Texas State Law on Hazing
The Texas Legislature originally enacted an anti-hazing law at the conclusion of the 1987. This law makes it illegal for any individual in a high school or institution of higher education in Texas to engage in hazing another; to solicit, encourage, or aid another in hazing, to submit to hazing, or to recklessly permit hazing to occur or be aware of hazing without reporting it to appropriate university officials. Individuals convicted of hazing are subject to fines up to $10,000 and jail terms up to two years. Organizations convicted of hazing are subject to a minimum fine of $5,000 up to considerably larger amounts depending upon the injury, damage, or loss sustained due to the hazing.
The law is comprehensive in content, and the sanctions are designed to be serious enough to both deter and punish hazing in hopes of putting an end to the last vestiges of hazing. Alumni members are also covered by the law if those individuals engage in hazing. Organizations are defined as a fraternity, sorority, association, corporation, order, society, corps, or student government, a band or musical group or an academic, athletic, cheerleading, or dance team, including any group or team that participates in National Collegiate Athletic Association competition, or a service, social, or similar group, whose members are primarily students at an educational institution. Thus, all student organizations at TCU are covered by the Texas statute.
The statute covers hazing incidents both on and off university property. Consent to be hazed is not a defense to the prosecution of any offense under the statute. Individuals who have firsthand knowledge of hazing, including those individuals being hazed, are required by law to report that knowledge to appropriate university officials.
Hazing under the statute means any intentional, knowing, or reckless act occurring on or off the campus of an educational institution, by one person alone or acting with others, directed against a student for the purpose of pledging, being initiated into, affiliating with, holding office in, or maintaining membership in any organization whose members are primarily students at an educational institution. The term hazing under the statue includes, but is not limited to, offenses that subject the student to any type of physical brutality, an unreasonable risk or harm or that adversely affects the mental or physical health or safety of the student, coercion to commit a crime or consume drugs or alcohol, or a combination. For more information on the Texas hazing law, see the Texas Education Code Sections 37.151 through 37.154.
Students who are hazed often suffer physical, mental, or emotional difficulties. Organizations and individuals at TCU are reminded that the University bans hazing in its Code of Student Conduct (see section 3.2.2) and takes appropriate disciplinary action against groups or individuals found to have violated the Code of Student Conduct.
The University defines hazing as an intentional, knowing, or reckless act occurring on or off-campus, by one person alone or acting with others, directed against a student for the purpose of pledging, being initiated into, affiliating with, holding office in, developing group cohesion, training, or maintaining membership in any organization whose members are, or include, students at TCU. A person commits an offense if they engage in hazing; solicit, encourage, direct, aid, or attempt to aid another engaging in hazing; intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly permit hazing to occur; have first-hand knowledge of the planning of a specific hazing event or have firsthand knowledge that a specific hazing event has occurred and knowingly fail to report that knowledge to appropriate University officials. Acquiescence or consent by the student against whom the hazing was directed is not a defense for this prohibited conduct
Any student who has been hazed or thinks they are going to be hazed should report such actions to:
- Dean of Students Office at 817-257-7926
- Fraternity and Sorority Life Office at 817-257-7281
- Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs at 817-257-7820
- The Hazing Hotline at 817-257-HAZE
- TCU Police at 817-257-7777