College life comes with a great deal of responsibility, as well as rites of passage. Many of these traditions, such as making new friends, joining a fraternity or sorority and drinking responsibly, are harmless and can help you create lifelong memories about your university experience. However, at the Law Offices of Mathys & Schneid, we also know that some college traditions can be harmful, even when Illinois college students consider them harmless fun.
Hazing is one such tradition. Your college most likely has an anti-hazing policy in effect, since hazing is a crime in Illinois when it results in bodily harm or death, according to the Illinois General Assembly. What exactly is hazing, you might wonder? This “tradition” is often carried out by senior members of a fraternity, sorority, academic club or sports team upon the newer members or pledges. Fraternity pledges might be forced to endure hours of grueling emotional and physical trials before they are accepted into the group. Senior football players might require their newer team members to participate in binge drinking games, which can raise their risks of getting alcohol poisoning. In some cases, victims of hazing are abducted and even beaten.
If you were victimized in a hazing incident, it might not matter much to you that those who inflicted the torture didn’t know they could face criminal charges for their actions, or that they felt pressured or threatened to do so by their peers. Our page on serious injuries explains your rights when someone else harms you, including seeking compensation for your injuries.