Standard Policy of Hazing Prevention and Investigation
Hazing behavior is in direct opposition to the values and ideals of Gamma Sigma Sigma National Service Sorority, Inc. Hazing, which is defined as “any activity expected of someone joining or participating in a group that humiliates, degrades, abuses, or endangers them regardless of a person‘s willingness to participate“ (Allen & Madden, 2008), is physically, emotionally, and psychologically detrimental to all individuals involved. Such behaviors are not tolerated by Gamma Sigma Sigma, as we value and promote the well-being of all of our members. Research shows that over half of college students across a variety of student organizations experience hazing, but most do not identify their experiences as being hazing (Allen & Madden, 2008).
Our goals as a national organization regarding hazing are:
- To promote education, awareness, and prevention of hazing practices,
- To thoroughly investigate all allegations of hazing behavior, and
- To hold members accountable for behavior that violated the bylaws and policies of Gamma Sigma Sigma National Sorority, Inc.
Rules and Regulations
Members of Gamma Sigma Sigma have an obligation to uphold the bylaws and policies of the Sorority, the policies of their college or university (if applicable), and federal, state, and local laws. Individual members and chapters are responsible for knowledge and observance of this and all other policies of Gamma Sigma Sigma.
Participation in any behavior that is considered hazing is a violation of sorority policy. Responsibility for hazing behavior may be determined based on individual actions or the overall environment, culture, or actions of a colony, reactivating chapter, or chapter.
I. Hazing: Hazing is defined as “any activity expected of someone joining or participating in a group that humiliates, degrades, abuses, or endangers them regardless of a person‘s willingness to participate”(Allen & Madden, 2008). The express or implied consent of a victim will not be a defense. Apathy and/or acquiescence in the presence of hazing are violations of this rule. The following list represents the types of acts related to hazing that violate the policies of Gamma Sigma Sigma. Although the list is extensive, it is not all-inclusive.
a. Subtle Hazing: Behaviors that emphasize a power imbalance between different types of members in the group, for example, between new members and other members of the group. Termed “subtle hazing” because these types of hazing are often taken-for-granted or accepted as “harmless” or meaningless. Subtle hazing typically involves activities or attitudes that breach reasonable standards of mutual respect and place members on the receiving end of ridicule, embarrassment, and/or humiliation tactics. Members often feel the need to endure subtle hazing to feel like part of the group. (Some types of subtle hazing may also be considered harassment hazing).
- Assigning demerits
- Silence periods with implied threats for violation
- Deprivation of privileges granted to other members
- Requiring new members to perform duties
- Socially isolation new member
- Line-ups and Drills/Tests on meaningless information
- Name calling
- Requiring new members to refer to other members with titles (e.g. “Mr.,” “Miss”) while they are identified with demeaning terms
- Expecting certain items to always be in one’s possession
b. Harassment Hazing: Behaviors that cause emotional anguish or physical discomfort in order to feel like part of the group. Harassment hazing confuses, frustrates, and causes undue stress for members. (Some types of harassment hazing can also be considered violent hazing).
- Verbal abuse
- Threats or implied threats
- Asking members or new members to wear embarrassing or humiliating attire
- Stunt or skit nights with degrading, crude, or humiliating acts
- Expecting members or new members to perform personal service to other members
- Sleep deprivation
- Sexual stimulations
- Expecting members or new members to be deprived of maintaining a normal schedule of bodily cleanliness
- Be expected to harass others
c. Violent Hazing: Behaviors that have the potential to cause physical and/or emotional, or psychological harm.
- Forced or coerced alcohol or other drug consumption
- Beating, paddling, or other forms of assault
- Forced or coerced ingestion of vile substances or concoctions
- Water intoxication
- Expecting abuse or mistreatment of animals
- Public nudity
- Expecting illegal activity
- Exposure to cold weather or extreme heat without appropriate protection
[OTHER EXAMPLES: http://www.stophazing.org]