Board of Trustees Policy

Subject: Anti-Hazing Policy

Number: 4.9

Date: July 2020

Supersedes: June 2019


Purpose

I. Policy Statement

Montgomery County Community College (“the College”) does not tolerate hazing in any form. Any member of the College community found responsible for violating this Anti-hazing Policy may face disciplinary action from the College, and also may face civil and criminal penalties under state law, including the Timothy J. Piazza Anti-hazing Law.

Policy

II. Application and Jurisdiction

This Policy applies to (a) all College students (as defined below); (b) all Student Organizations (as defined below); and (c) other persons associated with a Student Organization, which could include employees or volunteers.

The term “Student” includes students who have a pending application for admittance to attend the College or who have been notified of their admission to the College and/or who are matriculated, enrolled or registered in any College academic program or activity. Students on a leave of absence and persons who were students when they allegedly violated this Policy also are included.

A “Student Organization” includes student organizations, groups, societies or clubs, all athletic teams, and all fraternity and sorority chapters.

This Policy applies to conduct that occurs on or off-campus.

III: Prohibited Conduct

The College adheres to Pennsylvania’s Anti-hazing Law, which prohibits Hazing, Aggravated Hazing, and Organizational Hazing (defined below).

  1. Hazing: Intentionally, knowingly or recklessly, for the purpose of initiating, admitting or affiliating a student into or with a Student Organization, or for the purpose of continuing or enhancing student’s membership or status in a Student Organization, causes, coerces or forces a student to do any of the following:
    • Violate federal or state criminal law;
    • Consume any food, liquid, alcoholic liquid, illegal drug or other substance which subjects a student to a risk of emotional or physical harm;
    • Endure brutality of a physical nature, including whipping, beating, branding, calisthenics or exposure to the elements;
    • Endure brutality of a mental nature, including activity adversely affecting the mental health or dignity of the individual, sleep deprivation, exclusion from social contact or conduct that could result in extreme embarrassment;
    • Endure brutality of a sexual nature; or
    • Endure any other activity that creates a reasonable likelihood of bodily injury1 to a student.

However, Hazing does not include “reasonable and customary” athletic, law enforcement or military training, contests, competitions or events.

For the purposes of this Policy, the terms “risk” and “brutality” should be read broadly. Risk includes potential risks, however slight. Brutality includes any activity with a reasonable likelihood of endangering another person’s mental or physical health or safety.

  • Aggravated Hazing: Hazing that results in serious bodily injury2 or death to a student; and where:
    1. The person acts with reckless indifference to the health and safety of a student; or
    2. The person causes, coerces, or forces the consumption of an alcoholic liquid or illegal drug by a student.
  • Organizational Hazing: Hazing or Aggravated Hazing that a Student Organization intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly promotes or facilitates.

It is not a defense that the consent of a student-victim was sought or obtained. It is also not a defense that the conduct was sanctioned or approved by a Student Organization or the College.

IV: How to Report Violations of this Policy

The College encourages all members of the College community who believe that they have witnessed, experienced, or are aware of conduct that violates this Policy to report the violation to the Department of Public Safety, the Office of Student Life, the Judicial Officer, the Vice President of Student Services, Director of Athletics and Campus Recreation or send an email to hazing@mc3.edu.

Procedure

V: Enforcement of this Policy

Any violation of this Policy by a student or Student Organization shall be deemed a violation of the Student Code of Conduct.

All allegations of this Policy involving an employee shall be addressed by the dean or department head, in consultation with the Executive Director of Human Resources.

All allegations of this Policy involving a volunteer shall be addressed by the Director of Student Life.

VI: Sanctions

Anyone found responsible for violating this Policy may face disciplinary action. Individual students found responsible for violating this Policy may be placed on probation, suspended, dismissed, expelled or issued any other sanction(s) found in the Student Code of Conduct. Student Organizations may be placed on probation or deferred suspension, lose privileges, lose College recognition or College funding. Student Organizations may also face sanctions by College departments under which they function. Employees found responsible for violating this Policy may be subject to corrective or disciplinary action, up to and including termination.

VII: Institutional Bi-Annual Report

The College will maintain a report of all violations of this Policy that are reported to the College and which result in a charge of violation of this Policy or the issuance of a charge of violation of federal or state laws related to hazing. The College will update the report bi-annually on January 1 and August 1 of each year and will post the updated report on the College’s website.


1Bodily injury: Impairment of physical condition or substantial pain.

2Serious bodily injury: Bodily injury which creates a substantial risk of death or which causes serious, permanent disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ.