Belmont University's Anti-Hazing Policy

Belmont University is committed to the values of individual worth, personal integrity, critical thinking, self control, community responsibility, and providing an atmosphere that nurtures the individual’s self-esteem and growth. Hazing or any other activity that is an affront to the dignity and self-respect of any person is strictly prohibited by the university. Additionally, hazing is prohibited by law in the state of Tennessee (TN Code 49-7-123).Any individual or organization found in violation of the anti-hazing policy is subject to university disciplinary action and/or criminal prosecution. Any retaliation against any person who reports, is a witness to, is involved with or cooperates with the adjudication of hazing is strictly prohibited.

The University prohibits hazing by individuals or groups and defines it as follows:  

Hazing is any reckless or intentional act, occurring on or off campus, that produces physical, mental, or emotional pain, discomfort, humiliation, embarrassment, or ridicule directed toward other students or groups (regardless of their willingness to participate), that is required or expected for affiliation and which is not related to the mission of the team, group, or organization. This includes any activity, whether it is presented as optional or required, that places individuals in a position of servitude as a condition of affiliation. Prohibited acts of hazing include but are not limited to those covered under Tennessee State law.  All students are subject to federal, state and local laws, and rules and regulations of Belmont University

A person or organization violates the Anti-Hazing policy if they: 

  • engage in hazing;

  • solicit, encourage, direct, aid, or attempt to aid another in engaging in hazing;

  • intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly permit hazing to occur; or

  • have firsthand knowledge of the planning of a specific hazing incident involving a student in an educational institution, or firsthand knowledge that a specific hazing incident has occurred, and knowingly fail to report said knowledge in writing to the Dean of Students or other appropriate officials of the institution.  

Though it would be impossible to list all behavior that may be considered hazing, the following are some examples of hazing and are prohibited:

  • any physical act of violence expected of, or inflicted upon, another including marking or branding

  • any physical activity expected of, or inflicted upon, another, including calisthenics; sleep deprivation or excessive fatigue as the result of an activity, lines-ups and berating

  • any activity involving consumption of a food, liquid, alcoholic beverage, liquor, drug, or other substance which subjects the student to an unreasonable risk of harm or which adversely effects the mental or physical health or safety of the student

  • pressure or coercion of another to consume any legal or illegal substance

  • making available unlawful substances

  • completing tasks in order to obtains signatures

  • required carrying of or possessing of a specific item or items

  • servitude (expecting a new member to do the tasks of an experienced member)

  • scavenger or treasure hunts

  • forced exposure to the weather

  • assignment of illegal and unlawful activities

  • kidnapping, forced road trips, and abandonment

  • costuming and alteration of appearance

  • coerced lewd conduct; degrading games, activities or public stunts

  • interference with academic pursuits

If an organization has any questions about hazing, or would like education and training regarding the anti-hazing policy please contact SOA.

Hazing “Myths and Facts” 

Myth No. 1: Hazing is primarily a problem for fraternities and sororities.

Fact: Hazing is a societal problem. Hazing incidents have been frequently documented in the military, athletic teams, marching bands, religious cults, professional schools and other types of clubs and/or organizations. Reports of hazing activities in high schools are on the rise.

Myth No. 2: Hazing is no more than foolish pranks that sometimes go awry.

Fact: Hazing is an act of power and control over others – it is victimization. Hazing is pre-meditated and NOT accidental. Hazing is abusive, degrading and often life-threatening.

Myth No. 3: As long as there’s no malicious intent, a little hazing should be OK.

Fact: Even if there’s no malicious “intent,” safety may still be a factor in traditional hazing activities that are considered to be “all in good fun.” For example, serious accidents have occurred during scavenger hunts and kidnapping trips. Besides, what purpose do such activities serve in promoting the growth and development of group team members?

Myth No. 4: Hazing is an effective way to teach respect and develop discipline.

Fact: First of all, respect must be EARNED—not taught. Victims of hazing rarely report having respect for those who have hazed them. Just like other forms of victimization, hazing breeds mistrust, apathy and alienation.

Myth No. 5: If someone agrees to participate in an activity, it can’t be considered hazing.

Fact: In states that have laws against hazing, consent of the victim can’t be used as a defense in a civil suit. This is because even if someone agrees to participate in a potentially hazardous action it may not be true consent when considering the peer pressure and desire to belong to the group.

Myth No. 6: It’s difficult to determine whether or not a certain activity is hazing—it’s such a gray area sometimes.

Fact: It’s not difficult to decide if an activity is hazing if you use common sense and ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is alcohol involved?

  • Will active/current members of the group refuse to participate with the new members and do exactly what they’re being asked to do?

  • Does the activity risk emotional or physical abuse?

  • Is there risk of injury or a question of safety?

  • Do you have any reservation describing the activity to your parents, to a professor or university official?

  • Would you object to the activity being photographed for the school newspaper or filmed by the local TV news crew?

If the answer to any of these questions is “yes,” the activity is probably hazing.

**Adapted from:, Educating to Eliminate Hazing. Copyright 1998-2001.