Administrative Policies

AD98 Anti-Hazing Policy

Policy Status: 


Subject Matter Expert: 

Danny Shaha, 814-863-4926,

Policy Steward: 

Senior Vice President and Chief of Staff



To establish The Pennsylvania State University’s (“University”) Anti-Hazing Policy; identify how the University will enforce this Policy; and identify resources for reporting violations of this Policy.


This Policy applies to the following:

  • Students of the University.
  • Minors participating in University-sponsored youth programs.
  • Any organization operating under the sanction of or recognized as an organization by the University, including, but not limited to, the following:
    • Recognized Student Organizations (RSO) of The Pennsylvania State University.
    • Affiliate RSOs of the University.
    • Any sports team recognized or sponsored by the University.
    • Band, choral or other groups affiliated with a College or Campus, whether or not separately recognized as a Student Organization. University operated youth programs, activities and services and youth service organizations.
    • Any other organization, planning team, committee, or group affiliated with University departments, offices, or Colleges.
  • Other persons associated with a University sanctioned or recognized organization, including, but not limited to, the following:
    • Members or participants in the organization
    • Advisors (including faculty or staff of the University who serve in this capacity)
    • Alumni of the organization or the University
    • University faculty, staff, and volunteers (including coaches)
    • Booster Clubs
    • Representatives of external organizations having an association with or interest in University sanctioned or recognized organizations or activities (e.g., national fraternity or sorority, USA Fencing club, third party youth programming)

This Policy applies to any acts of hazing occurring on or off campus.


Hazing: when a person intentionally, knowingly or recklessly, for the purpose of initiating, admitting or affiliating a minor or student into or with an organization, or for the purpose of continuing or enhancing a minor or student’s membership or status in an organization, causes, coerces or forces a minor or student to do any of the following: 

  1. Violate Federal, State, or Municipal law or University policy or procedure;
  2. Consume any food, liquid, alcoholic liquid, drug or other substance which subjects the minor or student to a risk of emotional or physical harm;
  3. Endure brutality of a physical nature, including whipping, beating, branding, calisthenics or exposure to the elements;
  4. Endure brutality of a mental nature, including activity adversely affecting the mental health or dignity of the individual, sleep deprivation, exclusion from social contact or conduct that could result in extreme embarrassment;
  5. Endure brutality of a sexual nature;
  6. Endure any other activity that creates a reasonable likelihood of bodily injury to the minor or student.

Hazing shall NOT include reasonable and customary athletic, law enforcement or military training, contests, competitions or events.

Aggravated Hazing: when a person commits a violation of hazing that results in serious bodily injury or death to the minor or student; and

  1. the person acts with reckless indifference to the health and safety of the minor or students; or
  2. the person causes, coerces or forces the consumption of an alcoholic liquid or drug by the minor or student.

Organizational Hazing: when an organization intentionally, knowingly or recklessly promotes or facilitates a violation of hazing or aggravated Hazing.

Minor: Regardless of student status, a minor is any person under the age of eighteen (18).

Students: for purposes of this Policy only, an individual who attends or has applied to attend or has been admitted to the University.


The Pennsylvania State University does not tolerate hazing.  Hazing is prohibited for any University recognized or sanctioned organization, student, or other person associated with an organization operating under the sanction of or recognized by the University. Organizations or individuals found responsible for hazing under this Policy, whether occurring on or off campus, may be subject to disciplinary action by the University, and may also face criminal charges under state law, including The Timothy J. Piazza Antihazing Law, 18. Pa. C.S. § 2801, et seq.

For the purposes of this Policy, it shall not be a defense that the consent of the minor or student was sought or obtained or that the conduct was sanctioned or approved by the organization.


The University strongly encourages all members of the University community who believe they have witnessed, experienced, or are aware of conduct that constitutes hazing to report the conduct to the Office of Ethics and Compliance, the Office of Student Conduct, Human Resources, and/or the appropriate police agency. Anonymous reports may also be submitted. This Policy and reports made pursuant to this Policy do not supersede or replace other reporting obligations mandated by law or University policy (e.g., University Policy AD 72, Reporting Suspected Child Abuse and University Policy AD 85, Sexual and/or Gender-Based harassment and Misconduct).

For any hazing related concerns:

The Office of Ethics and Compliance

Rider Building

227 West Beaver Avenue, Suite 212

State College, PA 16801

Hotline: 1-800-560-1637,

Phone: 814-867-5088




For concerns related to students and/or student organizations:

The Office of Student Conduct

120 Boucke Building

State College, PA 16802

Phone: 814-863-0342

Online report:



Reports may also be submitted to the Director of Student Affairs (or equivalent) at each Commonwealth Campus.


For concerns related to employees:

PSU Human Resources- Labor and Employee Relations

331 Building, 2nd Floor

University Park, PA 16802

Phone: 814-867-0041    


Reported allegations of hazing will be investigated by the University, or other appropriate investigating agencies, and, if violations are found, individuals and organizations will be held accountable by the relevant University entity that has authority over the individual (e.g., Student Conduct or University /Unit Leadership).

Violations may result in disciplinary actions for individuals or organizations, which can include, but are not limited to, written warnings, probation, fines, loss of privileges, loss of recognition, mandatory training or education, loss of salary increase, administrative leave, suspension, expulsion, revocation of tenure, discontinued participation in youth programming allegations have been satisfactorily resolved and/or termination of employment. Such penalties shall be in addition to any other penalties imposed for violating state criminal law or any other University rule or policy.


The University will maintain a report of all violations of this Policy, or of Federal or State laws related to hazing that are reported to the University for the five (5) previous consecutive years.  The University will update the report biannually on January 1st and August 1st and will publish the report on the Office of Ethics and Compliance website.


Other Policies in this manual should also be referenced, especially the following:

AC70 - Dismissal Procedure for Tenured and Tenure-Eligible Faculty Members

AD39 - Minors Involved in University-Sponsored Programs or Programs Held at the University and/or Housed in University Facilities 

AD67 - Disclosure of Wrongful Conduct and Protection From Retaliation

AD72 - Reporting Suspected Child Abuse

AD85 - Sexual And/or Gender-Based Harassment and Misconduct (Including Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault, Dating Violence, Domestic Violence, Stalking, and Related Inappropriate Conduct)

AD88 - Code of Responsible Conduct

AD91 - Discrimination and Harassment and Related Inappropriate Conduct

HR78 - Staff Employee Failure to Meet Acceptable Standards of Performance


Revision History (and effective dates):

  • May 31, 2019 - New policy.

Date Approved: 

May 31, 2019

Date Published: 

May 31, 2019

Effective Date: 

May 31, 2019