Important Information Regarding Hazing Prevention and Education
If you have been subject to hazing or know that hazing has occurred, please report it here.
Texas Wesleyan University is committed to facilitating a student experience that is holistically developmental, healthy, and safe for all students. Any act of hazing is strictly prohibited and will not be tolerated. Each student has a right to pursue opportunities for involvement free from negative impact of hazing.
Any intentional, knowing, or reckless act, occurring on or off-campus of an educational institution, by one person acting 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:
- 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;
- 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;
- involves consumption of a food, liquid, alcohol beverage, liquor, drug or other substance, other than as described in #5 below, that subjects the student to an unreasonable risk of harm or that adversely affects the mental or physical health or safety of the student;
- 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
- involves coercing the student to consume:
- a drug; or
- an alcoholic beverage or liquor in an amount that would lead a reasonable person to believe that the student is intoxicated.
The three-year hazing report provides the following information for any and all disciplinary actions taken by TXWES against an organization for hazing:
- the name of the organization disciplined or convicted;
- the date on which the incident occurred or citation was issued;
- the date on which the institution's investigation into the incident, if any, was initiated;
- a general description of:
- the incident;
- the violation(s) of the Code of Student Conduct or criminal charges as applicable;
- the finding(s) of the institution or court; and
- any sanctions imposed by the institution or fines imposed by the courts on the orgainzation; and
- the date on which the institution's disciplinary process was resolved or on which the conviction became final.
The TXWES Three-Year Report can be found here. (This link is forthcoming.)
During the Texas State 86th Legislature, Senate Bill 38 (SB38) was passed. SB 38 revises various portions of the state's existing anti-hazing law while creating a modified reporting requirement for hazing-related incidents. SB 38 is effective as of September 1, 2019 with student notification requirements effective January 1, 2020.
New Reporting and Disclosure Requirements
Texas Wesleyan University is now required to prepare and post a detailed report on hazing committed on or off-campus by an organization registered with or recognized by the institution. That report must include applicable information relating each disciplinary action taken by TXWES against an organization for hazing and each conviction of hazing by an organization during the three years preceding the date of the report being issued or updated. That report can be found here (this link is forthcoming).
Changes in Definitions
The definitions of "organization" and "hazing" have now been expanded. "Organization" now explicitly includes student government, band or musical group, or an academic, athletic, cheerleading, or dance team, including any group or team that participates in competitions. Virtually every organization who members are primarily students are not covered by state law.
"Hazing" has been broadened in scope by the removal of the requirement that the incident in question must endanger the mental or physical health or safety of a student to constitute hazing. Additionally, the definition of "hazing" now explicitly includes any coercion of a student to consume a drug or alcohol (in any form) in an amount that would lead a reasonable person to believe that the student is intoxicated.
The new law modifies the existing immunity from criminal prosecution and civil liability for students who report hazing. For immunity to apply, a student must:
- Report the incident to the dean of students or another appropriate official at TXWES;
- Make the report before the student is contacted by the institution concerning the alleged hazing incident;
- Cooperate in good faith throughout any institutional process regarding the incident as determined by the dean of students or designee.
Immunity would not be provided to a student who reports their own act of hazing or who makes a report in bad faith or as an act of malice.