Martin Luther College Hazing Policy

Martin Luther College offers an excellent ministry minded education guided by our faith. A part of that mission is fulfilled by the College’s commitment to the development of students through engagement with academic, residential, and co-curricular experiences.

In keeping with its commitment to a positive academic and social environment, Martin Luther College unconditionally prohibits all hazing by students, student organizations, athletic teams and ensembles. It is the College’s expectation that new members will be welcomed into student organizations, athletic teams, and ensembles in public settings on campus, with advisors, coaches or conductors present, and that the welcoming activities will be positive and affirming.

Martin Luther College interprets hazing as any willful act done by one or more individuals, whether physical, mental, emotional, or psychological, which subjects another person voluntarily or involuntarily to anything that may abuse, mistreat, degrade, humiliate, harass, ridicule, intimidate, or endanger that person, or which may in any fashion  compromise their dignity as a person. Such activities and situations include, but are not limited to:

  • Physical contact or punishment, exercise, or sleep deprivation that causes excessive fatigue and/or physical and psychological shock
  • Coerced or forced consumption of food, drink, alcohol, tobacco, illegal drugs
  • Coerced or forced transportation of individuals
  • Public test, humiliation, ridicule, indecent exposure, nudity
  • Coercing or forcing illegal acts
  • Forcing, requiring, or pressuring the participation in any activity that is unlawful, perverse, publicly indecent, or contrary to the individual’s moral beliefs
  • Interfering in an individual’s academic, athletic, health, or personal success
  • Personal servitude to others, individually or collectively
  • Mental harassment
  • Sexual harassment
  • Tattooing or branding
  • Deception or threat contrived to convince a new member that they will not be permitted to join or that their continued participation is doubtful
  • Threat of social exclusion
  • Any activity that involves the use of alcohol or any controlled substance in violation of the College’s Alcohol and Other Drug Policy or the laws of the State of Minnesota
  • Any activity that is not in accordance with the College’s established policies

In addition to the foregoing, it is a violation of this policy for any student of Martin Luther College to participate in or fail to report any known or suspected incidents of hazing.

Hazing often occurs for the purpose of being initiated into, affiliating with, holding office in or maintaining membership in a given organization. An individual subjected to hazing may not be aware that what is occurring constitutes hazing or may not feel empowered to refuse participation. Perceived, implied or expressed consent to hazing does not make it acceptable under this policy.

Anonymous Reporting

Anyone may report hazing anonymously by making an incident report found on our website here: MLC Advocate

Voluntary Reporting of Hazing

Policy Exception for Students Reporting Hazing

A student who reports activity that may fall within the definition of hazing and who cooperates fully as a witness in any investigation into allegations of hazing will have exception from Martin Luther College disciplinary sanctions related to the hazing even if his or her own conduct violated the hazing policy, unless the conduct the student engaged in caused physical harm or violates the policy on sexual misconduct. This exception applies only to the Martin Luther College Code of Conduct, and does not extend to violations of applicable laws.

Organizational Exception for Hazing

Members of an organization, group, or team who are concerned that some of the organization’s activities do not comply with Martin Luther College’s hazing policy should consult the Vice president for Student Life.

An organization that fully discloses past or recent behavior in violation of the Hazing Policy will receive assistance as the group develops a new plan to replace the activities in question. With this disclosure, the organization will not face College disciplinary action for the activities disclosed, unless the conduct engaged in caused physical harm or violated the policy on sexual misconduct. This exception applies only to the Martin Luther College Code of Conduct, and does not extend to violations of applicable laws.

These instances are one-time-only exceptions to the Martin Luther College Code of Conduct.

Official Reports and Investigations of Hazing

Students have the right and are encouraged to file a complaint of hazing at any time, regardless of when the incident occurred.

Any instance of suspected hazing should be reported to the Vice president for Student Life. If deemed appropriate, charges will be made and College disciplinary procedures followed. Disciplinary action may be taken against individual and/or groups.

Individuals of groups found in violation may be subject to the following sanctions:

  • Written reprimand
  • Appropriate educational tools (such as reflection papers, counseling, letters of apology, and directed study)
  • Probation
  • Loss of Season/Performances/Recognition
  • Suspension of Activity
  • Any other disciplinary action the College deems appropriate


Retaliating directly or indirectly against a person who has reported known or suspected hazing, or who has participated in an investigation of a complaint of hazing, is strictly prohibited. Retaliation includes but is not limited to ostracizing the person, pressuring the person to drop or not support the complaint or to provide false or misleading information, or otherwise engaging in conduct that may reasonably be perceived to affect adversely that person’s educational, living or work environment.

A Note for Student Leaders

The opportunity to be a leader at Martin Luther College can be one of the defining aspects of your experience in college. Team captains, music ensemble officers, and club sport or organizational leaders develop skills that serve them throughout their lives, and set the stage for lifelong friendships.

The challenge that accompanies this role is that leaders are held to a higher standard by peers, conductors, coaches, advisors, and the College. When hazing occurs in an organization, leaders often become the focus of the issue, and they are held to account for the actions of those they lead. Leaders may be held individually responsible as well.

The following are resources that will help student leaders understand the challenges and responsibilities of the role, and will provide ways to lead and build a cohesive unit without hazing.