Academic Catalog


Hazing Prevention Policy

Hazing Prevention Policy

Hazing behavior is strictly prohibited at Denison and is a criminal offense under Ohio law, Ohio Rev. Code § 2903.31, when it causes mental or physical harm to another person, or creates a substantial risk of such harm. Hazing is defined as any action taken as part of an initiation (or re-initiation) into “any student or other organization” that causes mental or physical harm to another person (or creates a substantial risk of that harm occurring), including coercing another person to consume alcohol or drugs. The harmful action can either be action directly harming the victim or action coercing the victim to act in a way that leads to physical or mental harm to themselves or others.

Denison further defines hazing (more broadly than Ohio state law) to include any activity that is part of recruitment, orientation, initiation, or membership practice of a group, or that is required for continued acceptance into a group, that is harmful or potentially harmful to an individual’s physical, emotional, or psychological well-being. 

Participating in hazing and permitting hazing are prohibited. No person shall participate in the hazing of another. Additionally, protecting against hazing behavior is the responsibility of every member of the University community, including students, employees, and other affiliates. Ohio law specifically states that “no administrator, employee, faculty member, teacher, consultant, alumnus, or volunteer” shall recklessly permit the hazing of any person. Recklessly participating in hazing and recklessly permitting hazing constitute second-degree misdemeanor criminal violations under Ohio law, and third-degree felony criminal violations when the hazing includes coerced consumption of alcohol or drugs resulting in serious physical harm to a person. 

As required by Ohio law, every administrator, employee, faculty member, teacher, consultant, alumnus, or volunteer of Denison who is acting in an official and professional capacity must immediately report any knowledge of hazing to Denison’s Office of Campus Safety at 740-587-6482 or other law enforcement agency in which the hazing victim resides or where the hazing is occurring or has occurred. The Granville Police Department can be reached at 740-587-1234 or by emergency dispatch by dialing 911. 

Failure to report is a fourth-degree misdemeanor, and a first-degree misdemeanor if the hazing causes serious physical harm.

Student reporting: Students should report hazing to Campus Safety at 740-587-6482, to the Granville Police Department at 740-587-1234 or for emergencies, by calling 911. Students may also report through Denison’s Anonymous Reporting System. However, reports submitted anonymously or with limited information may limit Denison’s ability to follow up on a concern. We urge students to report as much information as possible and to provide a way for Denison to communicate in follow up.

Please refer to Denison's Hazing Prevention Policy as every member of the Denison community is responsible for adhering to the Hazing Prevention Policy and fully cooperating in its enforcement.