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Hazing Policy

Hazing is not permitted at Stanford University. No individual, recognized student organization, club, team, or any other Stanford-affiliated student group is permitted to plan, engage in, or condone hazing, on or off the Stanford campus.

Definition of Hazing at Stanford University

Hazing includes any activity done in connection with a student organization, regardless of whether the organization is officially recognized at Stanford, that causes or is reasonably likely to cause another student to suffer bodily danger, physical harm, or significant personal degradation or humiliation, even if no bodily danger, physical harm, or significant degradation or humiliation in fact results. Hazing might occur during initiation or pre-initiation into a student organization, but is not limited to these time frames. Any individual who plans or intentionally assists in hazing activity has engaged in hazing, regardless of whether that individual is present when the hazing activity occurs.

Consequences of a Violation

Stanford University expects its students to conduct themselves in socially responsible and respectful ways. Thus, participation in hazing, either as an individual or as part of any student group, may result in serious individual and organizational consequences including, but not limited to: disciplinary action up to and including expulsion; permanent loss of organizational recognition; and loss of eligibility to remain a member of any club, team, or other Stanford-affiliated student group. Consent, implied or expressed, is not a defense to any complaint or charge alleging a hazing violation.

A number of University offices may take institutional action, including: the Organizational Conduct Board; Office of Community Standards; or other University offices, such as the Vice Provost for Student Affairs or the Department of Athletics.


Stanford's hazing policy is distinct from and broader than California Penal Code section 245.6, which prohibits: "any method of initiation or pre-initiation into a student organization or student body, whether or not the organization or body is officially recognized by an educational institution, which is likely to cause serious bodily injury to any former, current, or prospective student of any school, community college, college, university or other educational institution in this state." A violation of Penal Code Section 245.6 that does not result in serious bodily injury is punishable as a misdemeanor, while a violation that results in death or injury is punishable as a felony or a misdemeanor.

Nothing in this hazing policy prevents Stanford from taking institutional action against hazing activity that falls outside the narrower definition of Penal Code section 245.6.

Stanford's hazing policy is not intended to prohibit student recruitment or new or continuing member activities that are positive and educational in nature, designed to instill a group ethos or unity. Its intent is to deter those behaviors that cause or are likely to cause danger, harm or humiliation to another student.

Stanford's hazing policy is not intended to apply to customary athletic events or other similar institutionally-approved contests or competitions.

Questions regarding hazing policies related to fraternities and sororities should be directed to the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life at (650) 723-0778. For all other student groups, contact Student Activities and Leadership at(650) 723-2445.