Test your Knowledge Interactive Quiz

 

How much do you know about hazing?
Test your knowledge about hazing laws in the State of Florida
and expectations of students at Florida State University

 

INSTRUCTIONS:  Please choose the answer you find most appropriate.  After testing your knowledge, be sure to ASK questions about any issue or concern.  What is most important to the faculty and staff at Florida State University is that you are:  (1) able to participate in campus activities free of concerns about hazing; and (2) aware of the laws, policies, and expectations regarding this important issue. 

 

True or False?


1. Students at Florida State University are minimally expected to act in accordance with State and federal laws and the University’s Student Conduct Code. 

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1. True

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All students enrolled at Florida State University are expected to act in accordance with State and federal laws and the University’s Student Conduct Code.  Hazing is illegal in Florida (misdemeanor and felony violation), against the Student Conduct Code at FSU, and against the  rules of sports teams, fraternities/sororities, and all student organizations.

[True or False]

2. It is not considered hazing in Florida if a prospective/new member willingly participates in an activity and signs a waiver of liability stating this fact.

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2. False

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The Chad Meredith Act, the State of Florida’s law on hazing, specifically states that willing participation is not an acceptable defense to hazing.  In other words, even if people agree to participate in an activity, individuals and organizations can still be found responsible for hazing.  It’s the law.

[True or False]

3. If I anonymously report that hazing is occurring, the University may not be able to take action.

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3. True

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When it comes to reporting hazing, remember this:  Reporting an incident of hazing is not about getting people in trouble – it is about keeping people safe.  If you are truly concerned about the personal health and safety of someone, we know that you would do anything to get them out of harm’s way.  Reporting a hazing activity to the Florida State University Police Department is the best way to do this.  However, reporting hazing without providing your name limits the University’s ability to stop the behavior.  Reporting a hazing incident without leaving a name or contact number is considered ‘anonymous reporting.’  Providing limited information with no contact information may not be enough to prevent hazing activities or hold individuals and organizations accountable.

[True or False]

4. The Chad Meredith Act, Florida’s hazing law, was passed by the State legislature in 2005 after a tragic incident in 2001.  The organization Chad Meredith was joining held no activities on the evening of the incident, yet the organization was found responsible for hazing and ordered to pay more than $10 million to his family.

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4. True

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The circumstances surrounding Chad Meredith’s death and hazing are: (a) Mr. Meredith was joining a social fraternity that was in good standing at the University of Miami; (b) He and several members of the organization drank alcohol, and then while still intoxicated, tried to swim across a lake near campus; (c) Mr. Meredith drowned in six feet of water; (d) The fraternity had not sponsored any official fraternity activities that evening, nor were members of the fraternity’s executive board present at the incident.  Although, the fraternity officers protested that the incident was not a fraternity-sanctioned event, a jury found otherwise, and awarded the deceased student’s family a $12.6 million verdict in a negligence suit based on hazing.

All members of student organizations need to be educated on the consequences of hazing. It should be emphasized that all members hold the future of their organization in their hands when they participate in hazing activities.

[True or False]

5. It is difficult to instill a sense of membership within a group without hazing.

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5. False

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It is not difficult to instill membership within a group without hazing.  In fact, it is the minimum expectation of all students and organizations at Florida State University that membership and affiliation will be developed without hazing.  One way to test whether or not an activity is hazing is to ask the question, “How does this activity contribute to a new member’s understanding of what it means to be a part of our organization?”  If the answer is: “to bring the new members together…” Or, “to increase their commitment to our group…” then read Florida State University’s definition of hazing to make sure that the activity doesn’t violate the policy. 

The faculty and staff at Florida State University believe that all students should be able to participate in campus activities free of concerns of hazing.   There are many ways to accomplish group commitment without engaging in hazing activities. Small businesses, large corporations, and non-profit organizations concerned about these same issues have found multiple ways to increase commitment levels and create a sense of ‘team’ without hazing. For ideas contact The LEAD Center, the Student Activities Center, Athletics, and/or the Dean of Students department. 

[True or False]

6. It can not be considered hazing if an organization’s leaders are not informed about, or involved in, a hazing activity that a small group of members organize.

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6. False

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Organizations can be held accountable for hazing even if the leaders of the group are not informed or involved in the activity.  This was true in Chad Meredith’s case, and his organization was ordered to pay $12.6 million to his family.  That is why it is essential that EVERY student in your organization understand that they hold the future of the group in their hands – even when they act alone.  We strongly recommend that every group discuss Florida’s laws and Florida State University’s policies about hazing openly and often.

[True or False]

Multiple Choice


7. According to State law and University policy, which of the following would not be considered hazing?

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7. B

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Organizations that are accepting new members may ask the new members to learn the history of the organization and present this information to other members of the organization (including alumni members).  But, the process of learning and sharing the information can not demean, disgrace, degrade, or cause discomfort to the new members.  Also, it may not occur at times that would interrupt normal patterns of sleep.

a. an organization plans activities for new members between 12:00 am – 3:00 am

b. an organization requires new members to learn the history and values of the organization, interview alumni of the group, and then conduct a public presentation demonstrating their knowledge

c. an organization requires new members to perform a skit or dance in public

d. none of the above

e. all of the above

8. What can happen at Florida State University if an allegation of hazing is made?

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8. E

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All of the above choices are correct. If an allegation of hazing can be substantiated, (a) members of the Florida State University Police Department will contact students to investigate the incident; (b) The State Attorney’s office may file criminal charges under the Chad Meredith Act, and the University ma pursue judicial charges against individuals and/or the organization.   The University treats hazing allegations very seriously and will take the actions necessary to stop hazing and hold individuals and organizations accountable for their actions.

a.a police officer may contact students to investigate the incident

b. a criminal charge may be filed by the Office of the State Attorney

c. the university judicial process may be initiated by the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities

d. none of the above

e. all of the above

9. In the State of Florida, when an activity furthers a legal and legitimate objective it is not considered hazing.  Which of the following would not be considered hazing?

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9. D

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Since physical conditioning is a required component of participation in ROTC or any athletic team, it is not considered hazing when completed at reasonable hours of the day, supervised by a staff member, and in accordance with the normal functioning of the organization.  However, asking new members to complete unnecessary tasks for certain members of the organization could be considered hazing.

a. being told to run three miles as part of ROTC

b. being told to do 100 pushups by a coach in Athletics

c. being told to clean an item or room by a leader in your group

d. A and B

e. all of the above

10. Our Student Conduct Code identifies the four ‘d’s of hazing as activities that:

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10. A

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The 4 D’s are part of the Student Code of Conduct’s explanation on how to identify activities that qualify as hazing.  The specific language of the Student Conduct Code is, “Any group or individual action or activity that inflicts or intends to inflict physical or mental harm or discomfort or which may demean, disgrace, or degrade any person, regardless of location, intent, ort consent of participant(s).”

a. cause discomfort, demeans, disgraces, degrades

b. demeans, damages, degrades, debases

c. cause discomfort, decays, damages, degrades

d. devastates, demeans, demolishes, debases

11. In which of the following venues can hazing occur?

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11. F

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Hazing can occur in any type of organization with any type of structure. Members of all organizations must be informed about the University’s Student Code of Conduct and the state and federal laws regarding hazing.  

a. the military

b. athletic teams and sport clubs

c. student organization

d. marching band

e. b and c

f. all of the above

12. Which of the following is an acceptable defense against a charge of hazing?

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12. D

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There is no acceptable defense against hazing.

a. the consent of the victim had been obtained

b. the activity was not a part of an official organizational event

c. the activity was not done as a condition of membership

d. none of the above

e. all of the above

13. If someone is found responsible for hazing in a court of law, what is a possible criminal offense?

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13. D

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The Chad Meredith Act of 2005 is the state of Florida’s anti-hazing law which clarified the criminal code in the State, making it easier to hold individuals accountable for hazing.  Depending on the severity of the incident, people charged with hazing can be tried for a first degree misdemeanor or a third degree felony.

a. hazing is not a criminal offense

b. first degree misdemeanor

c. third degree felony

d. both b and c

14. Possible outcomes or sanctions of the University’s judicial process for hazing are:

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14. E

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The Student Judicial process is completed on a case by case basis; therefore it is difficult to say what sanction an individual would receive if found in violation of the Hazing policy.   One thing is certain, regardless of responsibility the Student Judicial process will try to help charged students and organizations better understand the decisions that he/she made, ways to deter this behavior in the future, and the greater context about how consequences for hazing have been elevated in Florida since passage of the Chad Meredith Act.

a. a reprimand

b. disciplinary probation (i.e., a defined period of time during which any subsequent violation of the Student Conduct Code will result in serious consideration given to suspension, dismissal, or expulsion).

c. suspension (i.e., separation from the University for a specified period, not to exceed two years)

d. none of the above

e. all of the above

15. Florida law specifically states that an act of hazing will be considered a first degree misdemeanor if:

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15. B

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Hazing that causes a substantial risk of physical injury or death can be tried in a court of law as a first degree misdemeanor.

a. the conduct subjected an individual to extreme mental stress and/or embarrassment

b. the conduct created a substantial risk of bodily injury or death

c. the conduct adversely affected the mental health or dignity of an individual

d. the conduct involved pressure or coercion to violate state or federal laws

16. Florida law specifically states that an act of hazing will be considered a third degree felony if:

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16. C

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Hazing that causes serious bodily injury or death will be considered a third degree felony.  Remember, if the risk for these conditions are present, the hazing activity will be considered a first degree misdemeanor under the law.

a. the conduct subjected an individual to physical brutality such as whipping, beating, or branding

b. the conduct involved forced consumption of liquor, drugs, or other substances

c. the conduct resulted in serious bodily injury or death

d. the conduct subjected an individual to extreme physical conditions such as exposure to the elements and forced calisthenics that would adversely affect the physical health or safety of an individual

17. According to the Student Conduct Code, victims of hazing are afforded specific rights in the University’s judicial process.  These are:

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17. E

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A victim of hazing can submit a “victim impact statement” to assist with the sanctioning phase of deliberations once an individual or organization has been found in violation of the Student Conduct Code.  This statement will help the hearing body understand the victim’s experience so that an appropriate sanction can be identified.  During the judicial hearing, victims are provided the opportunity to submit questions to the hearing body for them to ask the charged student or student organization.  Though, the questions will be asked at the discretion of the hearing body to insure their appropriateness for the setting.  After the hearing, victims are notified of the outcome or finding of the hearing body.  For more information about a victim’s rights, please visit contact the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities.

a. a victim can submit a ‘victim impact statement’ to the hearing body for consideration in the sanctioning phase

b. a victim can submit questions to the hearing body for them to ask the charged student or student organization.  (Questions will be asked at the discretion of the hearing body)

c. a victim will be notified of the outcome or finding of the hearing body

d. none of the above

e. all of the above

18. If I am concerned that I, or someone I care about, is being hazed by an organization I should contact:

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18. D

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While advisors, coaches, and the Dean of Students department are all important people to inform about hazing, the most important point of contact is the Florida State University Police Department (644-1234).  Hazing can be reported directly to the police department on-line by sending an e-mail correspondence to:  reporthazing@fsu.edu.

a. my organization advisor and/or coach

b. the Dean of Students Department (644-2428)

c. the Florida State University Police Department (644-1234)

d. any and/or all of the above

 

Click here to download the test and answer key to share with others.

This exercise was prepared for you by the Hazing Education Initiative sponsored by the Division of Student Affairs.  Questions about the content of this exercise should be sent to Dr. Adam Goldstein, Associate Dean of Students, (850) 644-2428, agoldstein@admin.fsu.edu.
Summer, 2006