We all have a responsibility to help stop hazing.

Information For Parents & Family

Studies show that parents, families, and friends are often the first group that students share their hazing experiences with. Being knowledgeable about what hazing is, why hazing is a serious issue, and how to report hazing is extremely important. We all have a responsibility to help stop hazing.

TALK TO YOUR STUDENT

At Sewanee, we believe all students should be treated with dignity and respect. It’s on all of us to help prevent hazing. Victims of hazing are less likely to speak with university faculty or staff about hazing. If your student discloses a hazing experience, or you suspect hazing has occurred, we urge you to have a conversation with your student and act by reporting your concerns. You might start a conversation by asking your student about his/her experience, i.e., explain the things the group is requiring of him/her. If they don’t or simply won’t answer your questions about new member activities, that should be a red flag. Do everything in your power to encourage your student to do what’s best for their well-being and academic success. In some cases, your student might want to leave the organization/team quietly. In other cases, he/she might want to report it. In either case, your support and encouragement will be critical.

REPORTing HAZING

IT IS NOT ABOUT GETTING STUDENTS OR THEIR FRIENDS IN TROUBLE.  IT IS ABOUT KEEPING STUDENTS AND THE PEOPLE THEY CARE ABOUT SAFE.  

WHY CONFRONT HAZING?

Activities tend to evolve and worsen each year and what might have begun as a silly tradition a few years ago can grow into a truly dangerous event resulting in injury today. Simply put, hazing’s potential for harm - both physical and psychological - is tremendous. There are other positive ways for organizations and teams to build loyalty and a sense of belonging. Your courage and action today will help promote strong campus organizations and positive experiences for all students.

POSSIBLE WARNING SIGNS OF HAZING
  • Sudden change in behavior or attitude after joining an organization/team
  • Sudden decrease in communication with friends and family

  • Not allowed to have phone during certain times

  • Only associating with certain people

  • Required carrying of certain items

  • Required to keep secrets or not disclose information when asked

  • Wanting to leave the organization/team with no real explanation

  • Describes activities that would meet the definition of hazing but refer to them as "traditions" or "initiations"

  • Chronic fatigue

  • Required attendance at late night meetings/activities, resulting in sleep deprivation

  • Required to “greet” other members in a specific manner when seen on campus

  • Inappropriate or unusual dress

  • Increased impact on finances

  • Increased levels of stress and anxiety

  • Loss of voice due to having to yell

  • Performance of special tasks for others

  • Not being able to sit down or soreness from paddling or other physical punishment

  • Feel a sense of loyalty to the group and avoid sharing their concerns or fears with anyone for fear the group might get in trouble

  • Discussion of wanting to leave the organization/team but is scared or feels there is no way out

*Adapted from The University of Southern California, Louisiana State University, and Team USA

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES FOR PARENTS AND FAMILIES