Texas State Law on Hazing
Texas Senate Bill 24, signed into law at the conclusion of the 1987 regular session of the state legislature, makes it illegal for any individual in a high school or institution of higher education in Texas to haze another, to submit to hazing or to be aware of hazing without reporting it to appropriate university officials. Penalties may include fines of up to $10,000 and jail terms of up to two years.
The law is comprehensive in content, and the sanctions are designed to be serious enough to put an end to the last vestiges of hazing. The organizations are also covered by the law if the alumni engage in hazing. Organizations are defined as a fraternity, sorority, association, corporation, order, society, corps, cooperative, club, or service, social or similar group whose members are primarily students at an educational institution. Thus, all student organizations at TCU are covered by the statute.
The statute covers hazing incidents both on and off university property. Consent to be hazed is not a defense to the prosecution of any offense under the statute. Individuals who have firsthand knowledge of hazing, including those being hazed, are required by law to report that knowledge to appropriate university officials.
Hazing under the statute means 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 a student, 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 in an educational institution. The term hazing under the statue includes but is not limited to offenses that subject the student to an unreasonable risk or harm or that adversely affect the mental or physical health or safety of the student.
Students who are hazed often suffer physical or emotional difficulties. Organizations and individuals at TCU are reminded that the institution bans hazing in its Code of Student Conduct (section 3.2.2) and takes appropriate disciplinary action against groups or individuals found to have violated the Code of Student Conduct.
The University defines hazing as any action taken or situation created, intentionally, whether on or off the campus, to produce mental or physical discomfort, embarrassment, harassment or ridicule. Such activities and situations include any act of personal servitude; paddling in any form; creation of excessive fatigue, physical and psychological shocks; quests, treasure hunts, scavenger hunts, road trips or any other such activities; late work sessions which interfere with scholastic activities; and any other activities which are not consistent with the regulations and policies of TCU.
Any student who has been hazed or thinks he/she is going to be hazed should report such actions to Campus Life – Dean’s Office at 817-257-7926, the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs at 817-257-7820, the Hazing Hotline at 817-257-HAZE, or TCU Police at 817-257-7777.