Information for Parents and Families


Dear Family of FSU Students,

If you are reading this, you probably want to learn more about what hazing is and the resources our campus offers. This website is designed to help you learn more about hazing while providing useful resources for you and your student. On this site you will find examples of hazing, campus and local resources, FSU policies, and what to do if you think someone is being hazed.

The faculty and staff at FSU are concerned about each student's well–being and experience. We believe that all students should be able to participate in campus activities free of concerns from hazing, and that all students should be aware of the state and federal laws and university policies and expectations regarding this important issue.

In the state of Florida, hazing is illegal. The Florida law specifically states that an act of hazing will be considered a first degree misdemeanor if any conduct creates a substantial risk of bodily injury or death. An act of hazing will be considered a third degree felony if the conduct results in serious bodily injury or death. These laws are based on the Chad Meredith Act of 2005.

The Chad Meredith Act

Hazing Law

We encourage you to report your concerns about hazing to the Florida State University Police Department. We encourage anyone who believes hazing has occurred, is occurring, or will occur to contact the FSU Police Department immediately at 850–644–1234. The Police are skilled at investigating the issues and developing a clear picture of the situation while helping to maintain community standards. In addition, you might be inclined to offer an anonymous complaint to report an alleged hazing incident but often little is able to be uncovered when parents or family members are unable to offer the police their names for follow–up conversations. It is imperative that we partner together with your son or daughter to ensure our community does not support or further hazing activities.

If you are concerned that some form of hazing is occurring in your student's life, there are many different steps you can take. You can have a conversation with your student, you can use the resources on this site to learn more, you can share the resources with your student, and you can inform the FSU police.

Hazing can be a difficult topic to discuss and take action on. There is no one right thing to say or do. Every situation is different. Below are some suggestions we hope you find helpful.

Talking about Hazing
Please recognize that students go through many natural and normal changes during their college experiences. If your student does not return your phone call in what you would consider a reasonable time frame that may just be a part of his or her development. As students grow, it is possible for the parents and students to have emotional growing pains. For many students, coming to college is the first time they have been independent. Here are a few tips that might help when talking to your student:

  • Remember, your student is an adult
  • Your student is probably a little different than when in high school
  • People communicate differently
  • Listen to what your student says
  • Treat your student with respect

Here are some questions and statements you may want to consider starting with:

  • Let your student know you care about him or her
  • Are you okay?
  • Address your concern. "I'm worried about you. It's unusual for you not to reply to my emails.
  • Are you in the process of joining any club/group/organization/team on campus? If so, what group?
  • What types of activities do you do with a club/group/organization/team?
  • Are you being forced to do anything unreasonable?
  • Do you feel deprived of any necessity (food, shelter, sleep)?
  • Is there alcohol involved with any activities?
  • If you want to learn more, there is a university website that can help

Basics about filing a hazing complaint
Reporting an incident of hazing is not about getting people in trouble–it is about keeping people safe. The faculty and staff at FSU believe that students should be able to participate in campus activities free of concerns for personal safety. Hazing can result in severe injury or death. If you are truly concerned about the personal health and safety of someone, you would do anything to get them out of jeopardy. Reporting the activity to people who can stop the activity is the best way to do this. However, reporting hazing without providing your name limits the University’s ability to stop the behavior.

  • Report hazing to police in the city alleged hazing occurs (FSU Police 850–644–1234)
  • Be specific with details including dates, times, activities and names
  • Have facts, not assumptions
  • Give your name and your student's name to the police
  • Be prepared for your student to possibly feel angry and hurt or relieved and grateful if you make a complaint on his/her behalf. Also know it could potentially save someone’s life.

Hazing Definition and Policy

Seminole Creed: The Values and Morals of the FSU Community

Talking About Hazing

Please recognize that students go through many natural and normal changes during their college experiences. If your student does not return your phone call in what you would consider a reasonable time frame that may just be a part of his or her development. As students grow, it is possible for the parents and students to have emotional growing pains. For many students, coming to college is the first time they have been independent. Here are a few tips that might help when talking to your student:

  • Remember, your student is an adult
  • Your student is probably a little different than when in high school
  • People communicate differently
  • Listen to what your student says
  • Treat your student with respect

Here are some questions and statements you may want to consider starting with:

  • Let your student know you care about him or her.
  • Are you okay?
  • Address your concern. "I'm worried about you. It's unusual for you not to reply to my emails."
  • Are you in the process of joining any club/group/organization/team on campus? If so, what group?
  • What types of activities do you do with a club/group/organization/team?
  • Are you being forced to do anything unreasonable?
  • Do you feel deprived of any necessity (food, shelter, sleep)?
  • Is there alcohol involved with any activities?
  • If you want to learn more, there is a university website that can help

Basics about filing a hazing complaint
Reporting an incident of hazing is not about getting people in trouble–it is about keeping people safe. The faculty and staff at FSU believe that students should be able to participate in campus activities free of concerns for personal safety. Hazing can result in severe injury or death. If you are truly concerned about the personal health and safety of someone, you would do anything to get them out of jeopardy.Reporting the activity to people who can stop the activity is the best way to do this. However, reporting hazing without providing your name limits the University’s ability to stop the behavior.

  • Report hazing to police in the city alleged hazing occurs (FSU Police 850–644–1234)
  • Be specific with details including dates, times, activities and names
  • Have facts, not assumptions
  • Give your name and your student’s name to the police
  • Be prepared for your student to possibly feel angry and hurt or relieved and grateful if you make a complaint on his/her behalf. Also know it could potentially save someone’s life.

Helpful Links