Document Number: 2.003
Title: Anti-Hazing Policy
Effective Date: 07/01/2018
Revised Dated: 10/7/2018; 10/12/18
The Board of Supervisors of the Louisiana Community and Technical College System (LCTCS) and River Parishes Community College (RPCC) are committed to providing a supportive educational environment free from hazing; one that promotes its students’ mental and physical well-being, safety, and respect for one’s self and others. In an effort to maintain safety and in accordance with Louisiana Revised Statute 17:1801.1, 14:40.8, 14.502, mandatory Acts 635, 637 and 640, as well as the Board of Regents’ Uniform Policy on Hazing Prevention and LCTCS Policy #2.003, hazing in any form is prohibited at RPCC for all students who participate in the institutions’ activities and organizations.
Hazing means any intentional, knowing, or reckless act by a person acting alone or acting with others that is directed against another when both of the following apply:
- The person knew or should have known that such an act endangers the physical health or safety of the other person or causes severe emotional distress.
- The act was associated with pledging, being initiated into, affiliating with, participating in, holding office in, or maintaining membership in any organization.
Hazing includes but is not limited to any of the following acts associated with pledging, being initiated into, affiliating with, participating in, holding office in, or maintaining membership in any organization:
- Physical brutality, such as whipping, beating, paddling, striking, branding, electric shocking, placing of a harmful substance on the body, or similar activity.
- Physical activity, such as sleep deprivation, exposure to the elements, confinement in a small space, or calisthenics, that subjects the other person to an unreasonable risk of harm or that adversely affects the physical health or safety of the individual or causes severe emotional distress.
- Activity involving consumption of food, liquid, or any other substance, including but not limited to an alcoholic beverage or drug, that subjects the individual to an unreasonable risk of harm or that adversely affects the physical health or safety of the individual or causes severe emotional distress.
- Activity that induces, causes, or requires an individual to perform a duty or task that involves the commission of a crime or an act of hazing.
For purposes of this policy, hazing shall not include a physical activity that is normal, customary, and necessary for a person’s training and participation in an athletic, physical education, military training, or similar program sanctioned by the postsecondary education institution.
Organization is an association, corporation, order, society, corps, cooperative, club, service group, social group, band, spirit group, athletic team, or similar group whose members are primarily students at, or former students of, a postsecondary education institution, including the national or parent organization of which any of the underlying entities provided for in this definition is a sanctioned or recognized member at the time of the hazing.
Pledging is any action or activity related to becoming a member of an organization, including recruitment. Pledging is the broader term related to the admission, initiation, joining, or any other group-affiliation activity on the basis of actual or perceived membership; pledging is not reserved solely for Greek organizations but, rather, applies to any student organization.
Appropriate authority includes:
- Any state or local law enforcement agency.
- A 911 Public Safety Answering Point as defined in Title 33 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes of 1950.
- Emergency medical personnel.
Reckless behavior is an activity or behavior in which a reasonable person knew or reasonably should have known that the activity or behavior may result in injury to another, including but not limited to excessive consumption of alcohol, binge drinking, drag racing, consumption of any controlled dangerous substance, acts of hazing, or other similar activity.
Serious bodily injury is bodily injury that involves unconsciousness, extreme physical pain, or protracted and obvious disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of a bodily member, organ, or mental faculty, death, or a substantial risk of death.
B. Consent Statement: A student’s request to join or become a member of an organization is not consent to any form of hazing. Further, a student’s acceptance to an invite or open enrollment to join is not consent to undergo hazing nor a defense for those accused of Hazing pursuant to this Policy.
C. Prohibition Statement: No organization or individual shall employ a program of student initiation/pledge education or social events which includes hazing. RPCC operates with a zero tolerance and all alleged cases will be investigated
D. Duty to Report: It is the duty of all current or potential student organization members and any faculty or staff member to report any violation of this policy to the Chief Student Affairs Officer or designee. If an organization has taken disciplinary action against one of its members for hazing or has reason to believe that any member of the organization has participated in an incident of hazing, the organization shall report the incident to the College. If an organization or any of its members has been disciplined by a parent organization for hazing, the organization shall report the hazing for which the organization was disciplined to the College.
E. College Response to Allegations of Hazing: Any allegations of hazing reported to the college will be investigated. If the investigation yields evidence of hazing, the college will then take appropriate disciplinary action against the individuals and/or organizations deemed responsible for the hazing. Enforcement of Laws, BOR Policy and RPCC Policy.
F. Expectations for Violations: In addition to potential criminal penalties related to hazing, any violation of this policy, including knowledge of and failure to report hazing activity, will result in expulsion, suspension, or dismissal, in the case of students, and may result in termination in the case of employees. Students will not be permitted to return for at least one semester. In addition, there will be a suspension of activities for a minimum of one academic year of any student organization that participates in hazing. Individuals accused of violations of this policy will be adjudicated through the college’s codified student and/or employee judicial process, and may be subject to criminal penalties as outlined in Act 635.
If any person serving as a representative or officer of an organization, including any representative, director, trustee, or officer of any national or parent organization of which any of the underlying entities as recognized in this Policy is sanctioned or recognized member at the time of the hazing, knew and failed to report to law enforcement that one or more of the organization’s members were hazing another person, the organization may be subject to penalties under R.S. 14:40.8.
G. Publication and Dissemination: College policies on hazing shall be published on college and student organization websites and included in the Student Handbook and Student Code of Conduct. (Student Handbook: www.rpcc.edu)
H. Education, Awareness, and Prevention: RPCC provides education, awareness, and prevention activities for hazing that include but are not limited to the following:
- Awareness seminars with organization advisors and student organization members.
- Participation in National Hazing Prevention Week each September.
- Policy posting on Canvas for students.
- Policy posting on the RPCC website
I. Duty to Seek Assistance In accordance with Act 637 of 2018, codified at R.S. 14:502, any person at the scene of an emergency who knows that another person has suffered bodily injury caused by an act of hazing shall, to the extent that the person can do so without danger or peril to self or others, give reasonable assistance to the injured person. Failure to seek assistance in violation of R.S. 14:502 may include criminal penalties.
J. Recommended Best Practices
- Prevention and Education Program
- Each new student shall be provided educational information on the dangers of and prohibition on hazing during the new student orientation process in the form of a handbook.
- In addition to the requirement of providing educational information in the form of a handbook as provided in the previous paragraph, beginning in the fall semester of 2019, each new student shall be provided educational information on the dangers of and prohibition on hazing during the new student orientation process either in person or electronically.
- Each organization as defined above in this Policy and in R.S. 17:1801.1 shall provide annually at least one hour of hazing prevention education to all members and prospective members. The education may be provided in person, electronically, or both. Each organization shall submit a report annually to the institution with which it is affiliated relative to the students receiving such education evidenced by an attestation of the student receiving the education.
- The hazing prevention education required under the provisions above shall include the information about criminal penalties for the crime of criminal hazing. Information shall also be provided to organizations on their obligations under the law, including the duty to investigate and report; and on the possible loss of funding and other penalties applicable to organizations under the Hazing Laws
- Effective Intervention In collaboration with any relevant organizations/offices, RPCC will provide education and training aimed at preparing faculty and staff club advisors, students and community members on hazing issues and statistics on campus. Bystander intervention training and social norming will be part of club, team and organization training in support of state laws to combat hazing.
- RPCC Student Handbook: rpcc.edu
- Code of Conduct:
- Honor Code:
- Student Rights and Responsibilities:
- Due Rights Process, Misconduct:
- LCTCS Code of Conduct 6.025: https://campussuite-storage.s3.amazonaws.com/prod/1558543/91b64910-2d2e-11e8-8c09-0a7155647e8a/1778110/00539e72-584f-11e8-9d31-12be56b8d5f6/file/6025_Code-of-Conduct_12202016.pdf
- RPCC Title IX: rpcc.edu