Hazing Prohibition Policy

Hazing is antithetical to the values of John Carroll University because hazing degrades and dehumanizes members of the John Carroll community. Therefore, hazing in any form is prohibited.  Hazing is dangerous and can lead to social ostracism, preventing members of the John Carroll community from fully participating in all aspects of the university experience.  As such, hazing violates John Carroll University’s commitment to providing a positive environment for student learning, development and growth. In addition, hazing is prohibited by Ohio law.


This policy applies to all individuals, groups, organizations and teams associated with John Carroll University in any way. This policy applies on-campus and off-campus, including all residence halls, campus buildings, athletic competitions, parking lots, University events, and off-campus housing associated with the University or its students, faculty and staff.  This policy extends to alumni as well.

Hazing Defined

Hazing is any planned/executed action or activity by or against an active member, associate member, new member, or potential member of a group, organization, or team that causes, or creates a risk of causing harm, to any person regardless of location, consent or intention of participants. For the purposes of this policy, “harm” includes, but is not limited to, anxiety; disgrace; distress; embarrassment; emotional, mental, or physical pain; endangerment; harassment; humiliation; or ridicule.

Hazing also includes creating any situation, obstacle or impediment or taking any action, interfering or prohibiting another from meeting academic, professional, or personal obligations. Coercing another person to violate University policy also qualifies as hazing.

Additionally, hazing includes forcing the performance of any act as an explicit or implicit condition for initiation into, admission into, affiliation with, or continued membership in a group, organization or team.

Please note: the definition of hazing applies whether or not the participants or others involved perceive the behavior as voluntary. The implied or expressed consent of any person involved does not exempt a person from responsibility under this policy.  Moreover, assertions that the conduct or activity was not part of an official group, organization, or team event or was not officially sanctioned or approved by the group, organization, or team provides no exemption from responsibility.  A determination of whether or not an activity constitutes hazing depends not only on the intent of the individuals leading the activity but also the perception of a reasonable person or the individual(s) participating in the activity.

Listed below are examples of the most common types of hazing. Please note that this is not an exhaustive list as actions beyond those in this list can still be considered hazing.

  • Creation of excessive fatigue
  • Deprivation of food or water
  • Engagement in compulsory public stunts or morally degrading or humiliating games/activities including the wearing of costumes which are conspicuous and not normally in good taste
  • Exposure to weather
  • Forced engagement in an act or activity that is against the individual’s religious or moral beliefs
  • Forced ingestion of any substance (including alcohol and drugs) or any food or drink
  • Forced physical activity
  • Physical and psychological shocks
  • Public displays unreasonably disruptive to other members of the campus or public
  • Required quests, treasure hunts, scavenger hunts, or road trips
  • Violation of University policies

The above examples are not necessarily hazing per se. Whether an action constitutes hazing is governed under the standard of whether it is ”more likely than not”, considering the situation and all the circumstances and facts. If you have questions about whether an action constitutes hazing rather than a constructive, formative experience, call the Dean of Students Office at (216) 397-3010.


Individuals or groups participating in, soliciting, directing, aiding, or conducting a hazing activity may be found responsible for violating this policy. Further, any students or groups witnessing these activities may also be found responsible for violating this policy. In addition, refusing to identify other students, members of a group, organization, or team who engaged in hazing activities may result in additional disciplinary actions.  Any retaliation against cooperating/reporting individuals is strictly prohibited and will be met with increased disciplinary actions over and above those outlined in this policy.

Disciplinary Actions

Anyone found in violation of this policy faces severe sanctions, up to and including suspension or dismissal.

Student organizations, groups, or teams found in violation of this policy face severe sanctions, up to and including loss of privileges to travel or organize and could lose official recognition from the University.


All hazing activities involving sex or gender, and/or sexual harassment or interpersonal violence must be reported immediately to the Title IX Coordinator at (216) 397-1559.

All other hazing activities must be reported immediately to the Dean of Students Office at (216) 397-3010, the Senior Director of Student Engagement at (216) 397-4288, or JCUPD at (216) 397-1234.

If a member of the John Carroll community reports a possible hazing incident and cooperates fully as a witness in the investigation and conduct process, such cooperation will be taken into account when determining appropriate disciplinary actions. Retaliation against anyone reporting or participating in University conduct processes is strictly prohibited.

Criminal Proceedings

Whatever the outcome of the University conduct procedure, individuals involved in reported hazing activities could still face penalties under Ohio law (revised code section 2903.31).