Messiah University "Anti-Hazing" Statement
Messiah University and Pennsylvania Law prohibit hazing in any form. Hazing is defined by the Pennsylvania Hazing Law as “any action or situation which recklessly or intentionally endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a student or which willfully destroys or removes public or private property for the purpose of initiation or admission into or affiliation with, or as a condition for continued membership in, any organization operating under the sanction of or recognized as an organization by an institution of higher education. The term shall include, but not be limited to, any brutality of a physical nature, such as whipping, beating, branding, forced calisthenics, exposure to the elements, forced consumption of any food, liquor, drug or other substance, or any other forced physical activity which could adversely affect the physical health and safety of the individual, and shall include any activity which would subject the individual to extreme mental stress, such as sleep deprivation, forced exclusion from social contact, forced conduct which could result in extreme embarrassment, or any other forced activity which could adversely affect the mental health or dignity of the individual, or any willful destruction or removal of public or private property. For purposes of this definition, any activity as described in this definition upon which the initiation or admission into or affiliation with or continued membership in an organization is directly or indirectly conditioned shall be presumed to be "forced" activity, the willingness of an individual to participate in such activity notwithstanding.”
For more information on the University’s “Anti-Hazing” statement, see: https://www.messiah.edu/download/downloads/id/528/Current_Student_Handbook.pdf
Time Period Covered: 2013 - 2020
|This report is published in accordance with ACT 80 of 2018, the Timothy J. Piazza Antihazing Law, 18 Pa.C.S. & 2809 et seq.
The University is not aware of any recent instances of hazing that resulted in charged violations of its policy. However, the University did receive the following good faith reports of potential hazing activities.
|DATE RECEIVED||DATE RESOLVED||DESCRIPTION||SANCTIONS|
|1/1/2013 - 12/31/2018|
|2/26/2015||3/15/2015||The University was made aware of rumors concerning potential hazing incidents associated with its swim team. In response, the University conducted an immediate investigation into the incident that was reported.||Although the investigation did not yield conclusive evidence to substantiate any hazing had occurred, the University nevertheless took the opportunity to address hazing as a serious violation of University policy, the law and our Christian ethic.|
|4/13/2018||4/30/2018||The University received notification from one of its alumni egarding allegations of prior conduct that could constitute hazing behavior involving its lacrosse team. In response, the University conducted an immediate investigation into the incident that was reported.||Specific instances of alleged cyber-bullying were addressed immediately. The investigation of other complained behaviors could not be substantiated. However, the University warned the coach and team that any future hazing incidents would result in disciplinary actions, up to and including termination of the program.|
|1/1/2019 - 6/30/2019|
|1/1/2019||6/30/2019||No incidents related to hazing reported at this time.|
|7/1/2019 - 12/31/2019|
|9/11/2019||9/12/2019||The University received information from several first year male soccer players that their rooms had been rummaged through. In response, the University conducted an immediate investigation into the incident that was reported.||The investigation of the alleged reported incident revealed that two female students had "pranked" the first year soccer players. This incident does not rise to the level of Hazing (PA Title 18, Chapter 28, Section 2802(a), known as the "Timothy J. Piazza Antihazing Law") because the two female students were not coerced into committing the act, nor was it done for the purpose of admitting, continuing the admittance of, or enhancing the membership of the victims into an organization.|
|1/1/2020 - 7/31/2020|
|2/25/2020||2/26/2020||The University received a report from an employee on behalf of student athletes on the swim team; the employee was told that during recruiting weekend for swimmers (this took place at the end of October or beginning of November, 2019) the Messiah University swim team organized a campus-wide scavenger hunt where prospective students were divided amount groups of current student athletes to complete tasks around campus. One of the tasks for prospective students to complete was to kiss a stranger on campus. One of the prospective students was “made to” complete this task by their group. This seemed to indicate that the prospective student did not wish to kiss a stranger but was pressured to do so by current student athletes.||
University officials met with the swim team. The University created an action plan to address the concerns.
|8/1/2020 – 12/31/2020|
|8/1/2020||12/31/2020||No incidents related to hazing reported at this time.||
|1/1/2021 - 4/30/2021|
|1/1/2021||4/30/2021||No incidents related to hazing reported at this time.||