Subject: Policy On Initiations for Teams and Other Student Groups
Group: Institutional
Approved by: University Student Governance Committee
Approval date: April 15, 2003
Effective date: September 1, 2002
Revised: October 29, 2003
Administered by: University Student Governance Committee
 

1 — PREAMBLE  

It is an offence under the University's Code of Conduct if a student leader fails to meet his or her responsibilities under this policy.

1.1 Policy:
Under the terms of this policy, student leaders are expected to take all reasonable precautions in the organization of initiations which include the following:

  • Minimum clothing will be footwear, boxers and T-shirts at all times.
  • There must be no obscene activities of any kind.
  • There must be no singling out of individuals in a humiliating way.
  • There must be no sticks or weapons.
  • There must be no sexual references, or sexist, homophobic, racist or other discriminatory activities.
  • There must be no cutting or shaving of body hair unless agreed to, without pressure, by the participant.
  • There must be no activities that draw attention to body size or shape.

Participants who choose to drink alcohol are expected to drink responsibly and student leaders are expected to do their best to encourage responsible drinking among those who choose to drink. Responsible drinking involves: drinking alcohol three or fewer times per week, drinking two drinks or fewer per hour, ending drinking one to two hours before sleeping, and avoiding dangerous drinking such as drinking to the point of vomiting, blacking out, falling down, passing out, losing co-ordination, and doing things one would not do if sober.

At events at which alcohol is consumed, the organization must designate at least two individuals for every 15 participants, and one for every smaller group of participants if the participants are separated, who will guarantee to remain completely sober, i.e. without any alcohol in the body, for the duration of the event and to be with the group from the beginning until the participants go to bed for the night. Caution must be taken by the designated student(s) to ensure that participants do not go to bed, then get up and act in a harmful manner.

1.2 Definitions:

1.2.1. Student Leaders: Any student taking a position of leadership within a team, club, society, class executive or organization. For varsity and sport club teams, student leaders include returning players; for clubs and societies, student leaders include executive members and contacts; for Class organizations, student leaders include executive members; and for other student groups, student leaders include any Mount Allison students who are organizers of student groups or their parties, initiation or other similar events.

1.2.2. Student Participants: Any student taking part in an initiation ceremony and associated events.
      
1.2.3. Initiation. Any event at any time of year at which younger students or new student participants on a team or in any other student group are subjected to participation as any form of rite of passage to inclusion in the group, whether the event is called initiation or not.

 
2 — RESPONSIBILITIES

2.1. Of Student Participants:

  • To take personal responsibility for all their actions.

2.2. Of Student Leaders:

  • To inform the team coach or faculty or staff advisor in advance of the date, time and location of any initiation.      
  • To identify themselves to the coach or faculty or staff advisor in advance.      
  • At least 24 hours in advance, to inform the student participants of the genuinely voluntary nature of all initiation and associated events.
  • At least 24 hours in advance, to emphasize to all prospective participants that the only students who will participate are those who choose to do so and that students who have chosen to do so may opt out at any time without fear of any negative consequences whatsoever.
  • To ensure that the actions of other student leaders are consistent with the responsibility stated in this policy;
  • In the case of sports teams and clubs, societies and student organizations with faculty/staff advisors, to inform the coach or advisor of the date, time and location of initiations.

2.3. Of Coaches, Faculty and Other Advisors:

  • to inform all team or society members of this policy;      
  • to take reasonable steps to ensure that all students participating in initiations and other similar events are aware of and abide by this policy;      
  • to take reasonable steps to ensure that the student participants in initiations and other similar events are informed of the voluntary nature of their participation, emphasizing that the only students who will participate are those who wish to do so and that students who have chosen to do so may opt out at any time without fear of any negative consequences whatsoever;      
  • not to penalize individuals, teams or other student groups until after a Judicial hearing because participants are not deemed to be guilty until after such hearing.

2.4. Of the Students' Administrative Council:

  • to take reasonable steps to ensure that all student leaders of clubs and societies and of other student groups under the auspices of the SAC are informed of this policy;      
  • to inform the Dean of Students of any allegations or suspicions of violations of this policy.

2.5. Of the Director of Physical Recreation and Athletics:

  • to take reasonable steps to ensure that coaches of varsity and club teams are familiar with this policy;      
  • to take reasonable steps to ensure that all student athletes participating in initiations and other similar events associated with athletic teams and clubs, are familiar with and abide by this policy  
  • to investigate any allegation or suspicion of violation of this policy whether the allegation is made in person or anonymously;      
  • in cases of suspected violations of this policy, to lay a charge before the University Judicial Committee;      
  • to inform the Dean of Students and the coach of any allegation or suspicion of violations of this policy.

2.6. Of Faculty/Staff Advisors of Clubs, Societies and Class Executives as applicable:

  • to take reasonable steps to ensure that student leaders of clubs, societies and class executives and other student representatives are familiar with this policy;      
  • to take reasonable steps to ensure that all students participating in initiations and other similar events associated with their club, society, class or other organization are familiar with and abide by this policy;    
  • to investigate any allegation or suspicion of violation of this policy;      
  • in cases of violation of this policy, to lay a charge before the University Judicial Committee;
  • to inform the Dean of Students of any allegation or suspicion of violations of this policy.      
  • not to penalize teams or other student groups until after a Judicial hearing because participants are not deemed to be guilty until after such a hearing.

2.7. Of the Dean of Students:

  • to take reasonable steps to ensure that all student leaders of clubs and societies, teams, class executives and other student organizations are informed of this policy;      
  • to investigate any allegation or suspicion of violation of this policy;      
  • to endeavor to ensure that the faculty advisor, coach or equivalent official takes appropriate action consistent with the University's Code of Conduct when it is believed that there has been a violation of this policy.

3 — NOTES
 
Student leaders should be aware that:
 
3.1 where alcohol is involved, liability for unsafe student behaviour after an event may be traced back to where the alcohol was consumed;

3.2 that student leaders are expected to ensure that sober students are designated to monitor participants for the duration of the event until the participant goes to bed for the night and to take care of then if they show any signs of being too inebriated to sleep safely;

3.3 past practice in running initiations does not necessarily confirm the acceptability of proposed practice because it is possible that unacceptable past practice has not come to light;

3.4 all students are expected to abide by the Policies and Procedures for Student Governance and other University policies.