Offices & Services

Student Handbook

Anti-Hazing Policy

Washington College prohibits any form of hazing by Washington College students on or off campus. Hazing, as defined by Washington College, can apply to individuals as well as student groups and is:

Any action taken, created, or intended, to produce mental or physical discomfort, embarrassment, harassment, or ridicule that is directed at new or prospective members of a recognized student organization. Such actions may be perpetrated by an individual, an individual against an organization, or an organization against an individual. In case of violations, individuals and an organization as a whole may be subject to disciplinary action. In addition to Washington College’s Anti-Hazing policy, students must also comply with the Maryland Anti-Hazing law.

Maryland Anti Hazing Law (§ 3-607) 

The State of Maryland also prohibits hazing and defines it as such:

  • Prohibited — A person may not recklessly or intentionally do an act or create a situation that subjects a student to the risk of serious bodily injury or mental or emotional distress for the purpose of initiation into a student organization of a school, college, or university.
  • Penalty — A person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, on conviction, is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 9 months or a fine not exceeding $2,500 or both.
  • Prohibited defense — The implied or expressed consent of a student to hazing is not a defense under this section.

The College’s anti-hazing policies apply to any and all student groups and organizations on campus. The consent of those being hazed will not be accepted as a defense for those who have been found to violate college policies on hazing.

Examples of Hazing

Note that this list is not intended to be all-inclusive. Please contact the Office of Student Affairs (ext. 7752) for clarification on any action that may be considered hazing.

  • Forcing, requiring, or endorsing consumption of alcoholic beverages or any other drug use.
  • Forcing, requiring, or endorsing the purchase of alcoholic beverages or any other drugs.
  • Any action which would be perceived as inflicting physical abuse/harm to an individual, e.g. throwing things at students, paddling, etc.
  • Requiring students to publicly wear apparel that is conspicuous or not normally in good taste.
  • Morally degrading or humiliating games or activities such as requiring members to perform in public or in private.
  • Requiring any personal servitude such as running errands.
  • Requiring tattoos or brands.
  • Requiring members to shave all or part of their heads.
  • Requiring members to participate in “line-ups.”
  • Requiring any activities that involve the deprivation of food, sleep, etc.
  • Assigning or endorsing pranks such as borrowing or stealing items, vandalism to property, or harassing other individuals or organizations.
  • Conducting activities that do not allow adequate time for study or sleep.
  • Requiring calisthenics such as sit-ups, push-ups, running, or any form of physically abusive exercising.
  • Verbal harassment, including yelling and screaming.
  • Scavenger hunts, treasure hunts, road trips, kidnapping, drop-offs, or any such activities, if done in such a way as to violate the College hazing policy described above.
  • Requiring the ingestion of an undesirable, unwanted substance, or excessive amounts of any substance.
  • Requiring the carrying of items (e.g. rocks, bricks, etc.)

Reporting an Incident of Hazing

Any individual student or student group found responsible for hazing or participating in hazing activities is subject to disciplinary action by the College as well as possible criminal prosecution under Maryland State Law.

Hazing incidents may be reported to any of the following:

Sarah Feyerherm, Vice President for Student Affairs, ext. 7752

Candace Wannamaker, Associate Vice President for Student Affairs, ext. 7752

Ursula Herz, Associate Dean of Students and Director of Residence Life, ext. 7752

Rachel Boyle, Director of Prevention Education & Advocacy, ext. 7277

Jerry Roderick, Director of Public Safety, ext. 7810

Responsibilities of Individual Students regarding Hazing

All individual students have a responsibility to decline to participate in hazing activities and report hazing activities if they become aware of them.

College Response to Allegations of Hazing

Any allegations of hazing reported to the College will be investigated. If the investigation yields evidence of hazing, the College will then take appropriate disciplinary action against the individuals and/or organizations deemed responsible for the hazing. The Honor Board may hear charges against organizations and individuals. Disciplinary action may include both accountability sanctions (e.g. fines, loss of privileges, disciplinary probation, suspension or expulsion of the organization, loss of college housing) and educational sanctions (e.g. programs, workshops, community service).

Any retaliatory measures taken against a student who reports a hazing incident are prohibited and may result in additional sanctions taken against the group or individual responsible.

The College will also support any victim of hazing if he or she wants to speak to the local police about the possibility of pressing criminal charges.