The Chatham University community, guided by the Chatham University Student Honor Code, promotes inclusiveness and respect among its members. Chatham strives to create a community where people are treated with dignity and an environment that is free of acts of hazing. Acts or instances of hazing are considered a violation of the not only the University’s Student Honor Code but also Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Anti-Hazing Law.
Definition of hazing
Under the Pennsylvania Crimes Code, hazing is defined as: A person commits the offense of hazing if the person intentionally, knowingly or recklessly, for the purpose of initiating, admitting or affiliating a minor or student into or with an organization, or for the purpose of continuing or enhancing a minor or student's membership or status in an organization, causes, coerces or forces a minor or student to do any of the following:
- Violate Federal or State criminal law.
- Consume any food, liquid, alcoholic liquid, drug or other substance which subjects the minor or student to a risk of emotional or physical harm.
- Endure brutality of a physical nature, including whipping, beating, branding, calisthenics or exposure to the elements.
- Endure brutality of a mental nature, including activity adversely affecting the mental health or dignity of the individual, sleep deprivation, exclusion from social contact or conduct that could result in extreme embarrassment.
- Endure brutality of a sexual nature.
- Endure any other activity that creates a reasonable likelihood of bodily injury to the minor or student.”
Chatham University considers hazing as any subtle, covert or overt action, occurring on or off campus, by an individual or group of students in connection to recruitment, initiation, rite of passage, or membership in a Chatham club, group, organization or athletic team that subjects any other member of the university community, voluntarily or involuntarily to activity which creates an atmosphere for potential or actual embarrassment, humiliation, degradation, verbal, emotional or physical distress, abuse or injury; or compromises the academic mission and/or reputation of Chatham University. In accordance with Act 80, the Chatham University hazing policy applies to acts conducted on or off-campus [P.L. 353, No. 80].
reporting and disciplinary procedures:
A person who commits or participates in an act or acts of hazing may be subject to University disciplinary action. Hazing incidents against a Chatham University student/group of students should be reported as soon as possible. If someone is in immediate danger, please call Chatham Public Safety at 412-365-1111 or 911.
Reports of incidents of hazing should be made to the Office of Student Affairs and can also be made in person, via phone or electronic mail to the Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students or designee.
Once a report has been received, the Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students (or designee) will collect information, investigate the incident(s) of hazing and make a determination of policy violation. In this process, the Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students may call for a meeting with members of an ad hoc committee whose experience and professional background is relevant to the investigation. When the reported instance of hazing includes violation of additional policy (i.e. Title IX) the student/group of students could be subject to further investigation and disciplinary actions. Penalties for engaging in hazing activities will be determined in accordance with the Student Honor Code.
public reporting and records retention:
In accordance with the Pennsylvania anti-hazing law, Chatham University must maintain records of all hazing allegations. Hazing reports are updated biannually and will be available on Chatham’s website. Hazing-related offenses and disciplinary records shall be maintained for five years.
Updated: March 6, 2019