At Green River College, we care about the safety and well-being of all individuals on campus. To ensure this, we have established anti-hazing policies, which are reinforced by the Washington State Law (RCW 9A.20.021). We take any violation of this policy seriously and will take appropriate action to maintain a safe and respectful environment for all members of our community.

What is Hazing?

Hazing encompasses physical, psychological, or emotional harm inflicted on individuals during their recruitment, initiation, or admission into a student organization, athletic team, or other group. Consent is not a defense against hazing, as harm can still ensue. Hazing can take various forms, ranging from violent and dangerous, to intimidating and subtle. Subtle hazing often involves activities or attitudes that ridicule, embarrass, or humiliate new members, creating a power imbalance between new and existing members. New members may feel coerced into tolerating subtle hazing to belong, but no form of hazing should be tolerated. A successful team is built through shared values and positive experiences and can’t be fast tracked through hazing.

How Do I Report Hazing?

If you have concerns that hazing is occurring or has occurred, inform Campus Safety by reporting it:

Anyone who has reason to suspect that hazing is occurring or has occurred and has received an oral report or credible written document must report the incident.

What are Green River College’s WAC Codes?

WAC 132J-126-090: Conduct – Student Responsibilities

(9) Hazing.

  • (a) Hazing is any act committed as part of:
    • (i) A person's recruitment, initiation, pledging, admission into, or affiliation with a student group;
    • (ii) Any pastime or amusement engaged in with respect to such a student group; or
    • (iii) That causes, or is likely to cause, bodily danger or physical harm, or serious psychological or emotional harm, to any student.
  • (b) Examples of hazing include, but are not limited to:
    • (i) Causing, directing, coercing, or forcing a person to consume any food, liquid, alcohol, drug, or other substance which subjects the person to risk of such harm;
    • (ii) Humiliation by ritual act;
    • (iii) Striking another person with an object or body part;
    • (iv) Causing someone to experience excessive fatigue, or physical and/or psychological shock; or
    • (v) Causing someone to engage in degrading or humiliating games or activities that create a risk of serious psychological, emotional, and/or physical harm.
  • (c) "Hazing" does not include customary athletic events or other similar contests or competitions.
  • (d) Consent is not a valid defense against hazing.
WAC 132J-126-125: Hazing Prohibited – Sanctions

(1) Hazing by a student or a student group is prohibited pursuant to WAC 132J-126-090(9).

(2) No student may conspire to engage in hazing or participate in hazing of another. State law provides that hazing is a criminal offense, punishable as a misdemeanor.

(3) Washington state law provides that:

  • (a) Any student group that knowingly permits hazing is strictly liable for harm caused to persons or property resulting from hazing. If the organization, association, or student living group is a corporation whether for profit or nonprofit, the individual directors of the corporation may be held individually liable for damages.
  • (b) Any person who participates in the hazing of another shall forfeit any entitlement to state-funded grants, scholarships, or awards for a period of time determined by the college.
  • (c) Student groups that knowingly permits hazing to be conducted by its members or by others subject to its direction or control shall be deprived of any official recognition or approval granted by the college.
  • (d) Student groups found responsible for violating the code of student conduct, college anti-hazing policies, or state or federal laws relating to hazing or offenses related to alcohol, drugs, sexual assault, or physical assault will be disclosed in a public report issued by the college setting forth the name of the student group, the date the investigation began, the date the investigation ended, a finding of responsibility, a description of the incident(s) giving rise to the finding, and the details of the sanction(s) imposed.

What Does Hazing Look Like?

Hazing can include:
  • Abducting or kidnapping an individual.
  • Assigning a demerit to an individual.
  • Beating, paddling, striking, or conducting any form of physical assault on an individual.
  • Causing an individual to experience excessive fatigue, and physical or psychological shock.
  • Coercing an individual to engage in a sexual act, simulation, or exhibition.
  • Demanding an individual to engage in an activity that can create risk of emotional, physical, or psychological harm.
  • Demanding an individual to take part in an activity that can promote property damage or theft.
  • Depriving an individual of sleep.
  • Exposing an individual to indecency or the elements.
  • Forcing an individual to drink substantial amounts of water to the point of water intoxication.
  • Forcing an individual to remain in a fixed position for a certain period of time.
  • Harassing an individual based on their race, sex, or other discriminatory factor.
  • Instructing an individual to participate in an activity that is morally degrading or humiliating.
  • Leaving an individual stranded in a location that can endanger their safety, health, or comfort.
  • Making an individual a target of ridicule, amusement, or intimidation.
  • Mandating an individual to wear inappropriate or embarrassing clothing attire.
  • Ordering an individual to participate in a “line-up,” where obscenities or insults are shouted.
  • Persuading an individual to perform an act of personal servitude.
  • Requiring an individual to ingest alcohol, drugs, or vile substances.
  • Socially isolating an individual.
  • Threatening an individual.
  • Transporting an individual without their consent.
  • Verbally abusing an individual through an insult and/or giving a demeaning name.

What is Sam’s Law?

Sam’s Law was established after 19-year-old freshman, Sam Martinez died of acute alcohol poisoning while pledging for a fraternity at Washington State University in 2019. House Bill 1751, Sam’s Law was signed into law in March 2022, and the law expands the legal definition of hazing, requires hazing education for all staff and students at colleges, and requires institutions to make public records of hazing and other misconduct by student organizations.