Alternatives To Hazing

Hazed and Confused LogoSimply banning hazing has the potential to drive the activities underground. Orientations and initiation activities are important so that new members can get to know each other and learn about the group. What we need are activities that actually do build cohesion and community. The possibilities are endless, but here are some ideas to start.

It is important to remember that some group activities can be hazing or non-hazing. Performing a skit can become hazing if the performers are humiliated or degraded. A scavenger hunt can turn into hazing if the list includes stealing items, or doing embarrassing or humiliating things. Following are some examples of alternatives to hazing that could accomplish your group’s goals:

Community Service and PhilanthropyAlternatives to Hazing Video Image

  • Collect money for a local charity
  • Hold an event (car wash, bake or craft sale) with proceeds going to a favourite cause
  • Neighborhood cleanup day and community bbq
  • Volunteer for a local literacy program
  • Serve weekly meals at a local shelter
  • Teach local kids how to play chess
  • Community, campus or facility beautification project

Service Learning Trips

  • Arrange for members to spend time working in the inner city or building a home with Habitat for Humanity.
  • Arrange for a visit to Cortona or one of the University’s partner institutions in another country to learn about their programs.

Entertainment

  • Hold a movie night with themed costumes 
  • Put on a talent show or rent a karaoke machine
  • Hold a celebrity impersonation contest
  • Watching sports or other shows on TV (e.g. “Game of Thrones”)
  • Campfire with marshmallows and a ghost story competition
  • Attend a Golden Bears or Pandas game

Shared Activities

  • Group meals
  • Hold group study sessions
  • Attend campus events (lectures, concerts, plays) as a group
  • Hold group discussions on various topics: 
    • “If I had a billion dollars, I would…”
    • “If I could meet anyone in the world for coffee, it would be...
    • “The most Important thing I want to accomplish is…”
    • “My ideal year would include…”

Road Trips

  • Take a trip to the mountains for white water rafting or skiing
  • Rent a bus for a wildlife tour of Elk Island Park
  • Camping or hiking trips

Rituals

  • Hold a formal dinner or ceremony to welcome new members.
  • Add the members’ names to a wall, plaque or other method of recognition.
  • Invite alumni to welcome the newcomers.
  • Set up a big brother/big sister mentoring program for new members. The mentor’s responsibilities could include teaching the new members about the history and values of the organization, monitoring their academic progress, taking them out for lunch or dinner to see how they’re doing.

Info Sessions 

  • Hold discussions on the history and values of the organization
  • Invite members to discuss how the organization upholds and demonstrates these values
  • Bring in a speaker on a topic you are passionate or curious about

Physical Activity

  • Hold a game (hockey, football, dodgeball) or plan a tournament
  • Round-robin recreational games
  • Bowling with non-dominant hand
  • Climbing wall challenge
  • Scavenger hunt
  • Amazing race
  • Cardio or weight sessions at the gym
  • Ropes/Challenge course
  • Go skating at City Hall