Hazing will not be tolerated at the University and is prohibited in any form both on-campus and off-campus.

North Carolina State Law on Hazing (N.C.G.S.§ 14-35): It is unlawful for any student in attendance at any university, college, or school in this State to engage in hazing, or to aid or abet any other student in the commission of this offense. For the purposes of this section hazing is defined as follows: “to subject another student to physical injury as part of an initiation, or as a prerequisite to membership, into any organized school group, including any society, athletic team, fraternity or sorority, or other similar group.” Any violation of this section shall constitute a Class 2 misdemeanor.

What ECU Considers Hazing

In addition to North Carolina state law on hazing, below are some examples of behaviors that the University considers to be acts of hazing. This is not an exhaustive list and does not represent every action that could be considered hazing:

  • Acting in a manner that would subject another student to physical injury or mental or emotional harm as part of an initiation, or as a criterion of membership, into any organized University group, including any society, military groups, athletic team, fraternity or sorority, or other similar group. Planning or preparing to engage in hazing activity is also a violation of the Code. The expressed or implied consent of participants will not prevent disciplinary action.
  • An environment that creates unnecessary fatigue, including but not limited to acts that stem from forced physical activity, such as calisthenics, and deprivation of sleep
  • Forced consumption of any solids or liquids, including drugs
  • Deprivation of food
  • Any activity that would be viewed by a reasonable person as subjecting any person to embarrassment, degradation, or humiliation. This may include forced or coerced wearing of apparel or caring items which are conspicuous § Physical assault (e.g. paddling, beating, hitting or whipping)
  • Verbal and Emotional abuse (e.g. line-ups, excessive yelling and berating)
  • Personal servitude
  • Kidnapping or abandonment
  • Unreasonable exposure to weather, temperature, and/or environmental conditions
  • Forced or coerced completion of an individual or group task that a reasonable person would find unreasonable
  • Forced or coerced participation in activities that are unlawful, lewd, or in violation of University policy such as underage drinking, drug usage, or destruction of property
  • Forced or coerced exclusion from social contact, parental contact, medical or psychological care
  • Involuntary or coerced Branding
  • Unreasonable interference with a student’s academic performance, such as the behaviors listed above

Nothing in this provision is intended to prohibit (1) customary public athletic events, contests or competitions that are sponsored by the University, or the organized and supervised practices associated with such customary events; (2) activities and conduct that furthers the goals of a military training program; (3) a legitimate educational curriculum; or (4) extracurricular activity defined and approved by the University.

Additional information regarding hazing and the student organization conduct process can be found in the Student Organization Conduct Handbook.

Warning Signs of Hazing may include:

  • The pattern of communication with your student changes drastically.
  • Your student seems to close off or become isolated with the group he or she is trying to join
  • Sometimes, someone who is adjusting too quickly to college and seems to have no transition issues can be an issue. Acquiring instant friends can be a result of an organization that is controlling your student
  • Look for changes in sleeping or eating habits or changes in mood. People being hazed tend to be more angry and irritable.
  • Being hazed is very time consuming so another indicator is a drop in academic performance.
  • In more serious cases of hazing, look for physical ailments and poor explanations of how those injuries occurred. (Lipkins, Susan. Preventing Hazing; Jossey Bass; 2006)

When talking with your student about hazing ask about the following things:

  • Are you currently in the process of joining an organization? If so, which one?
  • What kinds of activities do they ask you to do?
  • How much time do you spend doing these activities and at what times of the day?
  • Are you being forced to do anything unreasonable?
  • Is alcohol involved in any of these activities?
  • How does the group have you learn more about their organization/team?

What do you do if you Suspect Hazing?

REPORT: When reporting hazing, please provide as much detailed information as possible. While you can report hazing anonymously, such complaints may result in formal action if the complaint contains sufficient information to independently establish a violation of the code. Allegations may also be addressed with education and through referrals to on and off campus resources, as appropriate.

ENCOURAGE REPORTING: Talk to your student about reporting options.


If there is an immediate concern for your student’s safety, please contact ECU Police immediately.