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May 8, 2020
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
University Hazing Policy Review Committee Recommendations
 
In recognition of the immediacy and severity hazing presents to the WSU community, the Associated Students of Washington State University formed the University Hazing Policy Review Committee. The committee’s objective was to create a list of recommendations to deliver to the administration focused on refining the definition of hazing, increasing the availability of hazing prevention resources, expanding campus awareness of hazing, and taking proactive steps to eliminate hazing. The committee included representatives from key organizations including ASWSU, the Greek Councils, NCAA and Club Athletics, the Cougar Marching Band and RSO’s. After thorough and thoughtful deliberations, the University Hazing Policy Review Committee recommends the following:
  • Create a wsu.edu website dedicated specifically to  a hazing. The website should include the following:
    • Reporting resources for victims of hazing with clear explanations on the resources’ capabilities and responsibilities to support the victim including if they are mandatory or non-mandatory reporters.
    • A recommended “chain of command” for students, family members and community members to report hazing with personalized reporting structures for specific communities. (e.g.: Greek Life, Registered Student Organizations, Athletics, Cougar Marching Band)
    • Ability for family members, friends and community members to report hazing.
    • Link to counseling and other resources for victims who may or may not be reporting hazing.
    • Resources for organizations to promote team building, avoid unintentional hazing and overcome traditions of hazing.
  • Take one of two courses of action to address the current definition of hazing.
    • Update theWashington Administrative Code 504-26-206 to retain the broad and encompassing nature of the definition while adding specific examples of hazing with student friendly terminology. The intent should be to ensure students can apply Washington State University’s hazing definition to their experiences to better identify, prevent and report hazing. Student representation in the editing process is strongly encouraged. 
    • Create a hazing definition separate from the Washington Administrative Code 504-26-206 used not for student conduct practices, but for education and awareness. The definition would support and encompass the definition outlined in the Washington Administrative Code 504-26-206, but would use student friendly terminology and common hypothetical examples. The student friendly definition could be used as a resource and widely distributed to groups.
  • Create a workshop or educational program exclusively for administrators and faculty overseeing student groups that pose a high risk of hazing. The workshop is intended to accomplish the following:
    • Create cohesion and unison around the enforcement and application of Washington State University’s hazing  If a student, community member or parent asks an administrator if a common action constitutes hazing under Washington State University policy, they should receive similar answers from each administrator. 
    • Educate administrators on student efforts to address and prevent hazing.
    • Update the administrators on the latest hazing prevention tools, education and research. 
    • Examine how peer institutions have addressed hazing and how their practices can be applied to Washington State University.
  • Dedicate a source of funding for hazing prevention within the Division of Student Affairs. The Greek Councils, club sports, and the Cougar Marching Band have historically spent their funding on educational hazing prevention programs. Since the prevention and elimination of hazing is an objective of the students and the administration, the university needs to allocate funding to address hazing. The funding can support programmings, initiatives, team bonding workshops currently available through University Recreation, Hazing Prevention Week and/or initiatives targeted towards addressing hazing.
  • Change the Washington Administrative Code 504-26-206 to reform the NCAA, club and intramural sports exemption for hazing related to “practice, training, conditioning and eligibility requirements.” The committee recognizes athletic activity could fall under the definition of “risk of physical harm,” but the current definition carries too much ambiguity creating the potential for egregious hazing on sports teams to be permitted. 
  • Incorporate a hazing prevention training into the Student Athlete Orientation that each NCAA student-athlete receives focused on awareness, prevention and resources.
  • Provide professional training to student leaders to empower peer-to-peer workshops, programs and/or initiatives to establish an anti-hazing  Whether the training is from an administrator with expertise or an outside professional, student leaders need the tools to address hazing.
  • Support federal and state legislation advocating for increasing transparency of hazing statistics and increasing criminal punishments for perpetrators of hazing. Specifically, we urge administration to support Washington State in joining thirteen other states in making egregious hazing a felony offense and support the federal Report and Educate About Campus Hazing (REACH) Act (H.R. 662) to require reporting and education at federally funded universities.
  • Work with student leaders and organizations to find innovative ways to promote hazing prevention resources, expanding hazing awareness, and eliminating hazing.
 
Sincerely,
 
Quinton Berkompas                         Jhordin Prescott                           Victoria Fitzpatrick
         ASWSU President                       ASWSU Vice President                  ASWSU Director of Safety
 
Sam King-Shaw                                 Karl Estes                                   Jarrod Zaharian
              NCAA Student Athlete                    Cougar Marching Band              Men’s Lacrosse Club President   
 Council President
 
Sydney Buchheister                            Aaron Fandel                              Benjamin Naumann
    Mock Trial President                              IFC President                       IFC Executive Vice President
 
Megan Gould                                   Bridget Yule                                 Juliana Medel
    Panhellenic President         Panhellenic Vice President         Multicultural Greek Council

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