Hazing of any kind is prohibited on campus and is unlawful in the state of North Carolina. The term encompasses actions or activities that do not contribute to the positive development of a person, including any activity expected of someone joining a group that humiliates, degrades, or risks emotional/physical harm.

There are three main types of hazing:

Subtle - Subtle hazing includes all activities or attitudes meant to embarrass, humiliate or ridicule a person. Examples include: Issuing demerits; requiring silence periods; planning scavenger hunts for meaningless objects; and name-calling.

Harassment - Harassment hazing includes activities that confuse, frustrate, or cause a member undue stress through mental anguish and physical discomfort. Examples include: Requiring ridiculous costumes or activities; requiring probationary members to perform personal services; verbal abuse; any form of questioning under pressure or in an uncomfortable position; sleep or hygiene deprivation; and expecting new members to harass others.

Violent - Violent hazing includes any activity that causes physical or emotional harm. Examples include: Forcing alcohol consumption; forcing consumption of vile substances; sexual violation; assault; burning; forcing members into life-threatening situations; forcing water intoxication, forcing public nudity; and abducting/kidnapping members. 

Hazing Laws in North Carolina

  • Hazing is unlawful in the state of North Carolina.
  • The charge for hazing is at minimum a Class 2 Misdemeanor.
  • Any victim has the right to civilly sue the person or persons who hazed them.
  • In trials for hazing, any person subpoenaed as a witness on behalf of the state shall be required to testify.
  • Penalties for conviction of hazing are not less than 30 days in jail but not to exceed 6 months, plus costs of court and attorney.

Hazing Resources

  • Stophazing.org - an extensive site covering many aspects of hazing including fraternity, sorority, athletic, high school and military hazing.
  • Hank Nuwer is an Indiana-based author whose specialty is hazing.
  • Inside Hazing - provides methods of prevention and intervention in hazing and explains the psychology of hazing in high school, college, the military, and the workplace. Includes educational information for use in anti-hazing initiatives among fraternities, sororities, teams, and other groups.

Alternatives to Hazing

There are other ways to foster unity within a group and instill a sense of membership. For example:

  • Work together on a community service project
  • Work together to improve the group meeting spaces
  • Work together to plan a social or sporting event
  • Plan to attend a concert, movie, or meals as a group
  • Plan group study sessions, tutoring, or seminars/speakers that promote academic or personal success