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Delta Sigma Pi’s Statement on Hazing

September 21, 2011

September 19-23 is National Hazing Prevention Week. Visit hazingprevention.org for more information and ideas on what you can do to prevent hazing. Below is “Delta Sigma Pi Statement on Hazing”  from our Policies and Procedures.

Statement on Hazing

1. Overview: Delta Sigma Pi has long taken a stand against hazing in any form. The following “Statement On Hazing” is strictly enforced.

Hazing activities, occurring as the result of any action of the Fraternity or its organizational members, are considered immature, juvenile practices which have no place in Delta Sigma Pi and will not be condoned under any circumstance.

All events and activities of the Fraternity and its organizational members, including, but not limited to, recruiting, pledging and initiation are to be conducted in a manner that upholds the dignity of our Fraternity. Programs that adhere to the policies of a chapter or colony’s university, and to the relevant national, state and local laws and regulations must be followed. There will be no pledge education activities conducted except those specifically outlined in the Pledge Education program submitted to and approved by the National Fraternity.

This will ensure programs which will result in materially better members, better public relations, and increased prestige to the Fraternity.

In order that there will be no question as to what constitutes hazing, it is generally defined as follows:

“Any action taken or situation created, either intentionally or unintentionally, on or off the college campus, to produce physical or mental discomfort, embarrassment or ridicule; or possibly cause physical harm or injury. Such activities and situations include paddling in any form; creating of excessive fatigue; physical and psychological shock; treasure hunts, scavenger hunts, road trips; kidnapping of pledges by members or kidnapping of members by pledges; consumption of food, beverage or any other substance except in the course of regular meals; wearing apparel at any time or at any place which is conspicuous or not in good taste; engaging in public stunts, tricks, games or horseplay; morally degrading games or humiliating activities; any activity on the part of the pledges or members which might possibly violate any local, state, or federal law, including Fraternity law; late work sessions which interfere with scholastic activities; and any other activities which are not consistent with Fraternity law, Ritual, or policy, or the regulations and policies of the state or educational institution.”

Mental hazing would include, but would not necessarily be limited to, the activities and procedures included in the following statement of policy:

  1. Pledges cannot be required to plan any function or attend any brother function on the day or evening preceding Initiation day.
  2. There will be no activities during pledge education except those that attempt to increase a person’s knowledge of the Fraternity and the person’s professional intent; there will be no pledge activities conducted except those specifically outlined in the Pledge Education program submitted to and approved by the National Fraternity. All pledge education activities must be carried on in a dignified manner and must show proper respect for another person as a professional equal.
  3. At no time during pledge education is there to be verbal abuse of an individual, including shouting, screaming and the use of profanity.
  4. “Shotgun” questioning, “rack lines,” “inquisitions” and candlelight questioning are not to be used as procedures in determining a pledge’s qualifications for membership or for any other reason.
  5. There will be no deceptive statement or activity for the purpose of frightening or mentally disturbing an individual. Such deception includes, but is not limited to, causing a person to believe that some action or event is taking place or will take place that, in fact, will not occur.
  6. Blindfolds are not to be used at any time.
  7. Signature books are to be used only for the purpose of acquainting pledges with Fraternity members and not as a device for hassling pledges.

Belief that any acts are harmless or the consent or cooperation of the hazing recipient will not constitute a defense. Rationalization on how to circumvent these and other acts of hazing is not enough. Delta Sigma Piinsists on the complete and total elimination of any activity which either is or closely resembles hazing. The procedures prescribed in the Ritual and approved Pledge Education program are the only procedures considered appropriate during the entire process; thus the initiation should not be of excessive or unreasonable duration.

The chapter President in general and the Vice President-Pledge Education specifically, are in charge of the pledge education program of the chapter and the designated pledge educator is in charge of the pledge education program for a colony. Each is responsible for informing all members and pledges about the “Statement on Hazing”. However, all organizational members are responsible for reviewing this policy. Any organizational member who fails to enforce this policy or who engages in hazing or who fails to report a suspected or confirmed hazing incident is subject to Fraternity discipline. Chapters or colonies that engage in acts of hazing are subject to disciplinary action, including chapter charter revocation as provided in the Bylaws.

The International Fraternity of Delta Sigma Pi does not condone hazing and has issued this statement to protect the rights of prospective members. Any hazing violations should be reported to the Fraternity’s Central Office or any national officer of the Fraternity (District Director, Receiver, Regional Vice President, Provincial Vice President, Collegian of the Year, Vice President-Organizational Development, Vice President- Finance, Past Grand President, Grand President).

2. State Criminal and Civil Liability: All states effectively ban hazing. Although a particular state may not have a specific anti-hazing statute, the actions that constitute hazing can be prosecuted under other criminal statutes, generally under assault or reckless endangerment provisions.

Specific hazing statutes are on the books of many states. Typically, state statutes prohibit any willful action which recklessly or intentionally endangers the mental or physical health of an individual. Many statutes define specific acts which are prohibited. The statutes generally provide for a fine with possible imprisonment.

Organizational members are strongly encouraged to understand the specific hazing statutes and regulations of their state and college or university and to abide by them fully.

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