The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor prohibits all forms of hazing, including solicitation to engage in hazing and aiding and abetting another person who is engaged in hazing.
The following is a summary of Chapter 37, subchapter F. (§§ 37.151-157) of the Texas Education Code, which prohibits hazing in Texas public or private high schools. Texas Education Code §51.936 applies Chapter 37’s prohibition on hazing to institutions of higher education. This summary of Chapter 37 is provided as required by § 51.936(d).
Hazing is a criminal violation under Texas law. A person commits an offense if the person engages in hazing; solicits, encourages, directs, aids, or attempts to aid another in engaging in hazing, recklessly permits hazing to occur; or 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 to the Dean of Students, campus police or other appropriate university official.
Both failing to report hazing and hazing that does not result in serious bodily injury are Class B misdemeanors. Hazing that results in serious bodily injury is a Class A misdemeanor. Hazing resulting in a death is a state jail felony.
If an 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, the organization may be fined $5,000 to $10,000 or, for incidents causing personal injury or property damage, an amount double the loss or expenses incurred because of the hazing incident. It is not a defense to prosecution that the person hazed consented to the hazing activity.
Any person voluntarily reporting a specific hazing incident to the Dean of Students or other appropriate institutional official is immune from civil and criminal liability if (1) the person reports the incident before being contacted by the University concerning the incident or otherwise being included in the University’s investigation of the incident; and (2) the Dean of Students determines that the person has cooperated in good faith throughout the University’s investigation and disciplinary processes regarding the incident. Immunity does not apply if the person is reporting his or her own act of hazing or if the report is made in bad faith or with malice.
State law does not limit or affect the university’s right to enforce its own penalties against hazing.
The Education Code defines hazing as “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:
(A) 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;
(B) 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;
(C) involves consumption of a food, liquid, alcoholic beverage, liquor, drug, or other substance, other than as described by Paragraph (E), that subjects the student to an unreasonable risk of harm or that adversely affects the mental or physical health or safety of the student;
(D) is any activity that induces, causes, or requires the student to perform a duty or task that involves a violation of the Penal Code; or
(E) involves coercing the student to consume a drug, or to consume an alcoholic beverage or liquor in an amount that would lead a reasonable person to believe that the student is intoxicated. Coercion is defined by Texas law and includes, among other things, a threat, however communicated, to expose a person to contempt or ridicule.
Some examples of activities that may meet the definition of hazing and that the university prohibits include, but may not be limited to:
- Paddling in any form, pushing, hitting, or physical threats
- Creation of excessive fatigue, or forced or coerced participation in calisthenics
- Physical or psychological shocks
- Misuse of authority by virtue of one’s class rank or leadership position
- Striking another student by hand or with any instrument
- Any form of physical bondage of a student
- Taking a student to an outlying area and dropping him/her off
- Forcing a student into a violation of the law or a university rule such as indecent exposure, trespassing, violation of visitations, etc.
- Forcing, requiring, or endorsing another student to drink alcohol or any other substance and/or providing such alcohol or other substance
- Theft of property under any circumstances
- Defacing trees, ground, or buildings
- Unapproved quests, treasure hunts, scavenger hunts, road trips, or other such activities
- Causing a person to wear, publicly, apparel that is conspicuous and not normally in good taste
- Engaging in public stunts, buffoonery, or morally degrading or humiliating games or activities
- Late work sessions
- Other activities not consistent with the rules, regulations, and policies of the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor.
To make a report of hazing, or to determine if a proposed activity constitutes hazing, contact the Office of the Dean of Students or, if the Dean of Students is not available, contact the Campus Police Department. If the hazing incident is currently occurring, it should be reported without delay. If you have immediate safety concerns, first call 911, then call the Campus Police at (254) 295-5555.
Disciplinary Procedures for Hazing
Any allegations of hazing will be investigated. If the investigation yields evidence of hazing, appropriate disciplinary action will be taken against the individual and/or organization deemed responsible for the hazing. Disciplinary action will follow the processes outlined in the Student Handbook for violations of the student rules of conduct.
Information regarding hazing in the previous three years can be found below:
- 2016-17: none
- 2017-18: none
- 2018-19: none
Page last updated December 10, 2019