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Statement and Purpose

Seattle Pacific University prohibits student organizations and their members from engaging individually or collectively in hazing activities. The University promotes safety and accountability in its efforts to prevent and respond to Hazing incidents that occur both on and off campus.

This policy intends to comply with Washington State Law RCW 28B.10.900 - 28B.10.908.


Certain terms in this policy are defined at the end of the policy.


Download Policy as PDF

Entities Affected By This Policy

All University students and employees.


Policy Version: 1.0

Responsible Offices: Human Resources and Office of Student Life
Responsible Executive:
 VP for Business and Finance

Effective Date: September 1, 2022
Last Updated:  
September 1, 2022

Table of Contents


Hazing Prohibited


No student, or other person in attendance at SPU may conspire to engage in Hazing or participate in hazing of another. Hazing does not include customary athletic events or other similar contests or competitions.

Sanctions Shall be Imposed

  1. The University has adopted rules providing sanctions for Hazing as well as conduct associated with initiation into a student organization or living group, or any pastime or amusement engaged in with respect to an organization or living group not amounting to a violation of RCW 10.900. Such conduct will be internally addressed using the
  2. A violation of RCW 10.901 is a misdemeanor, punishable as provided under RCW 9A.20.021.
  3. Any organization, association, or student living group that knowingly permits Hazing is strictly liable for harm caused to persons or property resulting from hazing. If the organization, association, or student living group is a corporation whether for profit or nonprofit, the individual directors of the corporation may be held individually liable for damages.

Preventing and Responding to Hazing Incidents


Employee Reporting Responsibilities

  1. All SPU employees who are not considered confidential resources (pastoral counselors, mental health counselors and healthcare professionals) are required to report Hazing incidents to University Officials immediately. Reports of Hazing can be submitted using the Report a Concern
  2. In the event of an emergency, please call 911 for assistance if you are off campus, or 206.281.2911 if you are on campus.
  3. Reports may be independently made to law enforcement.

Community Amnesty:

A person who witnesses Hazing or has reasonable cause to believe Hazing has occurred or will occur and makes a report in good faith may not be sanctioned or punished for the violation of Hazing unless the person is directly engaged in the planning, directing, or act of Hazing reported.

Employee Prevention Education

SPU shall provide Hazing prevention education on the signs and dangers of Hazing as well as the University's prohibition on Hazing to employees, including student employees, either in person or electronically. The prevention education shall be provided to employees at the beginning of each academic year and for new employees at the beginning of each academic term. The Office of Human Resources is responsible for coordinating compliance with this section.

Student Prevention Education

SPU shall provide students with an educational program on Hazing and the dangers of and prohibition on Hazing, which shall include information regarding Hazing awareness, prevention, intervention, and this Policy. The educational program may be offered in person or electronically. The University shall incorporate the educational program as part of new student orientation sessions. The educational program must be posted on each institution's public website for parents, legal guardians, and volunteers to view.

Materials on student rights and responsibilities given to student organizations, athletic teams, or living groups, either electronically or in hard copy form, shall include a statement on the University’s prohibition of Hazing and on the dangers of Hazing. The Office of Student Life is responsible for coordinating compliance with this section.

Reporting Actual Findings of Hazing 

Beginning with the 2022-23 academic year, the University shall maintain and publicly report actual findings of violations by any student organization, athletic team, or living group of the University for violations of this Policy or federal or state laws related to hazing or offenses related to alcohol, drugs, sexual assault, or physical assault.

 The report shall include the following:

  • The name of the student organization, athletic team, or living group;
  • The date the investigation was initiated;
  • The date on which the investigation ended with a finding that a violation occurred;
  • A description of the incident or incidents, including the date of the initial violation, and the violations, findings, and sanctions placed on the student organization, athletic team, or living group;
  • The details of the sanction or sanctions imposed, including the beginning and end dates of the sanction or sanctions; and
  • The date the student organization, athletic team, or living group was charged with a violation.

Investigations that do not result in a finding of formal violations of this Policy, or state or federal law shall not be included in the report. The report shall not include any personal or identifying information of individual student members and shall be subject to the requirements of the federal family education rights and privacy act of 1974, 20 U.S.C. Sec. 1232g.

The University shall make reports under this section available on their websites in a prominent location clearly labeled and easily accessible from the University’s website. Hazing information will be made available at spu.edu/diversity.

Record Keeping

The University shall maintain reports as they are updated for five (5) years and shall post them on its website at least 45 calendar days before the start of each fall academic term and at least 10 days before the start of all other academic terms. The Office of Student Life is responsible for coordinating compliance with this section.

Questions


Employees may direct policy questions to:

  • Mr. Terry Winn, Assistant Vice President of Human Resources: (206) 281-2678 on campus – 330 W. Nickerson St.; by mail - Seattle Pacific University, 3307 Third Avenue West, Suite 302, Seattle, WA

Students and prospective students and their families may direct questions to:

  • Dr. Jeff Jordan, Vice Provost for Student Formation and Community Engagement: (206) 281-2123; 





Definition of Terms


TermDefinition
Hazing

Any act committed as part of a person's recruitment, initiation, pledging, admission into, or affiliation with a student organization, athletic team, or living group, or any pastime or amusement engaged in with respect to such an organization, athletic team, or living group that causes, or is likely to cause, bodily danger or physical harm, or serious psychological or emotional harm, to any student or other person attending a public or private institution of higher education or other postsecondary educational institution in Washington state, including causing, directing, coercing, or forcing a person to consume any food, liquid, alcohol, drug, or other substance which subjects the person to risk of such harm, regardless of the person's willingness to participate.

For the purposes of this definition, Hazing activities may include, but are not limited to the following:

  • All forms of physical activity deemed dangerous or harmful.
  • Striking another person whether by use of any object or one’s body.
  • The application of foreign substances to the body.
  • Scavenger hunts involving illegal activities, kidnapping, or abandoning a member of the community.
  • Depriving others of sleep or creation of excessive fatigue as an intentional part of activities.
  • Forcing, coercing, pressuring, or requiring students to consume alcohol, or foreign or unusual amounts of food or other substances.
  • Nudity or forcing students to dress in a degrading manner.
  • Psychological hazing: any act which is likely to compromise the dignity of a student; cause embarrassment or shame to a student; cause a student to be the object of ridicule or malicious amusement; or inflict psychological or emotional harm.
Employee

A person who is receiving wages from the institution of higher education and is in a position with direct ongoing contact with students in a supervisory role or position of authority. "Employee" does not include a person employed as medical staff or with an affiliated organization, entity, or extension of a postsecondary educational institution, unless the employee has a supervisory role or position of authority over students. "Employee" does not include confidential employees.

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