Anti-Hazing Information

Connecticut Hazing Law

Title 53. Crimes
Chapter 939. Offenses Against The Person

Sec. 53-23a. Hazing.

  1. For purposes of this section:
    1. "Hazing" means any action which recklessly or intentionally endangers the health or safety of a person for the purpose of initiation, admission into or affiliation with, or as a condition for continued membership in a student organization. The term shall include, but not be limited to:
      1. Requiring indecent exposure of the body;
      2. Requiring any activity that would subject the person to extreme mental stress, such as sleep deprivation or extended isolation from social contact;
      3. Confinement of the person to unreasonably small, unventilated, unsanitary or unlighted areas;
      4. Any assault upon the person; or
      5. Requiring the ingestion of any substance or any other physical activity which could adversely affect the health or safety of the individual. The term shall not include an action sponsored by an institution of higher education which requires any athletic practice, conditioning, or competition or curricular activity.
  2. No student organization or member of a student organization shall engage in hazing any member or person pledged to be a member of the organization. The implied or express consent of the victim shall not be a defense in any action brought under this section.
  3. A student organization which violates subsection (b) of this section (1) shall be subject to a fine of not more than one thousand five hundred dollars and (2) shall forfeit for a period of not less than one year all of the rights and privileges of being an organization organized or operating at an institution of higher education.
  4. A member of a student organization who violates subsection (b) of this section shall be subject to a fine of not more than one thousand dollars.
  5. This section shall not in any manner limit or exclude prosecution or punishment for any crime or any civil remedy.

(P.A. 88-328, S. 1-5.)

New Member Rights and Responsibilities

Your Rights

The process of introducing new members to chapter membership should be conducted in a manner that respects your dignity as well as your mental and physical well-being. Acceptable activities promote scholarship and service, develop leadership and social skills, assist with career goals, involved students with alumni/ae, improve relations with others, build awareness of fraternity/sorority history, instill a sense of brotherhood/sisterhood, foster solidarity with initiated members, and promote the mission of Sacred Heart University.

State law, University policy and the policies of your inter/national fraternity/sorority all support the concept of treating potential/new/line/interest group members with care and dignity. At no time should you be made to feel awkward, embarrassed, or fearful of your safety. You have the right to refuse to participate in any questionable activity and you have the right to notify police officers, University officials, chapter officials, and chapter advisors if you are asked to participate in any inappropriate activity. The University community will not tolerate hazing.

Your Responsibilities

As a potential/new member of a University fraternity or sorority, you assume significant responsibility. Through your fraternity/sorority membership you become a member of the larger fraternal community. Social/service fraternities and sororities that have been extended the privilege of forming at the University are expected to:

  • Conduct chapter activities with pride and integrity;
  • Accept collective responsibility for the behavior of members;
  • Respect members of the campus community who are not fraternity/sorority affiliated;
  • Respect other chapters, their members and their property;
  • Create and maintain an atmosphere conducive to academic achievement;
  • Provide programs in scholarship, human relations (e.g. multicultural awareness, sexism), leadership development and other areas critical to member development;
  • Contribute to campus life by sponsoring or co-sponsoring public service and/or campus improvement projects, as well as social programs;
  • Operate residential facilities with pride and in compliance with relevant University policies as well as local, state, and federal laws and statutes;
  • Abide by all applicable policies of the University as well as all relevant local, state, and federal laws and statutes.

Statistics on Hazing

  • At present in the United States, 44 states have anti-hazing laws. Connecticut is one of the 44 states.
  • Since 1970, there has been at least one hazing-related death on a college campus each year.
  • The first recorded incident of hazing involving sexual abuse occurred in 1983. Other hazing incidents involving sexual intimidation, nudity or stimulation, have been increasing in their frequency since 1995.
  • Among high school students, close to 25 percent of students reported being hazed when joining a sports team.
  • Eighty two percent of deaths from hazing involve alcohol.

Additional information and resources can be found at:

Examples of Hazing

  • Not allowing a group of members or individuals to sleep or eat
  • Changing someone's appearance (i.e. forcing them to wear something or shaving their head)
  • Name calling, insulting, or yelling at an individual or group
  • Forcing an individual to use drugs or drink alcohol
  • Physical abuse (i.e. spanking, paddling, or swatting)
  • Forcing an individual to perform sexual acts
  • Locking an individual or group in a confined space
  • Prohibiting an individual or group from participating in any activity (i.e. going to school events, returning to their residence, or attending classes)
  • Forcing individuals to do personal errands for other members