University of St. Thomas in Houston, Texas logo
Hazing

The complete UST Hazing Policy can be found on the MyStThom portal and in the Student Handbook.

Hazing of any kind is inconsistent with the University’s values and incompatible with the safe, healthy environment that the University of St. Thomas community expects. All members of this community share responsibility for creating and maintaining an environment which promotes the safety and dignity of each individual. Not only is hazing against the law, but the very act and its outcomes are detrimental to the type of leaders the institution strives to develop.  UST is committed to providing a safe environment for all members of the university community and prohibits hazing by any student, student group or employee.

Hazing is any intentional, knowing or reckless act, occurring on or off campus, by one person acting alone or with others, directed against an individual or group that endangers the mental or physical health or safety of that individual or group for the purpose of pledging, being initiated into, affiliating with, holding office in, or maintaining membership in any organization regardless of whether the student victim may have consented to or acquiesced in the activity. The term “hazing” includes, but is not limited to:

  • Subjecting a student(s) to an unreasonable risk or harm.
  • Adversely affecting the mental or physical health or safety of the student(s).
  • The destruction of private or personal property or the disruption of a campus community environment.
  • Unreasonably or unusually impairing an individual’s academic efforts.
Code of Student Conduct

Students or student groups may be disciplined and sanctioned for the misconduct of hazing under the UST Code of Student Conduct.

Report Hazing

Anyone with knowledge of hazing should immediately report the incident to UST by contacting the Dean of Students at 713-525-3570; dos@stthom.edu or University Police at 713-525-3888.  UST will investigate all reports of hazing involving students, whether the alleged conduct took place on or off campus and regardless of the victim’s consent to the alleged misconduct.

Penalties for Hazing

UST will discipline any student or student group found responsible for hazing. Sanctions for students and student groups found responsible for hazing can include probation, suspension or expulsion. Education sanctions designed to change behavior and reduce the risk of future misconduct can also be sanctioned.

Resources
Hazing and the Law

Hazing is not only against UST policy, it is also against the law. The Texas Education Code, sections 51.936 and 37.151 through 37.157 make hazing a criminal offense. Criminal penalties for hazing can include:

  • Failing to report hazing: Fine up to $1,000 and/or up to 180 days in jail
  • Hazing not resulting in serious bodily injury: Fine of $500-$1,000 and/or 90-180 days in jail
  • Hazing resulting in serious bodily injury: Fine of $1,000-$5,000 and/or 180 days to 1 year in jail
  • Hazing resulting in death: Fine of $5,000-$10,000 and/or 1-2 years in jail

Except where hazing results in death, an individual convicted of hazing may be required to perform community service in lieu of confinement to jail. Students who commit hazing can be subject to both criminal prosecution and penalties, as well as sanctions through the University conduct process.

Student groups and individual students can be found guilty of hazing.