What are initiations?
“Any activities expected of someone joining a group that humiliates, degrades, abuses or endangers, regardless of the person’s willingness to participate”. Hoover & Pollard (1999)
Initiations (sometimes known as hazing or ragging), are events organised by student groups, societies or sports teams, where students are coerced into behaviours which are disrespectful, humiliating and could potentially be dangerous, often under the guise of team or social bonding.
Initiations often encourage:
- Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol very quickly. There is a direct correlation between drinking excessive amounts alcohol in a short space of time and risk of death.
- The committing of criminal acts
- Behaviour which might reasonably be perceived as humiliating, demeaning or degrading
- Actions which would bring the University into disrepute
Initiations are not acceptable at Newcastle University and those involved will be subject to investigation.
Report anonymously to the University
Using this reporting system, anyone can tell us anonymously if they are concerned about initiations our students are involved in. This allows the concern to be recorded and can inform our preventative work. Remember, in order for a student to receive support, you will need to provide contact details.
Report and Receive Support from the University
Students can receive support from the University if the student’s contact details are provided when a report is made using this system. We will then link the student with an appropriate Student Health and Wellbeing Service (SHWS) team member. They will provide practical and emotional support and guidance, including linking them with specialist staff who can attend to accommodation, finance and safeguarding issues.
What can you do if you or someone you know is at immediate risk because of an initiation?
If someone is in immediate danger or is seriously injured:
Call 999 and ask for the appropriate responders.
Additionally, if you are on Newcastle University Campus, inform Newcastle University Security about what has happened using the Safe Zone app or by calling 0191 208 6666.
If you are supporting a survivor of an initiation, it is important that you take care of yourself and support for you is available via the services detailed below:
- PGR’s and PGT’s can receive support from our 24/7 PG Support Service 24/7 PG Support Service
- All students can receive support from the University’s Counselling Services Counselling Services
- Staff can access help via the Employee Assistance Programme Employee Assistance Programme
Students who are asked to participate in an initiation by the Society or Club that they have joined to gain status or entry to the group, should report this to the Students' Union Activities Officer
Upon receipt of a report that a student or a group of students have participated in an initiation ceremony, the University will take appropriate action in accordance with the Student Disciplinary Procedure.