October 31, 2019


SUBJECT:    University Policy on Hazing

The University of California San Diego is committed to providing a safe
educational environment for everyone, and does not tolerate hazing by
any group or individual. The University expects that all students and
registered student organizations will observe and fully comply with
state law, Regents' policies, University regulations, and administrative
rules associated with the prohibition of hazing.

A 2006 California law (Penal Code §245.6) designates some forms of
hazing as a felony criminal offense, and defines it as:

“Any method of initiation or pre-initiation into a student
organization or student body, whether or not the organization or body
is officially recognized by an educational institution, which is likely
to cause serious bodily injury to any former, current, or prospective
student of any school, community college, college, university, or other
educational institution in this state.”

The University of California Policy on Student Conduct and Discipline
forbids incidents of hazing both on- and off-campus by individual
students and/or Registered Student Organizations, and prohibits:

“Participation in hazing or any method of initiation or pre-initiation
into a campus organization or other activity engaged in by the
organization or members at any time that causes, or is likely to
cause, physical injury or personal degradation or disgrace resulting in
psychological harm to any student or other person.”

Regardless of perceived severity, all instances of hazing are subject to
criminal investigation. While hazing can be subtle, harassing, or
violent, activities in violation of the Student Conduct Code include—but
are not limited to:

Subtle behaviors that emphasize a power imbalance between new members/
rookies and other members of group or team:
• Personal servitude (e.g. forcing another person to wash cars, carry
books and equipment, cook meals, clean rooms, etc.);
• Requiring new members/rookies to memorize information not explicitly
required by the national new member process;
• Socially isolating new members/rookies;
• Requiring new members/rookies to refer to other members by titles
(e.g., “Mr.,” “Sir”, “Miss”);
• Expecting specific items to always be in a new member’s/ rookie's
possession (e.g., pledge pins, hats, new member binder).

Harassment behaviors that cause emotional anguish and/or physical
discomfort in order to feel like part of the group:
• Requiring new members/rookies to wear embarrassing or humiliating
• Forced/coerced participation in calisthenics, push-ups, sit-ups,
running, or other strenuous activities;
• Tuck-ins;
• Required participation in quests, scavenger/treasure hunts, or road
• Sleep deprivation;
• Other potentially degrading activities such as line-ups, mock trials,
or interrogations.

Violent behaviors with the potential to cause physical, psychological,
or emotional harm:
• Forced or coerced consumption of food, liquid, alcohol, controlled
substances, or other substances;
• Physical abuse (e.g., pushing/hitting, paddling, exposure to
• Verbal threats;
• Public nudity;
• Member ditches, “drop-offs”, abductions, or kidnapping.

Hazing that results in serious bodily injury may be charged as either a
felony or a misdemeanor, and result in one year or more of imprisonment;
as well as criminal probation, community service, and fines of up to
$5,000. This does not preclude an individual from being charged with
additional criminal offenses (e.g., an incident of “violent hazing” may
also lead to charges for assault and battery). In addition, a civil
action may be brought by the victim or the victim’s family against the
organization and its individual members. Principal members of student
organizations may be held personally liable for monetary damages.

If individual students and/or Registered Student Organizations accept
responsibility or are found responsible for hazing, typical sanctions
include suspension or dismissal from the University of California
system. Other sanctions may include non-academic disciplinary probation,
exclusion from University activities or grounds, mandatory community
service, and/or educational intervention program participation.

Any violation of the University’s Standards of Conduct by Registered
Student Organizations will result in the publication of the violation(s)
on the Office of Student Conduct website, including a short summary of
the incident, the alleged violation(s), and the applicable sanctions.
This information is publicly accessible at:

To report an act of hazing — anonymously if you choose — visit or email For further information
or to clarify which activities may constitute hazing and are prohibited
by California Law or University policy, contact the Office of Student
Conduct at 858-534-6225, the Center for Student Involvement at
858-534-0501, or Student Legal Services at 858-534-4374.

Alysson M. Satterlund
Vice Chancellor – Student Affairs