CU-Boulder Establishes 'Hazing Tipsline'

Published: Feb. 18, 1998

The University of Colorado at Boulder has established a Hazing Tipsline to give students, parents or faculty a place to call if they encounter hazing incidents.

The tipsline also aims to reduce, if not eliminate, hazing by Greek organizations and other student clubs by allowing the university to investigate cases more readily.

The Hazing Tipsline can be reached at (303) 492-0140. Messages will be checked daily Monday through Friday.

Associate Greek Liaison Tom Lorz called the tipsline “a way for us to be proactive in dealing with hazing situations and in trying to ensure we never have a permanent injury as a result of hazing.”

Greek organizations throughout the nation are most often associated with hazing, in which new pledges are forced to perform certain acts as a “rite of passage” before being initiated into the group. Hazing is not limited to fraternities and sororities, Lorz said, and can be found in other student groups as well. Alcohol consumption often is a feature of hazing, and is a particular target of the university.

CU’s fraternities and sororities have pledged to eliminate drinking at Greek-sponsored functions by the fall 1998 semester.

According to Lorz, in the last several years there have been various injuries related to hazing. None of the cases resulted in a permanent injury to the students, but Lorz said his office and other campus offices that deal with hazing have agreed they want to reduce the likelihood of injury even further.

The Greek Liaison office averages about three hazing complaints a semester, the majority of which have not been related to serious injuries.

Part of the benefit of the tipsline will be to let students know the university is concerned about them, Lorz said. “We want to keep the situation in check. If we don’t, we could find these activities becoming more serious than they have been.

“The tipsline also will provide people with a safe and anonymous way of registering their complaints and concerns about a situation,” according to Lorz. “Oftentimes, the victims of hazing are willing participants in the behavior because of peer group pressure. That’s why it’s a problem, there’s such a strong desire to belong to the group.”

The Hazing Tipsline is open to anyone who wants to report a hazing incident. Information received through calls will be confidential and callers will remain anonymous, Lorz said.

Currently, anonymous hazing reports are taken by the Greek Liaison Office. Incidents may be referred to the national fraternity organization or to the Greek judicial board for disciplinary action.

The university’s office of Judicial Affairs also has reinstituted a rule against hazing in the statement of students’ rights and responsibilities. Disciplinary action can be taken by the university against individual students, not groups, who are involved in hazing, according to Andrea Goldblum, director of Judicial Affairs.