Anti-hazing Policy

Wilkes University strictly prohibits hazing of any kind. Hazing is a violation of University policy, as well as a violation of Pennsylvania law.

Wilkes University defines hazing as “any action or situation created on or off-campus which recklessly or intentionally harms, damages, or endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a student for the purposes of, including, but not limited to, initiation or admission into or affiliation with any organization operating within the University.”

Examples of hazing include, but are not limited to:

  • any brutality of a physical nature, such as whipping, beating, branding, forced or coerced calisthenics, or exposure to the elements;
  • brutality of a mental, emotional or sexual nature;
  • forced or coerced consumption of any food, alcohol, drug or other substance;
  • requiring the carrying of items such as rocks, bricks, pumpkins, etc.
  • compelling individuals to engage in sexual behaviors, sexual or racial harassment or slurs, or exhibitionism;
  • sleep deprivation;
  • excluding an individual from social contact for prolonged periods of time;
  • forced or coerced conduct which is illegal, indecent, obscene, or could result in extreme embarrassment;
  • any other forced or coerced activity which could adversely affect the physical health, safety, mental health, or dignity of an individual or group;
  • any other conduct prohibited as hazing under applicable state or federal law.

This policy applies to all University organizations, groups, and individuals and is equally applicable on and off campus.  Organizations are defined as:  “A fraternity, sorority, association, corporation, order, society, corps, club, team, social or similar group, whose members are primarily students or alumni of the organization, or the University.”

Any alleged act of hazing brought to the attention of University officials will be fully investigated and those individuals and/or groups accused will be brought before the University’s Student Affairs Council for adjudication.

Examples of sanctions that may be imposed upon individual students are:

  • disciplinary suspension or dismissal;
  • disciplinary probation;
  • attendance at educational programs or other training;
  • restitution; and/or
  • participation in alcohol, drug or other counseling services

Examples of sanctions that may be imposed upon organizations that knowingly permit, authorize or condone hazing are:

  • revocation or suspension of the organization’s existence or recognition;
  • cancellation of some or all the organization’s activities or events; and/or
  • decrease in, or restriction of, the organization’s privileges.

The following sections are excerpts from the Pennsylvania Crimes Code, 18 Pa.C.S. §§ 2801 et seq., also known as the Timothy J. Piazza Antihazing Law (Act 80 of 2018):

§ 2802.  Hazing.  (a)    Offense defined.  “A person commits the offense of hazing if the person intentionally, knowingly or recklessly, for the purpose of initiating, admitting or affiliating a minor or student, applicant or admitted individual into or with an organization, or for the purpose of continuing or enhancing a minor or student, applicant or admitted individual membership or status in an organization, causes, coerces or forces a minor or student, applicant or admitted individual to do any of the following:

  1. Violate federal or state criminal law;
  2. Consume any food, drink, alcoholic liquid, drug or other substance that subjects the minor or current student, applicant or individual to a risk of emotional or physical harm;
  3. Endure brutality of a physical nature, including whipping, beating, branding, calisthenics or exposure to the elements;
  4. Endure brutality of a mental nature, including activity adversely affecting the mental health or dignity of the individual, sleep deprivation, exclusion from social contact or conduct that could result in extreme embarrassment;
  5. Endure brutality of a sexual nature; and
  6. Endure any other activity that creates a reasonable likelihood of bodily injury to the minor or student, applicant or admitted individual.”

*It shall not be a defense to a charge of hazing that the student consented to the conduct in question.

If the hazing results in, or creates a reasonable likelihood of bodily injury to a minor or student, applicant or admitted individual, it is a misdemeanor of the third degree.  Hazing that results in serious bodily injury or death to a minor or student, applicant or admitted individual where a person acts with reckless indifference to the health and safety of a minor or student, applicant or admitted individual or the person causes, coerces or forces the consumption of an alcoholic liquid or drug by the minor or student, applicant or admitted individual is considered aggravated hazing and is a felony of the third degree.

A hazing incident may be reported by anyone; a person who the activity directly affected, a person who was involved in the incident; faculty/staff, parents, friends, or community members. If you have witnessed or have knowledge of a possible hazing incident, please report the incident to one of the following departments.

  • Dean of Students (Student Affairs) - (570) 408-4103
  • Associate Dean of Students (Student Affairs) - (570) 408-4107
  • University Police Department (WUPD) – (570) 408-4999

Confidential reports can be made to:

As required by Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Timothy J. Piazza Anti-hazing Law, Act 80 of 2018, twice a year the University will provide a report that includes information about violations that have been reported to the University for the prior five (5) consecutive years.  The PDF version of this report can be downloaded HERE.

Time Period Covered: Jan. 1, 2016 - Dec. 31, 2020

This report includes no personal identifying information of any individual and will reflect reported incidents of hazing to the extent that the institution has retained information about these violation(s).  The University will update and repost this report on Jan. 1 and Aug. 1 each year.  A copy of the reports will be retained for five (5) years.