Introduction

Delaware Valley University is committed to creating and fostering a safe and healthy campus community built on the core values and hazing is a serious violation against these values. Respect all people, live each day with purpose, and act as one learning community with one purpose are values which guides Hazing Prevention at Delaware Valley University. We believe students should not be demeaned or exposed to harm when pursuing involvement in campus life. Joining a university organization and/or team is a serious commitment reflecting the core values and as such hazing is not tolerated nor should be part of any campus group’s educational process and membership.

Definitions

Hazing is a serious violation under the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and Delaware Valley University has adopted a similar stance based on commonwealth law. Both the Commonwealth and Delaware Valley University have defined hazing as

  1. Pennsylvania Hazing Law (Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Act 175 of 1986)
    • Any action or situation which recklessly or intentionally endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a student or which willfully destroys or removes public or private property for the purpose of initiation or admission into or affiliation with, or as a condition for continued membership in, any organization operating under the sanction of or recognized as an organization by an institution of higher education.
    • The term shall include, but not be limited to, any brutality of a physical nature, such as whipping, beating, branding, forced calisthenics, exposure to the elements, forced consumption of any food, liquor, drug or other substance, or any other forced physical activity which could adversely affect the physical health and safety of the individual, and shall include any activity which would subject the individual to extreme mental stress, such as sleep deprivation, forced exclusion from social contact, forced conduct which could result in extreme embarrassment, or any other forced activity which could adversely affect the mental health or dignity of the individual, or any willful destruction or removal of public or private property.
    • For purposes of this definition, any activity as described in this definition upon which the initiation or admission into or affiliation with or continued membership in an organization is directly or indirectly conditioned shall be presumed to be "forced" activity, the willingness of an individual to participate in such activity notwithstanding.
    • Any person who causes or participates in hazing commits a misdemeanor of the third degree.
  2. In addendum to Pennsylvania, Delaware Valley University definition of hazing
    • Hazing is any action taken or situation created involving and/or returning members as part of joining, maintaining membership, or holding a leadership position, regardless of the individual’s willingness to participate, that
      • Violates federal, state, local, and campus
      • Humiliates, degrades and individual or groups
      • Intentionally or unintentionally endangers an individual (mentally,. Physically, emotionally)
    • Organizational definitions
      • Members of the ‘University Community’ refers to its faculty, staff, students, volunteers, coaches, organizations, groups, teams, alumni, and individuals who can be presumed to be connected to the University.
      • An ‘organization’ is defined as persons enrolled as students at the University who are associated with each other and have completed the process of being a recognized student club or organization with the Office of Student Involvement and the respective student governing council.
      • A "group" is defined as persons who are associated with the University and each other, but are not a recognized organization or are not required to register as a organization including, but not limited to varsity athletic teams, administrative units, academic departments, musical or theatre groups through a department, residence halls, student paraprofessional staff, intramural teams, etc.

Hazing Prevention Policy

Hazing in any form is prohibited. This policy applies to all students of the university community. This policy applies to all behaviors on or off Delaware Valley University property. Implied or expressed consent of a university community member to hazing is not a defense under the policy.

  1. Activities or situations that violate the policy shall include but are not limited to the following:
    • Forced consumption and/or excessive use of alcohol, food or drugs.
    • Paddling, beating or physical abuse of any kind
    • Sleep or Food deprivation
    • Physical or psychological harm
    • Personal servitude
    • Withholding of privileges granted to other members
    • Forced confinement, abandonment and kidnapping
    • Degrading or humiliating activities or games
    • Unreasonable exposure to weather and unsafe environments
    • Any activity that interferes with academic pursuits
    • Activities that are inconsistent with university policy and/or local, state and federal law
    • Any form of sexual misconduct as stated in university policy
  2. False accusations of hazing are prohibited and may result in loss of university privileges.
  3. Retaliation against any university community member(s) who reports hazing is prohibited and may result in loss of university privileges.
  4. Responsibility for a violation may be attributed to an organization, its members and officers.
  5. Prevention and enforcement of the policy is a responsibility of the university, its organizations, its members and officers.
  6. Any proof that an organization or member had knowledge of a violation and did not discourage or notify university officials will bear responsibility for the violations.
  7. In addition to the university policy, the following applies:
    • Student athletes and teams shall follow policy and guidelines set forth by the governing sports organization
    • Fraternal organizations shall follow policy and guidelines set forth by their respective chartering organization and umbrella councils
    • All groups and organizations shall follow policy and guidelines set forth by the Office of Student Involvement and any respective governing body

Requirements for Registered Student Organizations

  1. All elected/appointed student clubs and organizations presidents shall acknowledge and sign off that they have received the hazing prevention policy, in order for their organization to be a recognized student organization. In doing so, they agree, both personally and on behalf of the club or organization, that they will comply with the Hazing Prevention Policy.
  2. All elected/appointed presidents shall educate their membership on a minimum annual basis regarding the applicable polices regarding hazing.

RIGHTS OF THOSE WHO REPORT HAZING

All those who reports hazing incidents have the right to report confidentially. In the case of someone who reports anonymously, they waive their rights. Those who reports confidentially, maintain the rights below. As defined as:

  1. Confidential Reporting: When reporting alleged or potential hazing activities, a person may request that his or her name be kept confidential. The identity of the reporter will be included on reports and utilized for follow-up from staff.
  2. Individuals who have been victims of hazing and truthfully report the activities to the appropriate officials at Delaware Valley University may not be individually charged in violation of this regulation.
  3. Individuals who have knowledge of a hazing incident they did not participate in, and truthfully report it to the appropriate officials at Delaware Valley University, will not be charged in that particular hazing incident.
  4. Any group or organization seeking assistance with preventing hazing from occurring in future membership, even if that group or organization has participated in hazing behaviors in the past and discusses what formerly occurred, may not be charged in violation of hazing from these previous incidents with consideration due to the fact the group or organization is providing a good faith effort in eliminating hazing from any future membership process.
  5. Groups or organizations that self-report hazing as the first report of the hazing incident will be given the opportunity to change those behaviors without immediate threat of the group or organization being charged in violation of the hazing regulation.
  6. Any group or organization that does self-report hazing behavior to the appropriate authorities at Delaware Valley University must identify the individuals responsible for the hazing behaviors. Any individuals who are found to be responsible of hazing behaviors will still be subject to disciplinary actions appropriate to the behavior.
  7. Hazing incidents are a violation of Pennsylvania state law, and as such, any hazing incidents that are reported to the appropriate officials at Delaware Valley University may be reported to outside law enforcement.

RIGHTS OF THOSE ACCUSED OF A HAZING VIOLATION

Rights of the complainants and respondents:

  1. Fundamental fairness: in any student conduct resolution process, students are Entitled to be treated with fundamental fairness which may be characterized by:
    • The right to appropriate notice of concerns about specific behavior
    • The opportunity to be assisted by an advisor
    • The opportunity to respond to the concern
    • The opportunity to appeal the initial hearing outcome if grounds for appeal are met
  2. Rights specific to accused violators of the hazing prevention policy. The individual, group or organization that are accused of Hazing retain specific rights, namely:
    • The individual or group or organization accused of violating the hazing incident must be properly notified of the incident they are being accused of including a date and time of a hearing or information about an investigation that will occur.
    • Prior to the hearing, the accused will be informed of the information that will be presented against them in the hearing and the accused will be given adequate time to prepare for the hearing.
    • The individual or group accused of a hazing incident may choose to seek out legal advice, but a lawyer may not accompany the individual or group to the hearing.
    • A hearing panel that is fair, trained for the task at hand, and that has no prior relationship with either party or the facts at hand that would render them impartial
    • The accused individual or group will not be held responsible for their actions or behaviors until after a hearing is held, all information is presented and a decision has been made by the panel. Delaware Valley University reserves the right to suspend participation by an individual in a group or organization or suspend an entire group or organization during the time the incident is being investigated. After a decision is reached, if the individual or group or organization is found to be innocent, the suspension will be lifted.
    • The opportunity to ask questions of the complainant/respondent and any witnesses via the panel
    • The opportunity to present information in support of or response to the allegations prior to the panel’s deliberation
    • The opportunity to participate in the hearing in person and to be present throughout its entirety (with the exception of panel deliberation)
    • The right to request participation in the hearing by suitable means that would not require physical proximity to the respondent, to be reviewed in advance to ensure that said method in no way disadvantages the respondent’s right to a fair review.
    • The right to not have their academics interrupted during the investigation process.
    • Notice, in writing of the outcome of the hearing and any appeals
    • The right to appeal the outcome should grounds for appeal be met

CONDUCT PROCEDURES

  1. Violation of this policy may result in corrective action outlined in the Student Code of Conduct. Determination of responsibility shall be performed through the conduct proceedings outlined in the Student Code of Conduct.
  2. Alumni or visitors involved in alleged violations of this policy may be issued a persona non grata, or ban from campus, as outlined in the Student Code of Conduct as well as be reported to Public Safety.
  3. Violations of this policy are subject to referral to appropriate University offices, regional and national affiliated offices, as well as local law enforcement entities.
  4. A student or student organization may be subject to interim suspension as outlined in the Student Code of Conduct.
  5. Violation of this policy by a registered Delaware Valley University student will result in appropriate sanctioning outlined in the Student Code of Conduct. Determination of responsibility shall be performed through the conduct proceedings outlined in the Student Code of Conduct.
  6. Students continuing to act in the name of a suspended or expelled student organization may be in violation of an existing sanction under this policy and, as such, could be subject to charges under the Student Code of Conduct.

HAZING PREVENTION RESOURCES AND ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Authority for the investigation and enforcement of this policy is vested with the Office of Student Affairs.

A person/organization desiring to report an incident of hazing can seek advisement from a staff member of one of the following appropriate University Offices:

  • Public Safety — 215.489.2315
  • Student Affairs — 215.489.2215

When reporting an alleged or potential act of hazing, please include as much information as possible about the incident(s), including the following:

  • Date and location
  • Description of activities
  • Organization involved
  • Name of and description of students involved
  1. Confidential Reporting — When reporting alleged or potential hazing activities, a person may request that his or her name be kept confidential. The identity of the reporter will be included on reports and utilized for follow-up from staff.
  2. Complaints or reports of activities believed to be hazing will be directed to the Division of Student Affairs.
  3. Questions or concerns about this policy should be directed to the Division of Student Affairs.
  4. Certain resources on and off campus are available- providing support, advice and options. These resources are:
    • Counseling Services (on-campus) in Elson Hall
      Phone number: 215.489.2317
      After 4:30 p.m. weekdays and weekends call Public Safety 215.489.2315
    • Anti-Hazing Hotline- 1-888-Not-Haze