The pledge/new member initiation process should be conducted in a manner which respects the dignity of pledges/new members and protects their mental and physical well-being. Examples of acceptable behavior include pledge/new member activities that are not classified as hazing, but promote scholarship and service, develop leadership and social skills, assist with career goals, involve students with alumni, improve relations with others, build awareness of fraternity/sorority history, instill a sense of brotherhood/sisterhood, foster solidarity and promote the institutional mission of the host university.
Hazing is illegal in the state of New Jersey. This Pledge/New Member’s Bill of Rights was developed by the New Jersey Attorney General pursuant to N.J.S.A. 18A:3-24 et seq.
State Definition of Hazing:
Pursuant to New Jersey Statute:
a. A person is guilty of hazing, a disorderly person’s offense, if, in connection with initiation of applicants to or members of a student or fraternal organization, he knowingly or recklessly organizes, promotes, facilitates or engages in any conduct, other than competitive athletic events, which places or may place another person in danger of bodily injury.
b. A person is guilty of aggravated hazing; a crime of the fourth degree, if he commits an act prohibited in subsection and which results in serious bodily injury to another person.
Notwithstanding any other provision of Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes to the contrary, consent shall not be available as a defense to a prosecution under this act.
Conduct constituting an offense under the Act may, at the discretion of the prosecuting attorney, be prosecuted under any other applicable provision of Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes; and
2. Other behaviors or activities in addition to those prohibited under N.J.S.A. 2C:40 et seq.defined as hazing by a university with respect to its students.
Prohibition on Hazing:
1. A pledge/new member shall have the right to be free of all activities which may constitute hazing while attempting to become a member of a fraternity or sorority, or other campus organization. Campus organizations and their members are prohibited from engaging in or encouraging others to engage in activities that are defined as hazing.
2. A broad range of behaviors that may place another person in danger of bodily injury or behavior that demonstrates indifference or disregard for another person’s dignity or well-being may be classified as hazing under the above definition. Examples include, but are not limited to the following:
a) Forcing, requiring or endorsing members to drink alcohol or any other substance and/or providing such alcohol or other substance;
b) The unauthorized or illegal use of alcohol in any form or quantity during any activity;
c) Calisthenics (sit-ups, push-ups and runs);
d) Branding and tattooing;
e) Pushing, shoving, punching, whipping, beating, tackling or any other physical abuse;
f) Unauthorized line-ups of any nature;
g) Throwing anything (garbage, water, paint, etc.) at an individual;
h) Any form of paddling, physical abuse, psychological abuse, deception or shocks;
i) Requiring individuals to walk or march in formation of any kind;
j) Publicly wearing apparel which is conspicuous and not normally in good taste (uniforms, head apparel, boots/shoes, etc.);
k) Not permitting individuals to speak for extended periods of time and/or forced exclusion from social contact;
l) Preventing any person from practicing personal hygiene;
m) Any activity which interferes with an individual’s scholastic pursuits (class attendance, preparation, study time, etc.)
n) Forced consumption of food or other substances;
o) Theft, defacement or destruction of private or public property
p) Conducting unauthorized scavenger hunts, treasure hunts, quests, road trips, paddle hunts, big brother/little brother hunts, big sister/little sister hunts;
q) Engaging in public stunts and buffoonery, public displays or greetings;
r) Servitude of any nature (food runs, personal errands, academic work, etc.);
s) Permitting less than six consecutive hours of sleep each night;
t) Nudity or exposure to the elements at any time;
u) Yelling, screaming or calling individuals demeaning names;
v) Engaging in unauthorized activities which involve compelling an individual or group of individuals to remain at a certain location or transporting anyone anywhere, within or outside the city of New Brunswick (road trips, kidnaps, sneaks, drops, etc.);
w) Assigning or endorsing “pranks” (stealing composites, trophies, mascots, etc.)
x) Carrying of any items (paddles, bricks, rocks, pocket change, dog collars, signature books, etc.)
y) Forcing, requiring or endorsing members to violate any University policy or any local, state or federal law.