Student Organizations Hazing Policy

San Jose State University seeks to promote the creation of a safe and inclusive campus community. Students’ participation in activities and organizations should be able to participate without compromising their safety, health and personal well-being. Hazing in every form, or conspiracy to haze is prohibited. San José State University takes a zero-tolerance approach to hazing.


Hazing is defined in Section 41301 of Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations as “any method of initiation or preinitiation into a student organization or student body, whether or not the organization or body is officially recognized by an educational institution, which is likely to cause serious bodily danger to any former, current, or prospective student of any school, community college, college, university or other educational institution in this state (Penal Code 245.6) and in addition, any act likely to cause physical or mental harm, to any former, current, or prospective student of any school, community college, college, university, or other educational institution; the term ‘hazing’ does not include customary athletic events or school sanctioned events. Neither the express or complied consent of a victim of hazing, nor the lack of active participation in a particular hazing incident is a defense. Apathy or acquiescence in the presence of hazing is not a neutral act, and is also a violation of this section.”
For the non-exhaustive list please visit the Registered Student Organizations Code of Conduct [pdf] and find (14) A-O.  

Examples of Hazing 

  • Abducting members and transporting them on/off campus. 
  • Forcing/requiring members to complete calisthenics or rigorous exercises. 
  • Forced consumption of any substance including food, drugs, alcohol, water, or any beverage; or any items individually or in combination…
  • Marching in a single file line, intimidation, forced nudity or sexual acts, etc….  

How to Intervene

How to intervene if you find yourself in a situation where you or someone you know may be experiencing hazing behavior? Follow the 5D’s of bystander intervention! 

Distract- interrupt the situation without directly confronting the offender by causing a distraction(s). 

Delegate- Seek help from someone else, often this will be someone you trust or a campus authority. (police department, advisor, counselor, student involvement, student conduct, a close friend)

Document- making a note of a situation, taking video, or even photographs can help university staff in assessing an incident.

Delay – Check in with the person who was being harassed or hazed after the incident. 

Direct- Directly intervene, in the moment, to prevent a problem or situation from happening. 


Frequently Asked Questions

If someone agrees to participate in an activity, it isn’t considered hazing, is it?

In states that have laws against hazing, consent of the victim cannot be used as a defense in a civil suit. This is because even if someone agrees to participate in a potentially hazardous action, it may not be true consent when considering the peer pressure and desire to belong to the group.

*In the state of California, consent cannot be used as a defense for hazing. 

Hazing is such a gray area. How can you determine whether or not a certain activity is hazing?

It may seem difficult at first, but with a little bit of quick questioning you can decide if a situation is hazing or not. If there is the potential someone experienced physical or mental harm, harassment, or degradation, the activity is more than likely hazing. 

How to Report

If you or anyone else ever witnessed, participated in, or feels hazed, please report it. The university will investigate all reports of hazing behavior.

The following are ways to report hazing at SJSU:

Student Organization Reporting Form

Office of Student Involvement
Call: 408-924-5961

Office of Student Conduct and Ethical Development
Call: 408-924-5985

University Police Department 
Call: 408-924-2222, If this is an emergency call 911 

Additional Resources

Stop Hazing-

Student Code of Conduct- [pdf]

RSO Handbook- Student Involvment

I Hollaback-


*Please note that the sections titled how to intervene, frequently asked questions, and additional resources are solely for the convenience of the reader. These sections are not a part of official university policy. For the official policy please see SJSU Student Code of Conduct and the Registered Student Organization Handbook.