The State of California and San Francisco State University have expressly and repeatedly asserted their opposition to hazing and pre–initiation activities which do not contribute to the positive development and welfare of new members. Whether on or off campus, planned or spontaneous, California law makes it a criminal offense for anyone to participate in hazing. Students are entitled to be treated with consideration and respect. No individual shall perform an act that is likely to cause physical, psychological or social harm to any other person within the University community on or off campus.
The following actions are expressly forbidden:
- Physical abuse, commonly known as hazing, including, but not limited to, paddling, slapping, kicking, choking, scratching and exposure to extreme water temperatures, (i.e. cold or hot showers);
- Excessive mental stress, including, but not limited to, placing of prospective members of a group or organization in ambiguous situations which lead to confusion and emotional stress;
- Verbal abuse, including, but not limited to, shouting, screaming, or use of derogatory, profane or obscene language.
Defining Hazing and Consequences
SEC. 3. 245.6.
- This section shall be known and may be cited as "Matt's Law" in memory of Matthew William Carrington, who died on February 2, 2005 as a result of hazing.
- As used in this section "hazing" or "haze" is conduct which causes, or is likely to cause, bodily danger, physical harm, or personal degradation or disgrace resulting in physical or mental harm to another person in the course of the other person's preinitiation into, initiation into, affiliation with, holding office in, or maintaining membership in any organization. The terms "hazing" or "haze" do not include customary athletic, fire department, police department, military, or quasi-military training, conditioning, or similar events or activities.
- Any person who hazes or conspires to participate in hazing is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than one hundred dollars ($100), nor more than five thousand dollars ($5,000), or imprisonment in the county jail not to exceed one year, or by both fine and imprisonment.
- Any person who hazes or conspires to participate in hazing which results in death, great bodily injury, or great psychological injury is guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment in the state prison.
- An organization is guilty of violating subdivisions (b) or (c) if the organization's agents, directors, trustees, managers, or officers authorized, requested, commanded, encouraged, participated in, ratified, or tolerated the hazing.
- The implied or expressed consent of the person or persons against whom the hazing was directed shall not be a defense to any action brought under this section.
- This section does not apply to the person against whom the hazing was directed.
- This section shall not, in any manner, limit or exclude prosecution or punishment for any other crime or any civil remedy.
- The person against whom the hazing is directed may commence a civil action for injury or damages, including mental and physical pain and suffering that results from the hazing. The action may be brought against any participants in the hazing, or any organization whose agents, directors, trustees, managers, or officers authorized, requested, commanded, encouraged, participated in, ratified, or tolerated the hazing. If the organization is a corporation, whether for profit or not, the individual directors of the corporation maybe held individually liable for damages.
University Consequences for Hazing
Should the University become aware of such abuses on the part of the student organization or any of its members, the University will immediately suspend the organization indefinitely pending the results of the University’s internal investigation. In the event the charges are substantiated, the University will invoke appropriate corrective action against the individuals as well as the individual group or organization involved.