D.C. area universities have strict anti-hazing policies

WASHINGTON – With the recent deaths of two Virginia State University students, the spotlight is on hazing and what schools are doing to combat it.

The two students drowned last week in Chesterfield, Va. in what police call a hazing-related incident. The Huffington post reports police have arrested three men and are looking for a fourth. All of the men are connected with the “Men of Honor,” a social group not affiliated with the school.

The group HazingPrevention.org reports 55 percent of college students involved in clubs, teams and organizations experience hazing.

They note that as of Feb. 12, 2010, “the number of recorded hazing/pledging/rushing-related deaths in fraternities and sororities stands at 96 – 90 males and 6 females.”

All of the D.C. area colleges have tough rules against hazing:

  • At the University of Maryland, hazing is defined as intentionally subjecting a person to bodily harm or emotional stress. The school says it regards hazing as a violation of human dignity.
  • Any fraternity, sorority or other group that hazes at George Washington University is subject to a $5,000 fine.
  • George Mason University promises to turn individuals or groups that violate the school’s anti-hazing policy over to police.
  • All of Howard University’s greek letter sororities and fraternities condemn any form of hazing, which was outlawed at the school in 1990.
  • Georgetown University requires each sports team captain to address their team about hazing and captains must not support any activity demeaning or harmful to a teammate.
  • American University says hazing, either physical or psychological, compromises personal liberties.

Hazing policies at area schools don’t allow defense even if the victim consented.

WTOP’s Dick Uliano contributed to this report.

Follow @WTOP on Twitter.

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