The University of Texas at Arlington requires that no fraternity, sorority, student organization, or athletic team shall allow any of its' associates, potential new members, new members, members, or others to participate in any pre-initiation ceremony or practice which involves mental or physical exhaustion or abuse, or would in any way interfere with the student's mental or physical ability to perform their work at UTA. These rites must not reflect unfavorably upon the fraternity, sorority, student organization, athletic team, or the University, or be of a dangerous, rude, or demeaning nature.
Summary of Section 51.936 Texas Education Code
The 70th Texas Legislature enacted a law concerning hazing which became effective September 1, 1987. Under the law, individuals or organizations engaging in hazing could be subject to fines and charged with a criminal offense.
According to the law, a person can commit a hazing offense not only by engaging in a hazing activity, but also by soliciting, directing, encouraging, aiding or attempting to aid another in hazing; by intentionally, knowingly or recklessly allowing hazing to occur; or by failing to report in writing first-hand information that a hazing incident is planned or has occurred to the vice president for student affairs. The fact that a person consented to or acquiesced in a hazing activity is not a defense to prosecution for hazing under this law.
In an effort to encourage reporting of hazing incidents, the law grants immunity from civil or criminal liability to any person who reports a specific hazing event to the Office of Student Affairs; and immunizes that person from participation in any judicial proceeding resulting from that report. The penalty for failure to report is a fine of up to $1,000, up to 180 days in jail, or both. Penalties for other hazing offenses vary according to the severity of the injury, which results and ranges from $500 to $10,000 in fines and up to two years confinement.
The law defines hazing as an intentional, knowing, or reckless act, occurring on or off the campus of an educational institution, by one person alone or acting with others, directed against a student, that endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a student for the purpose of pledging, being initiated into, affiliating with, holding office in, or maintaining membership in any organization whose members are or include students at an educational institution. Hazing includes but is not limited to:
- Any type of physical brutality, such as whipping, beating, striking, branding, electronic shocking, placing of a harmful substance on body, or similar activity.
- Any type of physical activity, such as sleep deprivation, exposure to the elements, and confinement in a small space, calisthenics, or other activity that subjects the student to an unreasonable risk of harm or that adversely affects the mental or physical health of the student.
- Any activity involving consumption of food, liquid, alcoholic beverage, liquor, drug, or other substance which subjects the student to an unreasonable risk of harm or which adversely affects the mental or physical health of the student.
- Any activity that intimidates or threatens the student with ostracism, that subjects the student to extreme mental stress, shame or humiliation, or that adversely affects the mental health or dignity of the student or discourages the student from entering or remaining registered in an educational institution, or that may reasonably be expected to cause a student to leave the organization or the institution rather than submit to acts described in this subsection.
- Any activity that induces, causes, or requires the student to perform a duty or task which involves a violation of the Penal Code.