USF Hazing Policy

The University of South Florida System shares the national concern regarding the recent allegations of hazing and the tragic death of a student at another university. Committed to a safe and healthy campus, USF provides a supportive learning environment that encourages respect for the dignity and rights of the entire university community. Hazing in any form—on or off campus—is strictly forbidden, and immediate action will be taken against any person or any organization found in violation of USF’s hazing regulation.
USF takes a proactive approach to the prevention of hazing. Educational programs, peer education programs, and informational materials for students and student organization advisors are offered to help ensure an understanding of the definition of hazing, judicial sanctions for policy violations, and community responsibilities. Just as the USF System is committed to ending hazing, so is the student body. Last year, students proactively held a “no-hazing” rally to reinforce the message. USF will continue this kind of community dialogue to ensure that the community understands that hazing will not be tolerated and to educate all regarding the potentially tragic and fatal consequences in a hazing incident.
All USF students and staff are responsible for complying with policies, standards, rules, and requirements for academic and social behavior formulated by the University for the orderly and responsible functioning of the University community, including the regulation prohibiting hazing, posted at All parties have the responsibility to uphold these community standards both on and off campus. 
Additionally, you should also be aware that the State of Florida Legislature enacted an anti-hazing law in 2005 (, the Chad Meredith Act, which provides the following definition of hazing:
"Hazing" means any action or situation that recklessly or intentionally endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a student for purposes, including, but not limited to, the purpose of initiation or admission into or affiliation with any organization operating under the sanction of a postsecondary institution.
"Hazing" includes, but is not limited to:
Pressuring or coercing the student into violating state or federal law; any brutality of a physical nature, such as whipping, beating, branding, forced calisthenics, exposure to the elements, forced consumption of any food, liquor, drug, or other substance, or other forced physical activity that which could adversely affect the physical health or safety of the student;
Any activity that which would subject the student to extreme mental stress, such as sleep deprivation, forced exclusion from social contact, forced conduct that which could result in extreme embarrassment;
Other forced activity that which could adversely affect the mental health or dignity of the student.
Hazing does not include customary athletic events or other similar contests or competitions or any activity or conduct that furthers a legal and legitimate objective.
In the State of Florida, hazing is a criminal offense:
"A person commits hazing, a third degree felony, when he or she intentionally or recklessly commits any act of hazing upon another person who is a member of or an applicant to any type of student organization and the hazing results in serious bodily injury or death of such other person."
USF will take swift disciplinary action against individuals and/or groups who are involved in hazing activities. In addition, the University will make appropriate referrals to state and local authorities for possible criminal prosecution.
As part of the USF community, faculty and staff have an obligation to report any suspected acts of hazing. For your comfort and convenience, you may use any one of the following means provided by the University:
Contact the University office as designated in Regulation USF6.0023
Tampa and USF Health:  Dean for Students, 813-974-6677
St. Petersburg:  Student Services/Rights and Responsibilities, 727-873-4162
Polytechnic:  Director of Student Affairs/Dean for Students, 863-667-7049
Sarasota-Manatee:  Assoc. VP for Student Services, 941-359-4348
Contact University Police
Tampa and USF Health: 800-992-4231 (or ext. 4-2628)
St. Petersburg: 727-873-4140
Sarasota-Manatee: 941-487-4210
Polytechnic:  863-297-1059 or Polk County Sheriff's Office:  863-298-6200
Report anonymously through the USF EyeWitness system, a text-based messaging system that provides a way to discretely report crime tips directly to the University Police by texting "USFtip" to 67283 on your cell phone.
By working together, students, faculty, and staff in the USF System will ensure that hazing is not part of any student's USF experience.