Cedarville University is committed to the wellbeing of students and seeks to cultivate an atmosphere in which social connections are established in a manner consistent with University values. Therefore, Cedarville University prohibits all members of the University Community, individual students, and all student organizations (including, but not limited to, registered student organizations, intramural, club, and varsity athletic teams, and recognized student groups) from engaging in hazing, whether on campus or off campus. Additionally, hazing is defined in this policy and by Ohio Revised Code 2903.31. The University maintains compliance with Ohio Revised Code sections 2903.31, 3333.0419, and 3345.19.
I. Scope of Application
This policy applies to all student organizations, groups, teams, and individuals and is effective from matriculation to commencement, including all breaks. University students, administrators, employees, faculty, staff, consultants, alumni, or volunteers are prohibited from participating in and/or permitting the hazing of any person associated with the University. This policy applies to conduct between two or more people affiliated with Cedarville University regardless of whether that conduct occurs on or off University premises. This policy likewise applies to all University locations, including where the University is extended to distance education, such as study abroad, service trips, experiential learning opportunities, and athletic, club sport, and other group travel. This policy excludes dual enrollment students unless the alleged conduct occurs in the context of a Cedarville University organization or involves Cedarville University students, faculty, or staff.
II. Definition of Hazing
Hazing, as defined by this policy and consistent with Ohio Revised Code 2903.31, means doing any act or coercing another, including the victim, to do any initiation into a student or other organization or any act to continue or reinstate membership in or affiliation with any student or other organization (including sports team or club team) that causes a substantial risk of causing mental or physical harm to any person, including coercing another to consume alcohol or a drug of abuse, as defined by 3719.011 of the Revised Code. Hazing includes, as described in Ohio Revised Code 2903.31(C)(1), but is not limited to, the coercing of someone to consume alcohol and/or drugs of abuse resulting in serious physical harm to the other person/victim. In addition, Cedarville University includes abusive and/or unreasonably humiliating pranks as “hazing.” Ultimately, Cedarville University will apply federal and state law and its own policies in determining, in its sole discretion, whether an act constitutes “hazing.”
III. Procedures for Institutional Response
The following procedures are set forth for the reporting, investigation, determination, and sanctioning in instances of hazing.
Any person who receives a complaint of hazing or who observes or learns of conduct that is reasonably believed to be in violation of this policy is required to immediately report the alleged conduct to the Student Development Office or Campus Security. Student organization/team members and officers/captains should immediately report any hazing incidents that occur within their organization to the Student Development Office. Students, faculty, administrators, coaches, staff, consultants, alumni, and volunteers have a duty to report violations of this policy.
Any person who believes that another person is in serious physical danger shall immediately call 911 to obtain immediate medical assistance.
In addition to the duty to report hazing to the Student Development Office as identified in the prior paragraphs, in some circumstances there is also a duty to report allegations of criminal conduct to law enforcement.
All reports of hazing shall include a detailed description of the events that have transpired, the names of any individuals involved, and a description of any actions taken by the organization. Upon receiving the report, the Student Development Office will investigate as described in this policy and the organization president and advisor/coach will be notified.
Cedarville University is committed to reviewing all reports of hazing. Anonymous reports are accepted; however, the University’s ability to obtain additional information may be compromised and the ability to investigate anonymous reports may be limited.
Individuals may report hazing by contacting any of the following:
- Student Development contact form or by phone at 937-766-7872
- Campus Security contact form or by phone at 937-239-6491
- In the event of an emergency, dial 911
Retaliating against an individual who made a report of hazing is prohibited. Retaliation includes, but is not limited to, intimidating, threatening, coercing, or discriminating against an individual because the individual made a report of hazing.
Cedarville University seeks to remove barriers to reporting hazing. To this end, a violation of the student handbook relating to Prohibited Conduct (such as an alcohol or substance abuse violation relating to the personal use of alcohol or drugs, or violations of the Commitment to Purity outlined in the student handbook), when the violation is discovered as a result of a good faith report of hazing will not result in dismissal for the reporting party, provided that no one sustained serious mental and/or physical harm as a result of actions taken by the reporting party.
B. Investigation and Determination
The Student Development Office will coordinate the investigation of all hazing allegations. When appropriate, other University offices may handle certain aspects of the University response (e.g., Human Resources, Campus Security, etc.). The hazing allegation will be investigated and resolved in keeping with the student conduct process outlined in the Cedarville University Student Handbook. Criminal investigations resulting from a report to law enforcement will be handled by the appropriate law enforcement agency. Cedarville University may charge an individual or a group with a violation of this Hazing Policy via the Student Code of Conduct and/or any other university rules, regulations, or policies. All decisions and determinations of hazing are made solely at the discretion of Cedarville University.
The University will determine if interim measures are needed to protect the safety and/or well-being of others.
C. Disciplinary Sanctions
Hazing is in violation of the Cedarville University Student Handbook and, therefore, is subject to the full range of disciplinary sanctions outlined in the handbook. In addition, other educational activities may be required as conditions of the sanction. Sanctions applied to organizations and/or individuals will be determined by the Student Development Office. Disciplinary sanctions may be implemented against individuals whose conduct is in violation of this policy. As may be relevant, the Student Development Office will coordinate with the appropriate supervisor of the campus organization or team for the implementation of corresponding sanctions at the organization level. Any student, or organization, who participates in hazing will be held accountable regardless of motive or intent in accordance with the Cedarville University Student Handbook. Disciplinary sanctions imposed may be appealed as described in the Cedarville University Student Handbook. All decisions, determinations of hazing, and disciplinary sanctions are made solely at the discretion of Cedarville University.
Sanctions imposed by the University for violations of this policy may be in addition to any penalty imposed for violation of the criminal laws of the State of Ohio and for violation of any other University regulations or policies.
IV. Anti-Hazing, Education, Awareness, and Prevention
All students seeking membership in a registered student organization or student group at Cedarville University must complete the anti-hazing training provided by the University. Failure to complete the training will result in the student being denied the ability to join any recognized student organization, team, or group. Each recognized organization of the University must have a designated Hazing Prevention Coordinator. The organization’s Hazing Prevention Coordinator may be the designated University employee who serves as advisor, team coach, staff administrator or supervisor for the organization. A student may not serve as the Hazing Prevention Coordinator.
The Hazing Prevention Coordinator must ensure that all members, prospective members, and anyone who is employed by or volunteers with the organization, completes the required hazing prevention education program annually. The Hazing Prevention Coordinator will maintain records that demonstrate all group participants are eligible for participation based on completion of the anti-hazing training. If a student is unsure if they have completed the required program, they should contact their organization’s Hazing Prevention Coordinator to verify their eligibility to join a student organization or group.
V. Public Disclosure
The University will maintain a report of all violations of this Policy that are reported to the University and which result in a charge of violation of this policy. The University will update the report bi-annually on January 1 and August 1 of each year and will post the updated report on the University’s website.
While this policy describes the anti-hazing policy of, and expectations for, Cedarville University and people subject to this policy, this policy does not create any duty, and/or liability for Cedarville University or any person subject to this policy other than liability that exists under Federal and/or Ohio law. For example, this policy may prohibit conduct that is not prohibited by Federal and/or Ohio law such as abusive and unreasonably humiliating conduct; however, Cedarville University and people subject to this policy are not liable for any conduct that does not constitute “hazing” under Federal and/or Ohio law.