Effective Date Aug 1, 2009
Florida state law defines hazing as any action or situation that recklessly or intentionally endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a student for purposes including, but not limited to, initiation or admission into or affiliation with any organization operating under the sanction of a postsecondary institution. Hazing includes, but is not limited to, pressuring or coercing the student into violating state or federal law, any brutality of a physical nature, such as paddling, whipping, beating, branding, forced calisthenics, exposure to the elements, or forced consumption of any food, liquor, drug or other substance.
Hazing is any other forced physical activity that could adversely affect the physical health or safety of the student and also includes any activity that would subject the student to extreme mental stress, such as sleep deprivation, forced exclusion from social contact, forced conduct that could result in extreme embarrassment or any other forced activity that could adversely affect the mental health or dignity of the individual. Among prohibited activities are forced or coerced activities that create excessive fatigue, cause physical and psychological shocks, involve kidnapping, morally questionable quests, treasure hunts or scavenger hunts or any other such activities, involve publicly wearing apparel that is conspicuous and not normally in good taste, cause students to engage in public stunts, and buffoonery, morally degrading or humiliating games and activities or late-night activities that interfere with scholastic endeavors. Also prohibited are any activities that are in violation of federal, state or local laws, the University Code of Conduct or accepted standards of good taste or propriety. For purposes of university policy, any activity described in this paragraph upon which the admission into or affiliation with an organization is directly or indirectly conditioned shall be presumed to be forced or coerced activity. It is not a defense to a charge of hazing that the consent of the victim had been obtained or that the conduct or activity was not part of an official organizational event, was not sanctioned/approved by the organization or was not done as a condition of membership to the organization.
New member orientation and development programs must be constructive and strive to make individuals a part of the larger group by mutually understanding objectives and participating in programs.
According to Florida State Law:
- A person commits hazing, a third-degree felony, punishable as provided in s.775.082 or s.775.083, when he or she intentionally or recklessly commits any act of hazing as defined by state law upon another person who is a member of or an applicant to any type of student organization and the hazing results in serious bodily injury or death of such other person.
- A person commits hazing, a first-degree misdemeanor, punishable as provided in s.775.082 or s.775.083, when he or she intentionally or recklessly commits any act of hazing as defined by state law upon another person who is a member of or an applicant to any type of student organization and the hazing creates a substantial risk of physical injury or death to such other person.
- As a condition of any sentence imposed pursuant to a violation of the Florida State Hazing Law, the court shall order the defendant to attend and complete a four-hour hazing education course and may also impose a condition of drug or alcohol probation.