University Hazing Policy
LeTourneau University proudly operates by the guidelines of Biblical truth and Constitutional rights as well as Federal, State and local laws. Hazing is a long time college “tradition” that all too often represents a breach of all three of the aforementioned authorities. College pranks are a way of life; it is the unfortunate circumstances of pranks taking unexpected turns or being carried too far in the excitement of the moment that necessitates legal intervention into what might otherwise just be a good time of fun and fellowship.
Legal Overview of Hazing
The Texas Penal Code defines hazing as “any 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 an organization.” The fact that the pledge or newcomer consents to participation is not a defense to prosecution
. A conviction under this statute carries a penalty of fine and/or jail sentence. In any case, a substantiated charge of this level may ruin your professional reputation for the rest of your life. (Learn more about the Texas Penal Code: Hazing Definitions
and Personal Hazing Offense).
The reality of the matter is that many of the words in the preceding paragraph are interpreted individually for the purposes of this specific law. This means that the law is really much more far reaching than it actually appears to be. Hazing is interpreted to be causing a person to do things that may be injurious to any person’s health, dignity or mental well-being that they would not otherwise choose to do on their own for the purposes of being included in a group. A group may be anything from one of our Societies to a floor community or other social or professional group.
LeTourneau University takes great pride in the caliber and intellect of the student body. The faculty and staff of the University believe, as a whole, that our students are capable of maintaining certain traditional initiation rites without being injurious to the dignity, health or mental well-being of pledges and new-comers. This paragraph is not an invitation to seek out means of skirting the law, but rather a challenge to identify and implement initiations that are up-lifting and truly aimed at the purpose for which any of our groups exists – to glorify God through our personal and professional development.