As part of our commitment to creating a safe and welcoming campus environment, Bellevue College prohibits hazing (WAC 132H-126, BC Policy 2100 Hazing). Washington State law also prohibits hazing (RCW 9A.20.021).
Bellevue College provides students and employee with educational programming on hazing that includes information on hazing awareness, prevention, intervention, and the College’s policies prohibiting hazing.
Hazing can happen during someone’s recruitment, initiation, or admission into a student organization, athletic team, or other group. It can cause physical harm, and/or serious psychological or emotional harm. It does not matter if a person willingly agrees to engage in the hazing.
Hazing can be violent, harassing, intimidating, or subtle. Subtle hazing behaviors emphasize a power imbalance between new members and other members of the group or team. We often take these types of hazing for granted or accepted as harmless or meaningless. Subtle hazing typically involves activities or attitudes that may ridicule, embarrass, or humiliate new members. New members often feel the need to endure subtle hazing to feel like part of the group or team.
Under the Student Conduct Code, hazing is any act committed as part of
- a person’s recruitment, initiation, pledging, admission into, or affiliation with a student group, or
- any pastime or amusement engaged in with respect to such a student group;
- that causes, or is likely to cause, bodily danger or physical harm, or serious psychological or emotional harm, to any student.
Hazing does not include customary athletic events or other similar contests or competitions. Consent is not a valid defense against hazing. (WAC 132H-126)
Examples of actions and activities which may be hazing include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Compelling someone to consume alcohol or drugs
- Requiring someone to participate in activities (pranks, scavenger hunts, etc.) that encourage property damage or theft
- Making someone engage in sexual behaviors or exhibitionism
- Morally degrading or humiliating games or activities which make someone the object of amusement, ridicule, or intimidation
- Sexual, racial, and other discriminatory harassment
- Requiring someone to eat or drink unusual substances or large amounts
- Compelling someone to engage in acts of personal servitude
- Transporting someone against their will, abandoning someone at a distant location, or conducting any “kidnap,” “ditch” or “road trip” that may in any way endanger or compromise their health, safety, or comfort
- Causing someone to be indecently exposed or exposed to the elements
- Requiring someone to remain in a fixed position for a long period of time
- “Line-ups” involving intense shouting of obscenities or insults
- Excluding someone from social contact for prolonged periods of time
If you are asked to take part in hazing activities or are uncomfortable with the instructions given as a new group member, you have the right to say no.
If you see or experience hazing, you can report your concerns at bellevuecollege.edu/reportconcerns or contact the Manager of Student Conduct.
If an employee, student employee, or volunteer has “reasonable cause” to believe hazing has occurred, they are required to report the incident. “Reasonable cause” means receiving a credible written or oral report alleging hazing or potential or planned hazing.
Bellevue College had no reported cases of hazing during the 2020-2021 academic year.
Sam Martinez, a first-year student at Washington State University, died of alcohol poisoning while pledging a fraternity in 2019. In 2022, the State of Washington passed Sam’s Law (HB 1751). This law requires colleges and universities to provide hazing awareness and prevention education. As part of Sam’s Law, all Bellevue College students and employees need to complete online hazing prevention training. The College must also prepare a quarterly hazing report and maintain a Hazing Prevention Committee.
Bellevue College provides an online training to students that includes information on hazing awareness, prevention, intervention, and the College’s policies prohibiting hazing.
All employees including student employees receive an online hazing prevention training on the signs and dangers of hazing, as well as the College’s prohibition against hazing.
Hazing Policies and Procedures
Last Updated September 13, 2022