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Is It Worth It -- Hazing 101

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My high school coach used to say "a word to the wise is sufficient." These are my words of wisdom from a presentation I gave on the consequences of hazing in November 2008. I hope any student facing the temptation to haze or be hazed will take a few moments to review this presentation. The next time you are confronted with those temptations, I hope you will heed the warnings in this presentation.

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Is It Worth It -- Hazing 101

  1. 1. Is It Worth It? Hazing 101 Fayetteville State University Benita Angel Powell Assistant University Attorney
  2. 2. In Memory of Jack
  3. 3. Is It Worth It? <ul><li>Why do some members like hazing? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Tradition </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Strength </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Loyalty </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What are the negative consequences of hazing? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How does prophyte drinking contribute to hazing? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How does the sensitivity of the victim contribute to hazing consequences? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ TAKE YOUR VICTIM AS YOU FIND HIM” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Your victim may have health problems that neither you nor victim are aware of. The hazing might exacerbate these problems. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Your victim may not care that he’s being hazed, but his family members/friends might care. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Your victim may not want to be hazed and just gets tired of it. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What if nothing serious happened, would there still be consequences? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What if you did not even participate? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>What if you’re an advisor or member who just chose to ignore signs of hazing or failed to report? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>What if you participated in meetings where planned hazing was discussed, but you did not try to stop it or report it? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Answer: You could be held responsible as well as an accomplice or conspirator. There could also be civil liability—money out of your pocket for neglecting the pledge. You’ll have to prove your innocence and non-negligence. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Is It Worth It? <ul><li>Criminal Consequences </li></ul>
  5. 5. Are the Criminal Consequences Worth It? <ul><li>Hazing Law (Misdemeanor 30 days and up) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The lowest level offense </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Misdemeanor assault, battery and affray (30 days and up) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Many beatings and fights fall into this category </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Felony assault inflicting serious bodily injury (CLASS F 10-49 months) (4 years gone?) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Take your victim as you find him </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Felony assault with a deadly weapon (CLASS E 15 – 74 mos. Minimum) (6 years gone?) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Is a paddle a deadly weapon? What about a fist or hand? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Could other objects be weapons? </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Are the Criminal Consequences of Hazing Worth It? <ul><li>Involuntary Manslaughter (Class F Felony from 10 – 49 months minimum)(4 years gone?) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Could a death that occurs because of hazing be considered manslaughter? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ unlawful killing without malice, premeditation and deliberation and without intent to kill or to inflict serious injury” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A killing that occurs because of misdemeanor assault would fall here </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>TAKE YOUR VICTIM AS YOU FIND HIM </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Will you be the DA’s example? </li></ul></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Are the Criminal Consequences Worth It? <ul><li>Murder (CLASS A; Death or Life Without Parole) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>TAKE YOUR VICTIM AS YOU FIND HIM </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Death by torture is CLASS A Murder! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Felony/Murder—when someone is killed while you’re committing another felony like: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Felony assault with intent to inflict serious injury </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Felony assault with a deadly weapon </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Will a zealous DA make you an example? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What would this mean to you and your family? </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Are the Criminal Consequences Worth It? <ul><li>Other Issues </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Adulterated or misbranded food (Felony Class C 44 – 210 months minimum)(17 years gone?) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Accessory Before the Fact/Aiding and Abetting </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Could get the same Sentence as the person who committed the crime. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Conspiracy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Agreed to it; sat in meetings; had an idea of what was going on but acquiesced to it? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>What about advisor’s role here? Will you let your undergraduate members put you in this type of danger? What about the time it takes just to defend yourself? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Is it Worth It? </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Is It Worth It? Civil Consequences
  10. 10. Is the Civil Liability Worth It? <ul><li>How much is someone’s health or life worth? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The courts will determine this for you. How much should you compensate a victim? Depends on the injury. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>TAKE THE VICTIM AS YOU FIND HIM </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Personal Injury Plaintiff’s Attorneys Contingency— </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>That means the plaintiff/victim doesn’t have to pay the attorney unless the attorney WINS. So, this is potentially a free unlimited attack on you. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>But, you’ll still have to pay an attorney to defend yourself ($150 - $400 per hour) </li></ul></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Is the Civil Liability Worth It? <ul><li>Intentional Injuries – Assault and Battery or Emotional Distress </li></ul><ul><li>Negligence—Advisors and Other Members must take heed </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Did you owe a duty to the victim? Did you breach that duty—did you do enough to protect the victim? Was the victim injured—mentally or physically? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Will your personal or group insurance cover this? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Most don’t cover intentional torts. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The rest will come out of your pocket! Savings, college and trust funds will have liens attached. Will it mean bankruptcy for you or your organization? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Is it worth it? </li></ul>
  12. 12. Is It Worth It? <ul><li>Other Consequences </li></ul>
  13. 13. Is the University Discipline Worth It? <ul><li>Hazing Violates the FSU Code of Student Conduct </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Chapter: will have its colors snatched; no longer on the yard </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Individual: can be expelled or suspended </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Makes it very hard to enter another university </li></ul></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Are The Consequences Worth It? <ul><li>Negative Consequences: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Nationals and University: Snatch your colors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Media: Bad publicity for you and your chapter </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Old Heads: Get angry with you </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>You could be kicked out of school </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Threat of Criminal or Civil Action lurking for years </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Create a criminal record </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Freedom taken </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Psychological damage because of the terror you’ve caused </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Financial judgment you could pay on the rest of your life </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>You could lose friends: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Death could take the friends life </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Those you haze will never be the friends they once were or could have been because they may NEVER truly trust you </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Positive Consequences: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Tradition </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Loyalty </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Strength </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Cost benefit analysis. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The negatives outweigh the positives. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Could you think of ways you could get these positive results without hazing? </li></ul>
  15. 15. How To Report Hazing? <ul><li>Contact the Following: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Dean of Students at 672-1201 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>University Police at 672-1911 (emergency) or 672-1341 </li></ul></ul>

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