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Hazing Education Initiative

at Florida State University

Information for Members of Sport Clubs at FSU

Dear Sport Club Members, Coaches and Assistants,

Sport Clubs at Florida State University have provided thousands of students with a competitive, instructional, social, skill building, or purely recreational sport experience for over fifty years. Students involved in Sport Clubs have the opportunity to test their skills against other schools, against a standard of excellence or for the purpose of sharing and teaching others. Regardless of the sport or activity, Sport Clubs provide opportunities for student learning, testing and perfecting leadership and organizational skills transferable to many other lifelong interests.

Sport Club participants are expected to organize, direct and administer their clubs, teams and interest groups in order to accomplish their group goals and objectiveswithin the boundaries of fair play, good sportsmanship and mutual respect for all club members. As a new member to a Sport Club, you may feel personal or social pressure to earn or prove your membership. This could result in your participation or your agreement to perform actions that would be considered hazing.

Hazing is inconsistent with the ideals of good sportsmanship and fair play as well as the basic values of this university. Florida State University does not condone or tolerate hazing among any student(s) or student organization(s). Hazing includes '"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 or consent of participant(s)"'(see Section 5, D of the Student Conduct Code for the full definition). If you feel personal or social pressure to participate in activities that may include harassment, ridicule,intimidation, orphysical exhaustion as a result of membership in a Sport Club, please contact the Florida State University Police Department immediately at (850) 644–1234.

Additionally it is expected that all persons who participate in, coach or assist with Sport Clubs uphold and abide by federal, state and local ordinances as well as University policies. All recognized Sport Clubs of Florida State University are expected to follow the safety and risk management practices outlined by their specific sport organizing, sanctioning or governing bodies.

If you have any questions or need information related to your involvement in a Sport Club of FSU, please feel free to contact us by dropping by our office located at 1001 West St Augustine Street (Main Campus Fields), visit our website at, or e–mail us at

Sport Clubs at FSU Statement on Hazing

The Florida State University Sport Club program is home to over 45 thriving sport clubs. These clubs perform at a high level and achieve success in many different athletic and recreational arenas. This success has been due to great student leadership, persistence, and a lot of hard work. One thing that can severely damage this success is hazing.

Hazing is illegal and is against the Florida State University Student Code of Conduct. It can humiliate, demean, and even be the cause of physical harm to people. There is no place for hazing in sport clubs at FSU. There is no evidence that hazing benefits a team or club. In fact, hazing can be detrimental to the growth and development of a team.

Hazing does not achieve:

  1. Discipline
  2. Bonding or togetherness
  3. Group strength
  4. Respect for members
  5. Better performance on the field or in any activity

Hazing does create:

  1. Distrust and anger
  2. A power trip for the perpetrator
  3. Humiliation
  4. Abuse
  5. Victimization
  6. Injuries and sometimes even death

SOURCE: Modified from Farnham, Audio Conference, 2006

Resources for Sport Clubs at FSU

Do you participate in Sport Clubs at FSU? Please Read this…

What is Hazing?
Hazing is any act committed against a student who is trying to join a group that is humiliating, demeaning or endangers the student’s health and safety. It can occur regardless of consent or willingness to participate. If you choose not to take part but knew what was going on, you are part of the problem. It’s called passive participation. Even the creation of an environment that promotes or allows hazing can be considered hazing.

If you're not sure if an activity is hazing, ask the following questions from The Hazing Test adapted from Death By Hazing (Sigma Alpha Epsilon, 1988). If you answer yes to any of the following questions then the actions could be hazing.

  • Is this a team activity where members are encouraged to attend and where any minors are consuming alcohol?
  • Will current team members refuse to do exactly what new members are asked to do?
  • Is there risk of emotional or physical abuse?
  • Is there any risk for injury or is safety a question?
  • Would you object to inviting your parents, coach, university official or professor?
  • Would you object to being photographed or video taped by the media or school paper?

Consequences of Hazing
Individuals involved in hazing activities are subject to both criminal and university judicial proceedings.

  • Criminal proceedings are facilitated by the legal system, courts, and police in accordance with laws of the State of Florida regarding hazing.

Chad Meredith Act Summary

Chad Meredith Act Summary

  • University judicial proceedings are facilitated by the Office of the Student Rights and Responsibilities in the Dean of Students Department in accordance with the:

Student Code of Conduct at Florida State University

Student Rights and Responsibilities

Policies on Hazing

SOURCE: Modified with permission from (a) Rick Farnham, Hazing Prevention & Leadership Education; (b) Sports Hazing/ Club Hazing: Beyond Greeks Audio Conference, June 22, 2006; (c)

Example of Hazing in Sport Clubs

What you can do as a student in our community XYZ Club holds a beginning of the semester party to welcome all of the new members to the club. At this party, new members are encouraged or forced to drink alcohol and/or engage in other acts or activities which can be construed as embarrassing and/or demeaning. This can be considered hazing.

Important Note: Under the new Florida Law on hazing (Chad Meredith Act), if the new members consented to participating this can still be considered misdemeanor or felony hazing.

The creation of an environment that makes new members feel pressured into participating can be construed as hazing. Members, leaders, and the sports club/organization itself, can and will be held responsible under these circumstances. Not taking action to stop hazing is called passive participation and is a part of the problem.

Members and Leaders of Sports Clubs Need to Take Responsibility
Sport club student leaders need to take responsibility for the climate and environment set within the club. Club leaders can also be held accountable if an incident of hazing occurs, even if they are not directly involved. If past traditions included hazing activities, new traditions need to be developed. If the club does not trust individual members to be a part of training new members, they need to insure that the individual does not participate. Incoming club members, who will be the future leaders of the club, will continue to model what they see and experience in the club. We have a shared responsibility to educate all members of the club about the seriousness of hazing and the importance to stopping it. Leaders need to have the courage to step up and stop hazing traditions TODAY.

What New Members Need to Know about Hazing
New members to the club need to understand that by participating in hazing activities, they are not contributing to the team or club's success. By consenting and participating in hazing members will not earn true respect in the club. Respect is earned by their individual performance and attitude. There is no correlation between participating in hazing and being a better athlete. A coach will not play you because you participated in hazing. You do not have to participate in these activities and you should report hazing if these activities take place.

Hazing Definition

Hazing Incidents Need to be Reported
Hazing incidents need to be reported when they occur. Do not let a common barrier such as fear or the assumption that hazing is harmless affect your decision to report an incident. Anyone can report hazing if they have witnessed or have knowledge of an incident.

Florida State University's ability to investigate reported incidents, enforce the university's expectations, and protect future students depends on the accuracy and specificity of the information provided. You are encouraged to provide as much specific detail as possible so that appropriate action can be taken to address the reported behavior.You have the option to submit a report anonymously, though officials may find it difficult to complete their investigation without knowing the source of the report.

When reporting, provide the following information:

  • What is the name of the organization that you are reporting for acts of hazing?
  • When did the event(s) occur?
  • Where did the event(s) take place?
  • What time of day did the event(s) occur?
  • Who was involved in this event?
  • Are there any other people that either were present or can corroborate the information you are providing? Please provide their names and contact information (if available).
  • How did you become aware of the event(s)?
  • Please describe the event(s) in as much detail as possible.
  • Your name, phone number, and e–mail address

Click here to report a hazing incident, or send an e–mail to:

The Danger of Social Networking Websites
Sport Clubs need to be especially careful when posting club related pictures or material on social networking websites (i.e., Facebook, Community Webshots, etc). These sites are open to the public and the content on these sites can be directly associated with your club, including any photos that only appear to be hazing. One false assumption about a photo of club members can lead to severe damage to not only the club's reputation, but the university’s as well. Please remember to only post content that is suitable for public exposure and to use the privacy settings that are available. Educate all of the members of the club to use caution when using these sites.

SOURCE: Modified with permission from (a) Rick Farnham, Hazing Prevention & Leadership Education; (b) Sports Hazing/ Club Hazing: Beyond Greeks Audio Conference, June 22, 2006; (c)

List of Sport Clubs

List of current clubs

Report Hazing:
FSU Police: 850–644–1234
Online: Hazing Reporting System

Questions or Comments: