V - 1.00 Policy on Hazing

I. Purpose

Bowie State University is committed to promoting a safe learning environment where the dignity of all students is respected. Hazing is a fundamental violation of human dignity and is a risk to human life. The University considers hazing, as defined below, to be indefensible and contrary to the interests of the University community. This policy is intended to minimize risk by strictly prohibiting hazing and providing guidance on reporting and discipline when hazing occurs.

II. Policy

Hazing is strictly prohibited at Bowie State University, whether occurring on or off University premises. Hazing in any form is also against State law (See Annotated Code of Maryland, Article 27, § 268H). Hazing is a violation of the Bowie State University Student Code of Conduct. The University may take disciplinary action against all participants in hazing.

III. Definitions and Guidelines

A. Hazing is defined as conduct when engaged in for the purposes of admission, initiation or continued association with an organization or group (social, honor, service, greek, athletic, band) which subjects another person to physical harm or pain, emotional distress, humiliation, personal degradation, or harm from unreasonable requirements which interfere with a student's ability to function as a student. Any action taken or situation created intentionally to produce physical or mental discomfort, embarrassment, harassment or ridicule is considered hazing.

Examples of hazing include, but are not limited to:

  • Paddling
  • Creation of excessive fatigue
  • Requiring tattoos or brands
  • Forcing consumption of alcoholic beverages, illegal substances or food
  • Requiring any personal servitude such as running errands
  • Requiring individuals to shave all or part of their heads
  • Requiring participation in "line-ups" (lining persons up and harassing them verbally)
  • Requiring activities that involve the deprivation of food or sleep
  • Requiring late night sessions that interfere with scholastic or occupational activities
  • Requiring participation in public stunts or humiliating games
  • Requiring any physically abusive exercising 

IV. Discipline and Reporting

Allegations of hazing will be reviewed and investigated. Violations of this policy may result in suspension or expulsion from the University, as provided in the Code of Student Conduct. Organization sanctions may include revocation or denial of recognition as a student organization. Students who violate federal, state and/or local laws may also be subject to criminal charges. All members of the University community share the responsibility to report acts of apparent hazing to the Office of Student Affairs, Coordinator of Student Conduct, 301-860-3390, and/or Coordinator of Greek Life, 301-860-3835. The Coordinator of Student Conduct is responsible for ensuring adjudication of alleged violations of this policy.