The definition of hazing includes any method of initiation into a student organization or living group that causes bodily danger or physical harm, or serious mental or emotional harm to a person attending a public or private institution of higher education or any other postsecondary educational institution.
Hazing is prohibited at public and private institutions of higher education or any other postsecondary educational institution in Washington. A person who participates in hazing forfeits any entitlement to state-funded grants, scholarships, or awards for a period of time determined by the institution, and any organization, association, or student living group that knowingly permits hazing is deprived of any official recognition or approval granted by the institution.
The definition of hazing is expanded to apply to athletic teams in addition to student organizations and living groups. It includes any act committed as part of person's recruitment, pledging, admission into, or affiliation with an athletic team, student organization, or living group in addition to initiation into such groups. The definition specifies that causing, directing, coercing, or forcing a person to consume any food, liquid, alcohol, drug, or other substance which subjects the person to risk of harm, regardless of the person's willingness to participate, is considered hazing.
Hazing Violations Report and Webpage.
Public and private institutions of higher education (institutions) must prohibit hazing both on and off campus in their codes of conduct. Beginning with the fall 2022 academic term, each institution must provide students and their legal guardians with an educational program on hazing and the dangers of hazing, as well as the institution's prohibition on hazing. Institutions must offer at least one opportunity for students to complete the educational program at new student orientation and must verify students' completion of the program. Student organizations, athletic teams, and living groups may not initiate or accept any person who has not attended the educational program. The educational program may be offered in-person or electronically.
Beginning with the 2022-2023 academic year, each institution must maintain and publicly report actual findings of hazing violations by any student organization, athletic team, or living group. Hazing violations include violations of the institution's code of conduct, antihazing policies, or state or federal laws relating to hazing or offenses related to alcohol, drugs, or sexual or physical assault. The report must include:
The report must not include include any personal or identifying information of individual students and is subject to the requirements of the federal Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Institutions must maintain reports for five years and post them on their respective websites 45 calendar days before the start of the fall academic term and 10 days before the start of all other academic terms.
In addition to the report, institutions must maintain a webpage that is regularly updated with current investigations into hazing, alcohol, drug, or sexual or physical assault violations by any student organization, athletic team, or living group.
Duty to Report Hazing.
Beginning in the fall 2022 academic term, each institution must provide hazing prevention education to each employee and volunteer at the institution, either in person or electronically. The training shall be provided annually for each employee and before the start of the next academic term for new employees. Employees and volunteers who have witnessed hazing or have reasonable cause to believe that hazing has or will occur must report such information to a designated authority at the institution. A person reporting hazing in good faith may not be sanctioned or punished for hazing unless the person is directly engaged in the planning, directing, or act of hazing reported. A person is not prohibited from independently reporting hazing or suspected hazing activity to law enforcement.
Social Fraternity and Sorority Organizations.
Social fraternity and sorority organizations (organizations) must notify institutions before chartering, rechartering, opening, or reopening a local chapter at the institution and must notify the institution when the organization instigates a hazing investigation of a local chapter. Beginning in the 2022 fall academic term, organizations seeking to obtain or maintain registration with any institution in Washington must certify in writing and provide weblinks that any websites owned by the organization contain a full list for the previous five years of all hazing violations of policies, state or federal laws, or the institution's code of conduct against the local chapter. If an organization does not comply with these requirements, the organization will automatically lose recognition at the institution until it comes into compliance.