Standards Policy

Our organizations are expected to abide by and uphold the laws and policies of the United States of America, the Commonwealth of Virginia, the City of Harrisonburg, and James Madison University.  Additionally, the Interfraternity and Panhellenic Councils have established a set of standards based upon Fraternal Information and Programming Group (FIPG) policy.  The Standards Policy is reviewed annually, and any member of the Fraternity & Sorority Life community is eligible to sponsor an amendment to the Standards Policy.

Standards Policy

FIPG (Fraternal Information and Planning Group) Website.


James Madison University is an institution of higher education devoted to excellence in teaching, research, and service to the people of the Commonwealth and the nation.  The university is committed to developing students through academic and co-curricular activities.  Hazing is an unproductive and hazardous custom that is incongruous with this responsibility and has no place in college life, either on or off campus.  No individual student or recognized student organization may engage in or plan any activity or situation that may be defined as hazing.  In addition, no individual nor recognized organization my by physical or mental stress or by subtle or covert technique impair, make captive, or destroy an individual’s freedom of thought and choice.

As members of the JMU community, we have a legal and moral obligation to promote an atmosphere that is free of hazing – the Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life contributes to this directive through a variety of policies, procedures, and programs.

From the Office of Judicial Affairs Student Handbook:
J17-100 “In keeping with JMU’s expectations for a positive academic environment, the university prohibits any situation created intentionally to produce mental or physical discomfort, embarrassment, harassment or ridicule. Hazing is defined as activities for the initiation or induction into an organization which include but are not limited to calisthenics or other strenuous physical activity; exposure to inclement weather; consumption of any food, liquid, beverage, drug, or other substance; confinement in any room or compartment; spraying, painting, or pelting with any substance; burying in any substance; burning, branding, or tattooing; or any other activity which may result in physical injury or endanger the health or life of the individual being hazed, regardless of implied or expressed consent of the victim(s).

J17-101 Section 18.2-56 of the Code of Virginia, as amended, declares hazing illegal, establishes conditions for civil and criminal liability, and outlines the duties of the university when a student has been found guilty of hazing.”

From the Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life Standards Policy:
Article II, Section II
A. No chapter, colony, student or alumnus shall conduct nor condone hazing activities. Hazing activities are
 defined as:
“Any action taken or situation created, intentionally, whether on or off fraternity premises, to produce
mental or physical discomfort, embarrassment, harassment or ridicule. Such activities may include but are
nor limited to the following: use of alcohol; paddling in any form; creation of excessive fatigue; physical
and psychological shocks; quests, treasure hunts, scavenger hunts, road trips or any other such activities
carried outside or inside of the confines of the chapter house; wearing of public apparel which is conspicuous
and not normally in good taste; engaging in public stunts and buffoonery; morally degrading or humiliating games
and activities; and any other activities which are not consistent with academic achievement, fraternal law,
ritual or policy or the regulations and policies of the educational institution, or applicable state law.”
Hazing includes, but is not limited to, the following activities:

  • Requiring calisthenics such as sit-ups, push-ups, runs or any form of physically abusive exercise
  • Forcing or requiring consumption of alcoholic beverages or any drug
  • Requiring the ingestion of any undesirable or unwanted substance (i.e. spoiled food, insects, raw eggs, etc.)
  • Partial or total nudity at any time
  • Paddle swats
  • Pushing, shoving or attacking associate/pledge members
  • Assigning “pranks” such as stealing, painting objects, panty raids and harassing another organization
  • Calling associates by degrading names such as “scum”
  • Activities which allow associates/pledges/new members less than six continuous hours of sleep
  • Required road trips and kidnapping of associates or members
  • Running up stairs while reading material
  • Yelling, screaming or use of obscenities at pledges/associates/new members
  • Activities which encourage failure of associates/pledges/new members to comply with the directions of faculty,
staff or other university officials
  • Burning, branding or tattooing any part of the body, whether voluntarily or involuntarily
  • Activities which call for blindfolding, confinement, jumping from heights and other potentially dangerous activities
  • Intentional actions that obstruct, disrupt or physically interfere with the use of university premises, buildings,
streets or other facility of the university
  • Activities which encourage failure to comply with the laws of local, state or federal government

Reporting Hazing

The Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life takes all hazing allegations seriously.  We will follow-up and investigate hazing allegations to the fullest extent of our capabilities and the law.  There are several options to report hazing:

- If you feel that an individual is in immediate danger, please contact the James Madison University Police Department by calling (540) 568-6911.
- Contact the Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life by calling (540) 568-4195, submitting an email to fsl@jmu.edu, or filling out our Hazing Reporting Form.
- Contact the Office of Judicial Affairs by calling (540) 568-6218.

Additional Policies

For council-specific policies, including constitutions and Judicial Policies, please visit that council’s website.