Alcohol and Hazing

Alcohol is often a key–and dangerous–element in hazing. Consumption of alcohol as a condition for joining a group violates UNB policy, regardless of the level of pressure to drink.

Psychological or social pressure: Groups have coercive power. When members of a sports team, club, or any other organization coerce or encourage new members to consume alcohol in order to join or be affiliated with a group, that constitutes hazing. Social pressure can be as powerful as physical force.

Physical pressure: When members of a sports team, club, or any other organization physically force new members to consume alcohol as a condition to belonging to the group, or if they restrain new members until they consume alcohol, that constitutes hazing. The results can be deadly.

The Risks

Alcohol poisoning: Consuming large quantities of alcohol can suppress brain function. Unconscious victims can choke on their own vomit due to an impaired gag reflex or suffocate with their face in a pillow. Their heart may stop beating or their breathing may stop.

The amount of alcohol consumed that results in poisoning is different for every individual.

Symptoms of alcohol poisoning are:

  • Confusion
  • Vomiting
  • Problems breathing
  • Clammy skin and low body temperature
  • Loss of bladder control
  • Unconsciousness

Whenever a person is severely intoxicated it is essential to get medical help immediately. Call 911. Put them in the Bacchus position and do not leave them alone.  It is never worth risking someone’s life for the sake of the group.

Injuries and sexual victimization: Alcohol reduces inhibitions and encourages risk-taking behavior that can lead to injury or abuse because one’s ability to judge potential hazards is impaired.

Contributing to alcoholism: Alcohol hazing puts students with a drinking problem at extra risk by making it difficult, if not impossible, for the student to decline to drink.

Harming others and legal consequences: Impaired judgement can lead to disastrous decisions resulting in destruction of property or injury to others, which may lead to criminal charges or legal liability.