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Updated 11:00 AM September 27, 2004
 

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Campaign: 'See Through the Haze'


Posters and advertisements are appearing throughout the community to remind students and others that hazing is against the law in Michigan as of Aug. 18. The Division of Student Affairs recently launched an awareness effort, titled "See Through the Haze," to educate the campus about the law and to discourage the activity.
This ad is part of an effort to remind students and others that hazing is against the law. (BMC Media)

Representatives from the Michigan Student Assembly, Residence Halls Association, Department of Athletics, Office of Greek Life, the four Greek-letter councils and other community members provided valuable input in developing the campaign, says Vice President for Student Affairs E. Royster Harper.

She says advertisements will be seen throughout the year on campus television and buses, and in the Michigan Daily, residence halls, and various venues around campus.

"We're strongly promoting this issue right now because we want the U-M community to be aware of the new law," she says. "This is an issue that can affect individuals, groups, organizations, teams or clubs."

With a sub-theme of "Don't HAZE the Blue," the campaign seeks to inform the community that hazing is any act by an organization or individual that is done for the purpose of pledging, initiation, or to gain or maintain membership in an organization. It is defined as an intentional, knowing or reckless act that puts the individual's physical health and safety at risk. It does not matter if the person being hazed consented to the activity, the law says.

People who violate the law could face a misdemeanor or felony charge. Specifically, the law says the person is guilty of:

• a misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment for not more than 93 days or a fine of not more than $1,000, or both, if the violation results in physical injury;

• a felony, punishable by imprisonment for not more than five years or a fine of not more than $2,500, or both, if the violation results in serious impairment of a body function;

• a felony, punishable by imprisonment for not more than 15 years or a fine of not more than $10,000, or both, if the result is death.

Forty-four states have anti-hazing laws. Those that do not are Alaska, Hawaii, Montana, New Mexico, South Dakota and Wyoming, according to StopHazing.org— an educational Web site developed by two people from the University of New Hampshire who were involved in the effort to pass that state's anti-hazing law in 1993.

To find out more about Michigan's law, visit the Student Affairs Web site, http://www.umich.edu/~ovpsa/ and go to the "What's New" link on the lower left.

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