Hazing generally includes mistreatment of students or other persons (pledges or plebes) in a ritualistic or tradition-based way that must be endured by the prospective members to gain admission to a group, club, or organization. The members doing the hazing often attempt to justify these hazing practices by referring to them as a rite of passage or rationalizing that all current members had to endure it and new prospective members should as well.
Hazing can take many forms, including:
• Requiring victims to act as a personal servant to senior (older) group members
• Forcing victims to binge drink or consume large amounts of alcohol or drugs
• Requiring victims to engage in embarrassing acts, such as wearing a costume or sign around their neck in public
• Depriving victims of sleep, food, or the ability to use the restroom
• Prohibiting victims from associating with family, friends, or other persons
• Swearing or yelling insults at victims.
Most schools have policies against hazing and in many states hazing may be prosecuted as a criminal offense if it results in bodily injury.