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Hazing Information and Reports

Hazing Information and Reports

Hazing is a criminal offense under Texas law that can subject a person to fines, community service, and imprisonment of up to two (2) years. It is also a violation of University policy and members of the University community may be subject to discipline including, but not limited to, temporary or permanent separation from the University.

Who can be held responsible for hazing under Texas law?

Both a person and an organization can be held criminally responsible for hazing under Texas law. In addition, a person who knows about the planning or occurrence of hazing, but does not disclose that to the proper authorities, also may have committed a crime.

A person commits the offense of hazing if the person (1) engages in hazing, (2) solicits, encourages, directs, aids, or attempts to aid another in engaging in hazing, (3) recklessly permits hazing to occur, or (4) has firsthand knowledge of the planning of a specific hazing incident involving a student in an educational institution, or has firsthand knowledge that a specific hazing incident has occurred, and knowingly fails to report that knowledge in writing to the dean of students or other appropriate official of the institution. Tex. Educ. Code § 37.152.

An organization commits the offense of hazing if the organization condones or encourages hazing or if an officer or any combination of members, pledges, or alumni of the organization commits or assists in the commission of hazing. Tex. Educ. Code § 37.153.

What is hazing under Texas law?

Hazing 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 an organization if the act:

  • is any type of physical brutality, such as whipping, beating, striking, branding, electronic shocking, placing of a harmful substance on the body, or similar activity;
  • involves sleep deprivation, exposure to the elements, confinement in a small space, calisthenics, or other similar activity that subjects the student to an unreasonable risk of harm or that adversely affects the mental or physical health or safety of the student;
  • involves consumption of a food, liquid, alcoholic beverage, liquor, drug, or other substance, that subjects the student to an unreasonable risk of harm or that adversely affects the mental or physical health or safety of the student;
  • is any activity that induces, causes, or requires the student to perform a duty or task that involves a violation of the Texas Penal Code; or
  • involves coercing the student to consume (a) a drug; or (b) an alcoholic beverage or liquor in an amount that would lead a reasonable person to believe that the student is intoxicated. Tex. Educ. Code § 37.151(6).

What if the person consents to the hazing?

The consent of the person subject to the hazing is not a defense to criminal prosecution under Texas law. Tex. Educ. Code § 37.154.

Is there any immunity for prosecution for coming forward or assisting with the investigation or prosecution of hazing?

In some cases, immunity may be available to someone who comes forward or assists with the investigation or prosecution of hazing, even if that person was involved. Texas law states that individuals who assist in the prosecution of hazing offenses, or who come forward with information before being contacted investigators, may be able to receive immunity for their assistance. Tex. Educ. Code § 37.155.

Does the University disclose information about hazing incidents?

Yes. Disciplinary action and convictions for hazing by an organization at the University of Dallas are disclosed no later than thirty (30) days after the date on which the disciplinary process is resolved or the conviction becomes final.

Have there been hazing incidents at the University over the past three calendar years?

There have been no disciplinary actions or convictions for hazing involving any organization at the University of Dallas in 2021.

The University also maintains information regarding hazing incidents over the prior three calendar years (after September 1, 2019).

  • There were no disciplinary actions or convictions for hazing involving any organization at the University of Dallas in 2020.
  • There were no disciplinary actions or convictions for hazing involving any organization at the University of Dallas in 2019.

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