to implement a statewide anti-hazing plan.
- Requires staff and volunteers at colleges and universities to complete education on hazing awareness and prevention.