USC Fraternity and Sorority Leadership Development
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University Policy Against Hazing

The University of Southern California expects that all members of the university community will observe and fully comply with the State of California Education Code requirements on hazing. In addition, all students are expected to adhere to related regulations set forth by their respective inter/national, regional or local organizations and university policies concerning practices commonly referred to as hazing. It is the responsibility of the officers of organizations to be informed of all the above mentioned regulations and to see that they are brought to the attention of the rest of the membership.

A. Excerpt From The State Of California Education Code 32051

No student, or any other person in attendance at any public, private, parochial, or military school, community college, college, or other educational institution, shall conspire to engage in hazing, participate in hazing, or commit any act that causes or is likely to cause bodily danger, physical harm, or personal degradation or disgrace resulting in physical or mental harm to any fellow student or person attending the institution.

The violation of this section is a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of not less than one hundred dollars ($100) nor more than five thousand dollars ($5,000), or imprisonment in the county jail for not more than one year, or both.

B. University Policy Concerning Hazing

The University of Southern California’s policy with respect to hazing prohibits any students from engaging collectively or individually in any of the following practices as a part of any programs or general activities. This list is intended to provide examples of hazing. As it is impossible to anticipate every situation that could involve hazing, this list should not be considered to be all-inclusive. For clarification of this hazing policy and what activities are included, contact the Office of Student Judicial Affairs and Community Standards, The office for Fraternity and Sorority Leadership Development, or the Office of Campus Activities.

  1. All forms of physical activity not a part of an organized athletic contest and not specifically directed toward constructive work.
  2. The application of foreign substances to the body.
  3. Such activities as scavenger hunts, which result in illegal activity, pledge ditches, kidnaps and the like.
  4. Depriving students of sufficient sleep (eight consecutive hours per day minimum).
  5. Not providing decent and edible meals (no unusual combinations or preparation, colored foods, etc.).
  6. Depriving students access to means of maintaining a normal schedule of bodily cleanliness (including a minimum of one shower per day).
  7. Forcing, coercing or permitting students to eat or drink foreign or unusual substances such as raw meat, salt water, onions, etc.
  8. Nudity or forcing or allowing students to dress in a degrading manner.
  9. Forcing, coercing or permitting students to drink excessive amounts of any substance, including alcohol, water, liquids, foods or other substances.
  10. Branding any part of the body.
  11. Psychological hazing, which is defined as any act or peer pressure which is likely to:
    • Compromise the dignity of any student affiliated with the organization,
    • Cause embarrassment or shame to any student affiliated with the organization,
    • Cause any student affiliated with the organization to be the object of malicious amusement or ridicule, or
    • Cause psychological harm or substantial emotional strain.

C. Procedures For Dealing With A Hazing Incident

Anyone with information about a hazing incident which violates university policy has a responsibility to report it to the Office of Student Judicial Affairs and Community Standards, the Fraternity and Sorority Leadership Development staff, Campus Activities or the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs.

D. Loss Of Recognition And Probation For Student Organizations

Following a proved allegation of hazing, individual members and officers of the organization may be subject to disciplinary action by the university, up to and including suspension and permanent dismissal from the university. Additionally, the student organization may lose its recognition/registration. Loss of recognition/registration may begin immediately after a decision finding hazing is finalized. In order to regain recognition/registration a student organization may be required to suspend activities such as:

  • Recruitment of new members
  • Changes in membership status
  • Social functions
  • Officer elections
  • Participation in voting groups of associated organizations (e.g., Student Assemblies, Interfraternity Council, Panhellenic Council, etc.) or participation in their sponsored events
  • Participation in intramurals and accumulation of award points
  • Use of university facilities, including office space, meeting space or residence
  • All operations of the student organization
  • Internet access (email and Web site)

The restoration of recognition will be followed by a period of probation for the organization. Probationary status for the organization may include some of the limitations imposed during suspension and may also involve projects, programs and/or other criteria to be met by the organization. These stipulations will be designed to promote positive development of the organization.

Please refer to section 11.00 Behavior Violating University Standards and Appropriate Sanctions for additional information.

Revised April, 2007.