Division of Campus Life

Hazing Prevention

Brown University recognizes that hazing is a threat to students’ health, safety and mental and physical well-being. The Hazing Prevention Coalition aims to acknowledge this harmful practice, provide education and prevent hazing.

What is hazing?

Brown University has a no-tolerance policy for hazing. Brown University’s Student Code of Conduct defines hazing as a “method of initiation into or conduct of any student organization or group, whether on public or private property, which willfully or recklessly endangers the physical or mental health of any student or other person…” 

Examples of hazing include, but are not limited to, any of the following:

  • compulsory alcohol or drug consumption
  • physical brutality
  • psychological cruelty
  • public humiliation
  • morally degrading activities
  • forced confinement
  • creation of excessive fatigue
  • required removal or destruction of public or private property
  • any other activity that endangers the physical, mental or academic well-being and/or safety of an individual

What is the University hazing policy?

Brown’s hazing policy outlines responsibilities, consequences for violating this policy, and related policies and procedures. It applies to all faculty, staff, students, student organizations, athletic teams, University-recognized groups, and volunteers of the University. 

Read the University Hazing Policy

What happens if there is an alleged violation?

Brown’s Office for Student Conduct and Community Standards oversees the process for filing a complaint about a violation of the University’s hazing policy. They clearly outline how members of the Brown community can file a complaint online or via phone, what happens during the preliminary review and investigative review processes, and possible disciplinary measures. 

View the Complaint Process        File a Complaint

What does Brown do to prevent hazing?

In an ongoing effort to promote social well-being and prevent instances of hazing, Brown formed the Hazing Prevention Coalition (HPC) in conjunction with Stop Hazing, an organization based at the University of Maine. From 2019-2022, Brown conducted assessments and focus groups, evaluated prevention efforts and developed an educational scaffolding. 

Brown will continue to expand prevention efforts through online courses for students and staff and a variety of new initiatives designed to reduce hazing and associated high-risk behaviors while increasing social well-being and pro-health behaviors.

History of the Hazing Prevention Coalition at Brown

Since its inception in 2019, Brown’s HPC has conducted rigorous assessments including an evaluation of current University practices, focus groups with stakeholders, a risk and protective factor analysis and a survey of social behaviors for undergraduate students. 

The HPC consists of members from across the University with the goal of reducing hazing and associated high risk behaviors while increasing social well-being and pro-health behaviors. The findings from these efforts have led to the creation of the Hazing Prevention Education Scaffold and Timeline that support our collective goal to develop sustainable plans to prevent hazing and encourage practices that establish healthy behaviors for social bonding.

Brown’s Hazing Prevention Education Scaffold is a set of specific goals, each aimed at improving a particular part of social well-being that can directly prevent hazing. Below is a graphic that illustrates those goals, and a corresponding timeline that showcases when and which steps have been implemented.

Hazing Prevention Coalition: Education Scaffolding

Educational Scaffold Tier Description of Intervention Timeline for Development and Implementation
Tier 1 Hazing policy updated to provide a consistent definition and policy across the University. Developed Spring and Summer of 2021. Implemented September 13, 2021.
Tier 1 Hazing Prevention website developed with definitions and reporting form. It was important to have this initiative at the forefront to have a centralized location for hazing information and reporting, which did not exist prior. Developed Spring 2021 and implemented May 11, 2021.
Tier 1 Additions to New Student Tutorial that include: Shared Terms, Definitions, and Examples of Hazing, Policy and How to report hazing. This content was required viewing for all incoming students and was the first time that Brown included information about hazing as a part of pre-arrival. This approach allows for a shared understanding and expectation setting. Developed and implemented in Summer 2023.
Tier 2 Annual required online education for the two primary contacts for all recognized student groups to ensure information is being passed on to groups about basic hazing terms, behaviors, and ways to safely build community without hazing. Vetted in Summer 2023. Implementation in Fall 2023.
Tier 2 Annual required online education for all student athletes. Scaffolded and strategic based on class year. The course will give student athletes a better understanding about hazing so that they can identify when it’s happening and possibly prevent incidents in the future. It will also be customized with messages from student athletes and administrators. Developed in Fall 2023. Implemented in Spring 2024.
Tier 2 Annual required online education for all Greek and program house new and returning members. This course gives students a better understanding about hazing so that they can identify when it’s happening and possibly prevent incidents in the future. Content vetted and developed Spring 2023. Implemented Fall 2023.
Tier 3 Required staff education that provides tools for engaging with students about hazing, particularly being able to identify hazing behaviors, know where to report and encourage pro-health behaviors that build connection and belonging. Developed Summer and Fall 2023. Implementation Spring 2024.
Tier 3 Annual required online education for all Residential Life Community Coordinators to recognize and respond to hazing. Developed throughout the 23-24 academic year. Implementation Fall 2024.
Tier 3 All Sophomores are required to engage in content about ethical decision making. This will be developed and implemented in collaboration with Residential Life and The Community Dialogue Program. Possible development in 24-25 and implementation in 25-26.
Tier 4 Educational opportunities for students transitioning to off campus housing. Development in summer 2023 and implementation (in phases) fall 2023
Tier 4 Students engaged in a conduct process for hazing or hazing related behaviors are required to engage in educational terms which focus on ethical decision making and community safety. Possible development in 24-25 and implementation in 25-26.

Download the infographic PDF