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Under state law (V.T.C.A., Education Code 51.936 and 37.151 et seq.), individuals or organizations engaging in hazing could be subject to fines and charged with a criminal offense.
According to the law, a person can commit a hazing offense not only by engaging in a hazing activity, but also by soliciting, directing, encouraging, aiding or attempting to aid another in hazing; by intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly allowing hazing to occur; or by failing to report in writing to the dean of students firsthand knowledge that a hazing incident is planned or has occurred. The fact that a person consented to or acquiesced in a hazing activity is not a defense to prosecution for hazing under the law.
In an effort to encourage reporting of hazing incidents, the law grants immunity from civil or criminal liability to any person who reports a specific hazing event in good faith and without malice to the dean of students or other appropriate official of the institution and immunizes that person for participation in any judicial proceeding resulting from that report. Additionally, a doctor or other medical practitioner who treats a student who may have been subjected to hazing may make a good faith report of the hazing activities to police or other law enforcement officials and is immune from civil or other liability that might otherwise be imposed or incurred as a result of the report. The penalty for failure to report is a fine of up to $1,000, up to 180 days in jail, or both. Penalties for other hazing offenses vary according to the severity of the injury which results and include fines from $500 to $10,000 and/or confinement for up to two years.
The law does not affect or in any way restrict the right of the University to enforce its own rules against hazing.
The law 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 any organization whose members are or include students at an educational institution. Hazing includes but is not limited to:
Rules and Regulations of the Board of Regents of The University of Texas System, Part One, Chapter VI, Section 3.28 provides that
Activities which under certain conditions constitute acts that are dangerous, harmful, or degrading, in violation of subsections 6-304(e) and 11-804(7) of the Institutional Rules on Student Services and Activities include but are not limited to
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Office of the Registrar
University of Texas at Austin
27 July 2000. Registrar's Web Team
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