Baldwin Wallace University Hazing Policy

All forms of hazing, on or off campus, by any individual student, or Baldwin Wallace University registered student club or organization, faculty or staff, or any of its members or alumni are prohibited. Students are entitled to be treated with consideration and respect, and no individual may perform an act that is likely to cause physical or psychological harm or social ostracism to any other person within the Baldwin Wallace University community. The University will investigate and respond to all reports of hazing as outlined in this policy.

Baldwin Wallace maintains a report of all violations of this policy that are reported and result in a charge of violation of the policy. The University will update the report bi-annually on January 1 and August 1 of each year and will post the updated report on this webpage.


What is Hazing?

Ohio Revised Code, Section 2903.31 defines hazing as:
doing any act or coercing another, including the victim, to do any act of initiation into any student or other organization or any act to continue or reinstate membership in or affiliation with any student or other organization that causes or creates a substantial risk of causing mental or physical harm to any person, including coercing another to consume alcohol or a drug of abuse, as defined in section 3719.011 of the Revised Code.

Accordingly, the following behavior is expressly forbidden as hazing when related to the admission, initiation, pledging, joining, or any other group-affiliation activity:

  1. Physical abuse (on or off campus), including but not limited to paddling, slapping, kicking, choking, scratching, exposure to extreme water temperatures (i.e. cold or hot), and the consumption of disgusting and/or dangerous concoctions;
  2. Causing excessive mental stress, including but not limited to placing prospective members of an organization or group in ambiguous situations which lead to confusion and emotional stress and sleep deprivation;
  3. Verbal abuse, including but not limited to shouting, screaming or use of derogatory, profane, or obscene language; and
  4. Subservience, including but not limited to any activity which promotes a class system within an organization or activities which facilitate inappropriate levels of authority over students.

This list is not exhaustive, and any student or organization found to be involved in any hazing activity will face sanctions or discipline as defined below. See below for some examples of hazing violations. Violation of this policy exists irrespective of the voluntary or consensual participation in the hazing activity by the person being hazed.


Sanctions for Violations of Hazing Policy

Hazing is a serious offense and Baldwin Wallace University will exercise zero tolerance for hazing. Therefore, violations of this policy are subject to the full range of sanctions, including reprimand, disciplinary probation, suspension, and expulsion. Educational activities may also be sanctioned. 

Individuals who participate in hazing or recklessly permit the hazing of another may also face criminal penalties in accordance with Ohio Revised Code sections 2903.31 and 2903.311. These penalties are in addition to sanctions imposed by the University under this policy.


Report Obligations

Campus safety is our top priority and Baldwin Wallace University takes all reports of misconduct seriously. To create a community free of hazing, it is imperative that everyone with knowledge of hazing reports it. All students, Baldwin Wallace University registered student clubs or organizations, faculty or staff, or any of its members or alumni are required to report hazing, as the failure to prevent, intervene or report acts of hazing may also be considered acts of hazing.

To report hazing, please contact Bob Beyer, Senior Director of Residence Life and Housing at (440) 826-2381 or bbeyer@bw.edu or submit a Hazing Incident Report. Anonymous reports of hazing can also be submitted. However, remaining anonymous can make it more difficult to promptly and thoroughly investigate the report(s).

If anyone is experiencing harm or is in imminent danger, please call 9-1-1. For on-campus reports, call campus security at (440) 826-2000. To report off-campus behavior, call the Berea police department at (440) 234-1234.  

You may also have additional reporting obligations under Ohio law. Collin's Law: The Ohio Anti-Hazing Act Sec. 2903.311 (B) states: 

No administrator, employee, faculty member, teacher, consultant, alumnus, or volunteer of any organization, including any primary, secondary, or post-secondary school or any other public or private educational institution, who is acting in an official and professional capacity shall recklessly fail to immediately report the knowledge of hazing to a law enforcement agency in the county in which the victim of hazing resides or in which the hazing is occurring or has occurred.

If you have questions about your reporting obligations please contact Bob Beyer, Senior Director of Residence Life and Housing at (440) 826-2381 or bbeyer@bw.edu.


Review and Investigation of Hazing Reports

Student Conduct will review all reports of hazing and will share hazing reports with the Vice President of Student Affairs, Safety and Security, and Berea Police.

A Student Conduct case manager may ask the reporter for an interview. The case manager can explain whether and how they would share personally identifying information about the reporter, victims or witnesses. Often, Student Conduct can keep those names private during the investigation.


Amnesty for Reporters

The welfare of members of our community is of paramount importance. At times, community members on and off-campus may need assistance. Baldwin Wallace University encourages you to offer help and assistance to others in need. Sometimes, you may be hesitant to offer assistance to others, for fear that you may get into trouble (for example, a student who has been drinking underage might hesitate to help take a sexual misconduct victim to the Residence Life staff or Safety and Security). Baldwin Wallace University pursues a policy of limited immunity for those who offer help to others in need. While policy violations cannot be overlooked, the University will provide educational options, rather than sanctions, to those who offer their assistance to others in need.


Enforcement of the Hazing Policy

Bob Beyer, Senior Director of Residence Life and Housing shall coordinate the investigation of all hazing allegations. When appropriate other University departments may handle certain aspects of the college response.

Additionally, Bob Beyer, will assess the need for interim measures (e.g. suspension of current group activities). Every effort will be taken to complete the investigation in a timely manner. The hazing allegation will be investigated and resolved in keeping with the Student Code of Conduct process. At the point when a formal conduct charge is made against an organization, the national or oversight organization, if any, will also be notified. Criminal investigations resulting from a report to law enforcement will be handled by the appropriate law enforcement agency.

The University may charge an individual or a group with a violation of this policy via the Student Code of Conduct and/or other policies contained in the Student Handbook.


Report of Hazing Violations

Collin's Law requires universities to report hazing violations for the last five years starting in the 2022-2023 academic year. BW will share a dashboard on this webpage with violations of the Hazing policy.

*No current violations of BW’s Hazing policy in the past 5 years.


Examples of Hazing

What kind of activities might be considered hazing?

  • Forced cleaning
  • Running errands/menial tasks
  • Forced interviews
  • Scavenger hunts
  • Mental and/or psychological abuse
  • Public or private displays of humiliation
  • Forced use of alcohol or drugs
  • Providing alcohol to minors
  • Use of alcohol or drugs during the new member education/intake process or other membership events
  • Line-ups
  • Forced eating or drinking of items
  • Being yelled at or cursed at by other members of the team or group
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Public nudity
  • Forced wearing of embarrassing clothing
  • Depriving you of regular hygiene practices (brushing teeth, bathing)
  • Making you steal or destroy property
  • "Drop-offs" or "dumps" in unfamiliar locations
  • Lockups or being confined to small spaces
  • Being duct-taped or some other physical restraints
  • Violence
  • Sexual assault
  • Beating
  • Kicking
  • Calisthenics
  • Creation of excessive fatigue
  • Any activity which seriously endangers the health or safety of another individual.

To help you identify whether something is hazing or not, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Would active, current members of the group, refuse to take part in this activity with the new members and do the same activity?
  • Does the activity risk emotional or physical harm/abuse?
  • Would I object to this activity being photographed for the school newspaper or filmed by the local TV news crew?
  • Would I feel comfortable participating in this activity if my parents, professor, coach or university official were watching?
  • Would we get in trouble if the Director of Student Conduct walked by?
  • Am I being asked to keep these activities a secret?
  • Am I doing anything illegal?
  • Does participation violate my values or those of my organization?
  • Is this activity causing emotional distress or stress of any kind to myself or others?
  • If someone were injured, would I feel comfortable being investigated by the police or insurance carrier?

If the answer is "yes" to any of these questions, the activity is probably hazing. (Adapted from stophazing.org and University of Florida.)


Community Education

In addition to posting this policy as part of the policy manual, Baldwin Wallace University will provide a link to this policy to each recognized organization within the university.  The University is committed to educating all students, faculty, staff, and volunteers, about what hazing is, how to recognize it and steps to address it. All students, employees, and volunteer advisors and coaches are required to complete hazing education as part of being a member of our community. Further, all recognized organizations must conduct mandatory  training on hazing for any volunteer who has contact with students.

For all others, failure to comply with the policy will be addressed through the appropriate University disciplinary process based on an individual's classification.

Baldwin Wallace University maintains a report of all violations of this policy that are reported and result in a charge of violation of the policy. The University will update the report bi-annually on January 1 and August 1 of each year and will post the updated report on this webpage.