Bystander Intervention for Hazing

BeVocal, the Bystander Intervention Initiative of The University of Texas at Austin, is a university-wide initiative to promote the idea that individual Longhorns have the power to prevent high-risk behavior and harm. Bystander intervention using the BeVocal model, Recognize, Choose, and Act, empowers Longhorns to interrupt and prevent hazing.

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Recognize Harm

Hazing is any intentional, knowing, or reckless act occurring on or off campus that endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a student for the purpose of joining or maintaining membership in an organization. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Could this activity endanger the mental, physical health or safety of a student?
  • Is the organization expecting or encouraging students to participate in the activity in order to join or maintain membership?
  • Are members intimidating or harassing others?
  • Are all members in the group participating equally in the activity?
  • Am I being asked to keep these activities secret?
  • Do I feel the activities in question support my values and the values of the organization?

Choose to Respond

Choose to say or do something to interrupt hazing. Whether it is intimidating, harassing, or violent hazing activity, it is a problem and should be interpreted as such. Taking action may feel uncomfortable, but it is the right thing to do. In fact, UT policy requires a person with knowledge of hazing to report it. Longhorns take hazing prevention seriously and stand up for a safer campus.

Take Action

Direct Action

  • If there is immediate danger for yourself or others, call 911.
  • Confront the person or group directly by saying:
    • "Hey, that's not cool"
    • "Okay, that's taking it too far"
    • "I'm not okay with what just happened"
    • "We're not doing that" or "Don't make them do that"
  • Ask other members to help you intervene.
  • Reach out to a mentor or trusted advisor for support.

Indirect Action

  • Make a report to the Office of the Dean of Students at deanofstudents.utexas.edu.
  • Seek support or report an incident to the Behavior Concerns Advice Line at 512-232-5050 or online at besafe.utexas.edu/behavior-concerns-advice-line.
  • Revise your current student organization practices and activities so they align with your values.
  • Evaluate membership – members who continue a culture of hazing should not be members of your organization.
  • Call the national toll-free anti-hazing hotline at 1-888-NOT-HAZE (1-888-668-4293).