Skip to main content

UC Berkeley takes allegations of hazing in student organizations, teams, and other student groups seriously. To help create a culture of belonging, the University has put together this page with information for members of a person’s support system such as parents, guardians, friends, other family members, mentors, etc. so they can feel prepared to identify harmful behaviors and share appropriate campus resources.

Here are some possible warning signs that someone is experiencing hazing:

  • Emotional reactions: Anger, confusion, betrayal, fear, resentment, embarrassment, humiliation, hopelessness, helplessness, anxiety, and depression are all normal feelings. Self-blame can also occur and is fueled by hazers who tell new members that they will let others down if they leave or tell anyone what is going on.
  • Physical reactions: exhaustion, headache, hangovers, illness, and injury.
  • Other concerns: social rejection, backlash, increased/more severe hazing for other group members, or they may feel they’ve invested too much already to walk away.

If you notice some of these reactions, try talking with them. Many people who experience hazing may not be able to recognize it. When chatting, keep the following in mind:

  • Start by expressing your concern.
  • Describe what you have observed (e.g. lack of sleep, changes in mood, energy level, ability to do work).
  • Ask what they have had to do as part of joining the group. If they describe experiencing behaviors that sound like hazing, underscore that hazing is not ok and that they don’t have to go along with it.
  • If you suspect that they are being hazed but won’t say so, ask if there are things going on that they aren’t supposed to talk about.
  • Let them know it’s okay to withdraw from an organization at any point and that there are lots of communities and groups to join on campus instead.
  • Offer support in getting care and support on campus, and ask how you can be helpful.
  • Let them know what resources are available for support and reporting. You can reference this website, our resources page, and our how to report page!