Hazing Prevention Policy

Northern Arizona University promotes student organizations and the opportunities they provide for students. The University respects the right of each student organization to set its own criteria for membership and to establish its own procedures for selecting members as long as these policies are non-discriminatory and abide by University and Board of Regents Policy. The University stands ready to assist in any of these areas and/or in providing leadership training for student organizations and their members in an effort to make student organizations a more positive and enriching experience for student members. 

Northern Arizona University cannot and will not tolerate, however, any act of hazing associated with registered student organizations, groups of students affiliated with the university, or individual students. Incidents defined as hazing by this policy are not only violations of the Student Code of Conduct but are also violations of the Arizona Revised Statutes, Section 15-2301. Acts of hazing are antithetical to the idea of student organizations on a college campus. Student organizations exist for a variety of reasons including but not limited to enhancing the educational pursuits of members, assisting with personal/social growth and development, increasing leadership potential, creating an atmosphere of belonging, providing services to others, providing recreational opportunities, providing religious and spiritual opportunities and the provision of a variety of special interest concerns. The individual, the organization, and the university suffer when organizations/groups create and maintain hazing activities as part of their membership procedures. These activities serve no constructive purpose related to the reasons student organizations exist at the University. 

When you plan membership activities for your organization and when you are a participant in new membership orientation activities, we ask that you consider whether or not the activity could be viewed as hazing according to the definition stated below. It may be helpful for you to consider the following questions regarding the organizational activity in question. 

  • What is the purpose of the activity?
  • How does the activity contribute to the new member's respect and love for the organization and/or him/herself?
  • Would you be willing to implement or participate in this activity in front of university administrators, alumnae, your parents or the parents of the new member?
  • Would you be proud to have photographs of this activity in the campus or community newspaper?
  • Would you be able to defend this activity in a court of law?

The following information provides additional clarification regarding Northern Arizona University's hazing prevention policy including procedures for responding to hazing violations:

  1. Hazing is prohibited. "Hazing" means any intentional, knowing or reckless act committed by a student, whether individually or in concert with other persons, against another student, and in which subsection 1 and either subsection 2 or 3 of the following apply: 
    1. The act was committed in connection with an initiation into, an affiliation with the maintenance of membership in any organization that is affiliated with a university.
    2. The act contributes to a substantial risk of potential physical injury, mental harm or degradation or causes physical injury, mental harm or personal degradation.
    3. The act discourages the student from entering or remaining registered in an educational institution, or may be reasonably expected to cause the student to leave the organization or institution rather than submit to the act. Hazing includes, but is not limited to, paddling in any form, physical or psychological shocks, late work sessions that interfere with scholastic activities, advocating or promoting alcohol or substance abuse, tests of endurance, submission of members or prospective members to potentially dangerous or hazardous circumstances or activities which have a foreseeable potential for resulting in personal injury, or any activity which by its nature may have a potential to cause mental distress, panic, human degradation or embarrassment.
  2. Any solicitation to engage in hazing is prohibited.
  3. Aiding and abetting another person who is engaged in hazing is prohibited.
  4. It is not a defense to a violation of this policy that the hazing victim consented to or acquiesced in the hazing activity.
  5. All students, faculty and staff must take reasonable measures within the scope of their individual authority to prevent violations of this policy. Violations of this policy should be reported to the Office of Student Life for investigation/ adjudication. Referrals will be investigated by Student Life staff according to the Student Disciplinary Procedures used for adjudicating student conduct violations. (See the Student Handbook for a complete review of the Student Code of Conduct and the Student Disciplinary Procedures).
  6. Violations of this policy or interference in an investigation under this policy by students or student organizations are subject to sanctions under the Student Code of Conduct. The Office of Student Life is responsible for enforcing the Student Code of Conduct and implementing the Student Disciplinary Procedures.
  7. Registered student organizations, as well as their members, may be held collectively and/or individually responsible for violations of the Student Code of Conduct and/or Hazing Policy. The Office of Student Life can take action according to the Code even though a student organization and/or its governing body has already implemented its own disciplinary process and/or sanctions. If it is determined that a student organization, group or member did violate this Hazing Policy or the Student Code of Conduct, the following sanctions may apply:
    • Suspension of the organization as a registered student organization
    • Loss of campus privileges for the student organization
    • Restitution for damages that may have resulted from the incident (student organization and/or individual)
    • A statement of warning may be issued (student organization and/or individual)
    • A probationary period may be implemented (student organization and/or individual)
    • An individual may be suspended from the university
    • An individual may be expelled from the university
  8. Any university employee who knowingly permitted, authorized or condoned the hazing activity is subject to disciplinary action by the university.
  9. If  Northern Arizona University receives a report or complaint of hazing involving physical injury, threats of physical injury, intimidation, harassment or property damage, or other conduct that appears to violate Arizona law, NAU will report the conduct incident to the NAU Police Department.
  10. This policy is not intended to prohibit or sanction the following conduct:
    • Customary public athletic events, contests or competitions that are sponsored by a university;
    • Any activity or conduct that furthers the goal of a legitimate educational curriculum, a legitimate extracurricular program or legitimate military training program.
  11. For the purpose of this policy,
    • "Organization" means an athletic team, association, order, society, corps, cooperative, club, student organization, fraternity, sorority or other similar group that is affiliated with a university and whose membership consists primarily of students enrolled at that university. "Organization" includes a local chapter, unit or other local division consisting primarily of students, regardless of the nature of the membership of the larger public or organization.
    • "Student" means any person who is enrolled at a university, any person who has been promoted or accepted for enrollment at a university or any person who intends to enroll at or be promoted to an Arizona university within the next twelve calendar months. The hazing prevention policy of the university where a person has been accepted for or promoted to enrollment, or where a person intends to enroll or be promoted to within the next twelve calendar months, shall be the effective policy. A person who meets the definition of a student for purposes of this paragraph shall continue to be defined as a student for purposes of this section until the person graduates, transfers, is promoted or withdraws from the university.