Jan 19, 2019  
2018-2019 ULM Student Policy Manual 
    
2018-2019 ULM Student Policy Manual

Hazing Policy


The University of Louisiana at Monroe (ULM) believes it is the responsibility of all students, staff, faculty and members of the University community to ensure an atmosphere of learning, social responsibility, and respect for human dignity. This is achieved by providing positive influences and constructive development for current and aspiring members or participants of any group or organization at the University of Louisiana at Monroe.  Hazing is counterproductive to the positive learning environment the University seeks to create.

The purpose of this policy is to maintain a safe learning environment that is free from hazing. Hazing activities of any type are inconsistent with the educational goals of the university and Louisiana Law and are prohibited at all times. No student, faculty member, employee or administrator, guest, contractor or volunteer shall plan, direct, encourage, aid or engage in hazing.

The purpose of this Policy is:

  • to assist with preventing hazing;
  • to encourage reporting which is the responsibility of every member of the university community;
  • to accept the personal obligation to adhere to the basic community values of being civil, and respectful of others;
  • to protect the safety and rights of students; and
  • to preserve the educational environment.

Definitions:

HAZING is defined as any intentional, knowing, or reckless act, occurring on or off the campus of an educational institution, by one person alone or acting with others, directed against an individual that endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a student for the purpose of pledging, being initiated into, affiliating with, holding office in, or maintaining membership in any organization whose members are or include students at an educational institution, including but is not limited to the following:

  • The person knew or should have known that the act endangers the physical health or safety of the other person or causes severe emotional distress.
  • The act was associated with pledging, being initiated into, affiliating with, participating in, holding office in, or maintaining membership in any organization.

This policy provides that “hazing” includes but is not limited to any of the following that is associated with pledging, being initiated into, affiliating with, participating in, holding office in, or maintaining membership in any organization:

(1) Physical brutality, such as whipping, beating, striking, branding, burning, shoving electronic shocking, blindfolding, paddle swats, bondage or restriction, or placing of a harmful substance on the body, or similar activity.

(2) Physical activity, such as sleep, food or drink deprivation, exposure to the elements, confinement in a small space, calisthenics, forced exercise, jogs or runs that subjects the other person to an unreasonable risk of harm or that adversely affects the physical health or safety of the individual or causes severe emotional distress.

(3) Activity involving consumption of food, liquid, or any other substance, including but not limited to an alcoholic beverage or drug, that subjects the individual to an unreasonable risk of harm or that adversely affects the physical health or safety of the individual or causes severe emotional distress.

(4) Requiring or coercing someone to perform public stunts, buffoonery, personal or group servitude (washing cars, running errands, cleaning), wearing apparel which is uncomfortable, conspicuous or not normally in good taste.

(5) Creating, inflicting or requiring any activity that detracts from adequate study or class time or productive work; or any activity that is not consistent with the academic mission of the University of Louisiana Monroe. For example, any activity or situation that keeps an individual from less than six uninterrupted hours of sleep.

(6) Bullying, degrading, humiliating, ridiculing or harassing an individual or group through words or deeds: line-ups or interrogations; name calling; threats or lies.

(7) Activity that induces, causes, or requires an individual to break a university, local, state or federal law or policy. The law provides exceptions for normal physical activity associated with athletics, physical education, military training, or similar programs.

(8) Activity that includes nudity.

The penalties provided by Act 635 do not preclude any civil remedies provide by existing law and may be imposed in addition to any penalty that may be imposed for any other existing law criminal offense arising from the same incident or activity, and in addition to any penalty imposed by the organization or educational institution pursuant to its by-laws, rules, or policies regarding hazing.

Effective August, 2018. (Amends R.S. 17:1801; Adds R.S. 14:40.8)

Organization is a fraternity, sorority, association, corporation, order, society, corps, cooperative, club, service group, social group, band, spirit group, athletic team, or similar group whose members are primarily students at, or former students of, a postsecondary education institution, including the national or parent organization of which any of the underlying entities provided for in this definition is a sanctioned or recognized member at the time of the hazing. 

Pledging is any action or activity related to becoming a member of an organization, including recruitment and rushing. 

Appropriate Authority

(i) Any state or local law enforcement agency.

(ii) A 911 Public Safety Answering Point as defined in Title 33 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes of 1950.

(iii) Emergency medical personnel.

(iv) ULM faculty or staff member.

Reckless behavior is an activity or behavior in which a reasonable person knew or reasonably should have known that the activity or behavior may result in injury to another, including but not limited to excessive consumption of alcohol, binge drinking, drag racing, consumption of any controlled dangerous substance, acts of hazing, or other similar activity.

Serious bodily injury is bodily injury that involves unconsciousness, extreme physical pain, or protracted and obvious disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of a bodily member, organ, or mental faculty, death, or a substantial risk of death.

Reporting Procedures:

It shall be the duty of all student organization members and pledges to report immediately, in writing, any violation of this policy to the appropriate institution administrator. Any violation of this Policy shall be investigated and appropriate disciplinary action taken.

Any person who believes he or she has been the victim of hazing, or any participant, witness, or person with knowledge or belief of conduct which may constitute hazing shall report the alleged acts immediately to an appropriate university administrator or to the Dean of Students located in the Office of Student Services at 318.342.5350 or online (click here)

Silent Witness Reports may also be submitted online (click here) or anonymously through the University Police Department at 318.342.5350. 

Each will take appropriate action to respond to such a report.  More information regarding how to report an incident and additional information on the University conduct process may be found online at the ULM Hazing website (click here).

Faculty, staff, university employees and/or administrators as well as contractors and volunteers shall be particularly alert to possible situations, circumstances or events that might include hazing. Any such person who receives a report of, observes, or has other knowledge or belief of conduct, which may constitute hazing, shall inform the Dean of Students immediately. 

Submission of a good faith complaint or report of hazing will not affect the complainant or reporter’s future employment, grades or work assignments.

Violations of this policy by faculty, staff, and other employees are subject to discipline in accordance with the State of Louisiana and University policies and procedures governing employee misconduct.

Any violation involving a crime, an emergency, or an imminent threat to the health or safety of any person should be reported immediately by dialing 9-1-1 to reach local law enforcement officials or on campus 318.342.5350.

Upon receipt of a complaint or report of hazing, the university shall undertake or authorize an investigation by university administrators through the Office of Student Life and Leadership in conjunction with the Office of Student Services and/or University Police. The Dean of Students will investigate the complaint in accordance with the Student Disciplinary Procedures. The Student Disciplinary Procedures shall govern all proceedings involving such a complaint. Sanctions, if appropriate, will be imposed in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct.

Penalties:

Violations of this policy by faculty, staff, and other employees are subject to discipline in accordance with the State of Louisiana and University policies and procedures governing employee misconduct.

Any violation involving a crime, an emergency, or an imminent threat to the health or safety of any person should be reported immediately by dialing 9-1-1 to reach local law enforcement officials or on campus 318.342.5350.

Upon receipt of a complaint or report of hazing, the university shall undertake or authorize an investigation by university administrators through the Office of Student Life and Leadership in conjunction with the Office of Student Services and/or University Police. The Dean of Students will investigate the complaint in accordance with the Student Disciplinary Procedures. The Student Disciplinary Procedures shall govern all proceedings involving such a complaint. Sanctions, if appropriate, will be imposed in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct.

Students:

  1. Any student who violates the provisions of Acts 635, 637 and 640 of the 2018 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature and this Policy may be subject to criminal charges and / or severe sanctions imposed through the ULM Student Code of Conduct.
  2. Consent is not a defense. It is not a defense to prosecution of an offense that the person against whom the hazing was directed consented to or acquiesced in the hazing activity.
  3. Any student who fails to seek assistance as defined by the law and this Policy shall be subject to penalties outlined in R.S. 14:40.8.

The Louisiana Hazing Law (Act 635) amends prior law to apply to any organization in an education institution, and to remove the fine and term of imprisonment as consequences for engaging in this activity and to provide instead that the student shall be dismissed, suspended, or expelled from the education institution for at least one semester, quarter, or comparable academic period if criminally charged.

The hazing law creates the crime of criminal hazing which prohibits any person from committing an act of hazing as defined by the law, regardless of whether the person voluntarily allowed himself to be hazed or consented to the hazing. The law provides for the following penalties:

(1) A fine of up to $1,000, imprisonment for up to six months, or both.

(2) If the hazing results in the serious bodily injury or death of the victim, or if the hazing involves forced or coerced alcohol consumption that results in the victim having a blood alcohol concentration of at least .30 percent by weight based on grams of alcohol per one hundred cubic centimeters of blood, the person who committed the act of hazing shall be fined up to $10,000, and imprisoned, with or without hard labor, for up to five years.

The law also provides that if any person serving as a representative or officer of an organization, including any representative, director, trustee, or officer of any national or parent organization of which any of the underlying organization is a sanctioned or recognized member at the time of the hazing, knew and failed to report to law enforcement that one or more of the organization’s members were engaging in or participating in the hazing of another person, the organization may be subject to the following:

(1) A fine of up to $10,000.

(2) Forfeiture of any public funds received by the organization.

(3) Forfeiture of all rights and privileges of being an organization that is organized and operating at the educational institution for a specific period of time as determined by the court. If the hazing results in the serious bodily injury or death of the victim, or results in the victim having a blood alcohol concentration of at least .30 percent by weight based on grams of alcohol per one hundred cubic centimeters of blood, the period of time shall be for not less than four years.

The law authorizes the national or parent organization to conduct a timely and efficient investigation, of not longer than 14 days, to determine the veracity of an allegation of hazing prior to reporting the hazing to law enforcement.

In addition, University action taken for violation of this policy will be consistent with other university policies and statutory authorities such as Act 635, Act 637 and Act 640 of the Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature and Louisiana Law R.S. 17:1801, and R.S. 14:40.8.

  1. Act 635 of the 2018 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature, which creates the crime of criminal hazing, provides definitions and exceptions, and establishes exceptions and penalties;
  2. Act 637 of the 2018 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature, which creates an obligation to offer reasonable assistance (“Duty to Seek Assistance”), including seeking medical assistance, to someone who has suffered serious bodily injury caused by reckless behavior, including hazing;
  3. Act 640 of the 2018 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature, which prohibits hazing at Louisiana’s public postsecondary institutions, requires BOR to adopt a uniform policy on hazing prevention, requires public postsecondary institutions to adopt and expand on BOR’s uniform policy in a manner consistent with the laws and BOR policy.

Louisiana Law RS 17:1801 - Hazing prohibited; Penalties

“Whoever violates the provisions of this Section shall be expelled, suspended, or dismissed from the education institution and not permitted to return for at least one semester, quarter, or comparable academic period. In addition, the person violating the provisions of this Section may also be subject to the provisions of R.S. 14:40.8 which provides penalties for certain hazing activity.”

“Hazing in any form, or the use of any method of initiation into organizations in any education institution supported wholly or in part by public funds, which is likely to cause bodily danger or physical punishment to any student or other person attending any such institution is prohibited.”

If the hazing results in the serious bodily injury or death of the victim, or the hazing involves forced or coerced alcohol consumption that results in the victim having a blood alcohol concentration of at least .30 percent by weight based 2 on grams of alcohol per one hundred cubic centimeters of blood, any person who 3 commits an act of hazing shall be fined up to ten thousand dollars and imprisoned, 4 with or without hard labor, for up to five years.”

“Any person who commits an act of hazing shall be either fined up to one thousand dollars, imprisoned for up to six months, or both.”

The bill also defines hazing as: Any intentional, knowing or reckless act committed by a student, or a former student, whether individually or in concert with other persons, against another student, and in which both of the following apply:

The act was committed in connection with an initiation into, an affiliation with or the maintenance of membership in any organization that is affiliated with such educational institution.

The act contributes to a substantial risk of potential physical injury, mental harm or degradation or causes physical injury, mental harm or personal degradation.

Louisiana Law R.S. 14:40.8.  – Organizations

ULM may impose additional sanctions for violations of the Code of Student Conduct.

i. If an organization has taken disciplinary action against one of its members for hazing or has reason to believe that any member of the organization has participated in an incident of hazing, the organization shall report the incident to the institution with which it is affiliated.

ii. If an organization or any of its members has been disciplined by a parent organization for hazing, the organization shall report the hazing for which the organization was disciplined to the institution with which it is affiliated.

iii. If any person serving as a representative or officer of an organization, including any representative, director, trustee, or officer of any national or parent organization of which any of the underlying entities as recognized in this Policy or as a recognized member at the time of the hazing, knew and failed to report to law enforcement that one or more of the organization’s members were hazing another person, the organization may be subject to penalties under R.S. 14:40.8.