Hazing Prevention

Walla Walla University strives to provide a safe environment in which students can pursue an education without sexual misconduct, which includes discrimination, harassment, and hazing, in accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 and the Washington State House Bill 1751 (“Sam’s Law”). The university provides preventative education to students, faculty, and staff about these issues, maintains policies prohibiting conduct as found in our Equal Opportunity, Harassment, & Nondiscrimination Policy, and provides a means of recourse for those students, parents, employees, or volunteers who believe they or someone they know has experienced such behavior. The university reserves the right to respond with measures to prevent prohibited conduct and preserve the safety and well-being of its students and employees.

What is hazing? What is not? And what can we do? 


  • Activities that humiliate.
  • Stunts which have no meaning to objectives.
  • Activities that expose personal values.
  • Activities which are illegal or violate University policy.
  • May occur slowly over time.

Is Not...

  • Practice, training, or conditioning as part of participation in athletics, intramurals, sports, or sports clubs.
  • Elegibility requirements, contests, or competitions must be part of participation in athletics, intramurals, sports, or sports clubs.

Prevention Tips...

  • Increase awareness.
  • Hazing is not dependent on consent.
  • Be aware of and challenge threatening behavior.
  • Encourage reporting or voice concerns.
  • Willingness to amend traditions.

Hazing Education

Hazing Definitions

“Hazing includes 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 this 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. "Hazing" does not include customary athletic events or other similar contests or competitions” (RCW 28B.10.900).

Hazing Examples

Examples of actions and activities which may constitute hazing include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Compelling individuals to consume alcohol or drugs.
  • Compelling individuals to engage in sexual behaviors, sexual or racial harassment or
  • Compelling individuals to eat or drink unusual substances or compelling the consumption of undue amounts or odd preparations of food.
  • Having harmful substances thrown at, poured on or otherwise applied to the bodies of individuals.
  • Morally degrading or humiliating games or activities which make an individual the object of amusement, ridicule, or intimidation.
  • Transporting individuals against their will, abandoning individuals at distant locations, or conducting any “kidnap,” “ditch” or “road trip” that may in any way endanger or compromise the health, safety, or comfort of any individual.
  • Requiring an individual to remain in a fixed position for a long period of time.
  • Compelling an individual to be branded or tattooed.
  • “Line-ups” involving intense shouting of obscenities or insults.
  • Compelling individuals to participate in activities (pranks, scavenger hunts, etc.) which encourage the defacement of property; engage in theft; harass other individuals, groups of individuals or organizations.
  • Compelling an individual to engage in acts of personal servitude.

How to recognize hazing

Signs that someone might be experiencing hazing:

  • Sudden change in behavior or attitude after joining the organization
  • Wanting to leave the organization with no real explanation
  • Sudden decrease in communication with friends and family
  • Physical or psychological exhaustion
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Unexplained injuries or illness
  • Change in sleeping or eating habits
  • Withdrawal from normal activities
  • Expressed feeling of sadness or feeling of worthlessness
  • Increase in secrecy and unwillingness to share details

Hazing Module

Learn more about hazing in this training module:

Hazing Resources

Reporting requirements

Beginning with the 2022 fall term, Walla Walla University will provide students with an educational program on hazing and the dangers of and prohibition on hazing, which includes information regarding hazing awareness, prevention, intervention, and the university’s policy on hazing.


All “employees” including student employees, must receive hazing prevention training, either electronically or in person, on the signs and dangers of hazing, as well as the university’s prohibition against hazing.

Reporting policy

All employees and volunteers at Walla Walla University, including student employees, are required to report hazing if, as a result of observations or information received in the course of employment or volunteer service, any employee has reasonable cause to believe that hazing has occurred. “Reasonable cause” means a person who witnesses hazing or receives a credible written or oral report alleging hazing or a potential or planned hazing activity.

Amnesty Policy

Current students have a responsibility to report hazing if they have reason to believe it is occurring. Per H.B. 1751 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.

Learn more about our Equal Opportunity, Harassment, & Nondiscrimination Policy, or submit a report online by visiting wallawalla.edu/title-ix or by calling (509) 527-2141 or (509) 527-2222 after business hours.

4857-2707-3152.1: Hazing, defined as an act that causes or is likely to cause bodily danger or physical harm, or serious psychological or emotional harm to any student or other person, or which destroys or removes public or private property, for the purpose of initiation, admission into, affiliation with, or as a condition for continued membership in, a group or organization. The express or implied consent of the victim will not be a defense. Apathy or acquiescence in the presence of hazing are not neutral acts; they are violations of this rule.