Dealing with Hazing

Identifying hazing for yourself...Hazed and Confused Logo

If you have experienced any of the following, you might have been hazed:

  1. You have been asked to do something that you feel is demeaning or dangerous.
  2. The group is demanding a particular set of members to do things the other members don’t have to do and for which there is no clear reason.
  3. You are required to do things that don’t have a clear connection to the mandate of the group and/or violate University policies in order to become a member or stay a member.
  4. There is an expectation that you will have to do something dangerous, demeaning, or outlandish in order to become a leader in a group or to receive certain privileges.
  5. You are asked to do things voluntarily but you know that there will be consequences if you don’t do them.

Who to talk to if you have been hazed...

There is no need to remain silent if you have been hazed. There are a number of people that can help you:

  1. If you feel comfortable with the group, you can bring your concerns up with them and see if people are willing to explore changes.
  2. You can raise the issue with someone who is responsible for the group, for example a coach for a sports team, a Senior Resident Assistant or Residence Coordinator in the residence or a faculty advisor for a student group.
  3. You can contact the Fraternity and Sorority Advisor or the Student Affairs Officer in the Dean of Students office and ask for their assistance.
  4. You can report the matter to University of Alberta Protective Services so they can look into the matter.
  5. You can talk to the Office of the Student Ombuds and they can help you to understand how the policies might apply and who might be the best person or office to help you address it.

If you have seen someone else being hazed, or if something your group is planning might be hazing...

It is always better to have a group recognize and solve the hazing problem themselves than to have a solution imposed upon them by the University. However, if the group seems unwilling or you do not know how to start, or if you think someone is at risk, seeking help is the next best step.

  1. If you feel comfortable doing it, talk to the group about how what they have done or may do is out of sync with the values of your group and/or the University. Suggest that the group engage in some work (using Appreciative Inquiry) to develop practices that are more effective at achieving their goals. Ask for assistance from the Dean of Students office if you aren’t sure about how to proceed.
  2. You can raise the issue with someone who is responsible for the group, for example a coach for a sports team, a Senior Resident Assistant or Residence Coordinator in the residence or a faculty adviser for a student group.
  3. You can contact the Dean of Students office and ask for their assistance.
  4. You can report the matter to University of Alberta Protective Services so they can look into the matter.
  5. If you aren’t sure what to do, talk to the Office of the Student Ombuds and get advice on University policies and how they might apply and the best place to raise concerns.

When deciding who to ask for help, keep in mind that other people are at risk and there may be a need to intervene quickly.

Also, remember that it doesn’t matter if someone agrees to do what’s asked of them – it’s hazing whether they consent to it or not.