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What is hazing?

Prevent Zone Modules are self paced, online modules that are tailored to teach students how to recognize, prevent and report hazing. These courses can be accessed at

Campus Policies

The university’s policy with respect to hazing prohibits students from engaging collectively or individually in any of the following practices as a part of any programs or general activities. All students and RSOs must observe and fully comply with California law and university policy against hazing. In addition, all students and RSOs are expected to adhere to related regulations set forth by their respective inter/national, regional or local organizations and university department(s). Penalties for organizations and individual violations of the hazing policy, including minimum sanctions, fines, the withholding of a diploma or transcript, probation, suspension, and expulsion.  Please refer to pages 24-26 of the campus policy.

California State Laws on Hazing

California law prohibits hazing (Penal Code § 245.6). Under California law, hazing is defined as any method of initiation or preinitiation into a student organization or student body which is likely to cause serious bodily injury to any former, current, or prospective student. Those who violate the law may face criminal and civil penalties.  

Below are Frequently Asked Questions about hazing.

Hazing is not a problem exclusive to fraternities and sororities and takes place across all different types of groups. There have been incidents of hazing at universities with varsity athletic teams, sport clubs, intramural teams, religious groups, social clubs, honor societies, ROTC, student organizations, and marching bands.

Hazing is against the rules and regulations of the Student Conduct Code of the University of Southern California. Following a proven allegation of hazing, individual members and officers of the organization may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including suspension and permanent dismissal from the university. Additionally, the student organization may lose its recognition/registration or face permanent disassociation from the University.

USC places a high priority on student health and safety, the purpose of the Medical Amnesty/Good Samaritan Policy was adopted to encourage students to take immediate action in the case of an emergency.

Students may be hesitant to seek medical assistance because they fear possible disciplinary consequences for consumption of drugs or alcohol. The university aims to remove this fear by clarifying the policy to encourage students and organizations to seek assistance for themselves and others who are experiencing distress while under the influence. Those who seek medical assistance for themselves or another, by contacting a Resident Assistant, or calling Public Safety or 911, will not be held responsible for violations of the Student Conduct Code for their consumption of alcohol and/or other substances.
Refer to section 11.95 of the full Medical Amnesty/Good Samaritan Policy.

Yes, you are not required to provide your personally identifiable information when reporting an incident of hazing. You can also use the LiveSafe Mobile Safety App to utilize anonymous messaging for reporting suspicious activity, crimes in progress, or any safety concerns.

If you are unsure or would like additional support, you can schedule a private appointment with Hazing Prevention Specialist. Book appointment

When reporting hazing activity or any other violence, it is important to be as detailed as possible.  The ability of school officials to locate and adjudicate the activity often depends on the thoroughness and accuracy of the report. Include the following when making a report:

  • Describe the event(s) in as much detail as possible.
  • What is the name of the organization that you are reporting?
  • Where did the event(s) take place?
  • When did the event(s) occur?
  • What time of day did the event(s) occur?
  • Who was involved in this event?
  • Are there any other people that were present or can substantiate the info you are providing?
  • Your contact info or choose to remain anonymous.

The “choice” to participate in an activity does not make the activity in accordance with hazing policies. In hazing situations, such a “choice” is typically offset by the peer pressure and power dynamics that exist when individuals are seeking to gain membership into an organization.

Even if there’s no malicious intent, safety may still be a factor in traditional hazing activities that are considered to be “all in good fun.” For example, serious accidents have occurred during activities such as scavenger hunts, skit nights and new member abductions. Ask yourself, what purpose do these types of activities serve in promoting the growth and development of the organization’s members?

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