Hazing is a violation of the FIU Student Code of Conduct as well as Florida State law. Hazing is defined as any group or individual action or activity that inflicts or intends to inflict physical or mental harm or discomfort or which may demean, disgrace, or degrade any person, regardless of location, intent, or consent of participant(s). Hazing includes, but is not limited to forced consumption of any food, alcohol, controlled substances, drugs, or any other substance, forced physical activity, deprivation of food or sleep, physical abuse of any nature, and verbal abuse, including yelling or demands.
In the State of Florida, hazing is a criminal offense. A person commits hazing, a third degree felony, when he or she intentionally or recklessly commits any act of hazing upon another person who is a member of or an applicant to any type of student organization and the hazing results in serious bodily injury or death of such other person. A person commits a first degree misdemeanor when he or she intentionally or recklessly commits any act of hazing upon another person who is a member of or an applicant to any type of student organization and the hazing creates a substantial risk of physical injury or death to such other person.
It is not a defense to a charge of hazing that:
Hazing activities are not only associated with Greek organizations but have occurred as a part of athletic teams, and other clubs and organizations on campus. FIU holds student organizations and individuals students accountable through the FIU Student Conduct Process, will face disciplinary sanctions, and can be held criminally liable.
In the FIU Student Code of Conduct, the Hazing violation is outlined as follows:
6. (i) Hazing
Any group or individual action or activity that inflicts or intends to inflict physical or mental harm or discomfort or which may demean, disgrace, or degrade any person, regardless of location, intent, or consent of participant(s). Although hazing is related to a person’s initiation or admission into, or affiliation with, a student group or organization, it is not necessary to have direct proof that a person’s initiation or continued membership is contingent upon participation in the activity for a charge of hazing to be upheld. The actions of either active or associate members (pledges) of an organization may be considered hazing. Hazing includes, but is not limited to:
FIU's Hazing Prevention Efforts
Florida International University has zero tolerance for hazing. There are many policies and procedures in place to safeguard against hazing activities. Beyond the polices, the following points demonstrate preventative efforts directed to educate students in regards to hazing:
The National Study of Student Hazing (2008) is one of the more comprehensive studies in hazing and hazing prevention. With 11,000 responses and over 300 interviews from 53 college campuses nationwide, the study illustrates the problems and challenges related to student hazing. Its findings include:
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In 2001, University of Miami student Chad Meredith returned from a concert and began drinking with two officers of Kappa Sigma, a fraternity he wished to join. After several hours of drinking, the group tried to swim across Lake Osceola near campus. Meredith had a blood alcohol level of 0.13. He drowned 34 feet from shore in six feet nine inches of water. Although, the fraternity officers protested that the incident was not a fraternity-sanctioned hazing event, a jury found otherwise, and awarded the deceased student’s family a $12.6 million verdict in a negligence suit based on hazing.Chad Meredith Act, HB 193, Fla. Statutes