Prohibition on Hazing and Bullying Policy
Columbia College values and is concerned for the health, safety and well-being of its students and desires students to have the best experience possible during their time at the College. The College is committed to providing a healthy, safe and productive educational environment for all members of the College community. Consistent with this commitment, the College prohibits hazing, bullying, and cyberbullying and related misconduct from all sources and in all of its programs and activities.
This policy applies to all members of the College community.
Hazing, bullying, and cyberbullying and related misconduct are expressly prohibited by Columbia College. Individual students, organizations, or others who commit an act of hazing, bullying or cyberbullying or related misconduct will be subject to disciplinary action by the College up to and including dismissal as a student, termination of employment, and could be subject to criminal prosecution.
As set forth in Missouri Revised Statutes § 578.365.1, “a person commits the offense of hazing if he or she knowingly participates in or causes a willful act, occurring on or off the campus of a public or private college or university, directed against a student or a prospective member of an organization operating under the sanction of a public or private college or university, that recklessly endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a student or prospective member for the purpose of initiation or admission into or continued membership in any such organization to the extent that such person is knowingly placed at probable risk of the loss of life or probable bodily or psychological harm. Acts of hazing include:
- Any activity which recklessly endangers the physical health or safety of the student or prospective member, including but not limited to physical brutality, whipping, beating, branding, exposure to the elements, forced consumption of any food, liquor, drug or other substance, or forced smoking or chewing of tobacco products;
- Any activity which recklessly endangers the mental health of the student or prospective member, including but not limited to sleep deprivation, physical confinement, or other extreme stress-inducing activity; or
- Any activity that requires the student or prospective member to perform a duty or task which involves a violation of the criminal laws of this state or any political subdivision in the state.
Missouri law makes it illegal to participate in or cause acts of hazing and the offense of hazing is a class A misdemeanor, unless the act creates a substantial risk to the life of the student or prospective member, in which case it is a class D felony. Under Missouri law, consent is not considered a defense for hazing.
If an individual becomes aware of conduct that is potentially prohibited by this policy, the individual should make a report to the Dean for Students Affairs as soon as possible. The Dean for Student Affairs will receive the report, make an initial evaluation of the information received, and determine appropriate next steps given the information received and specific circumstances of the situation.
When appropriate the College will conduct an investigation and if conduct in violation of this policy is found to have occurred, the College will take steps to stop the prohibited conduct, remedy its effects, and take steps to prevent a recurrence of prohibited conduct in the future.
Questions about this policy or individuals seeking resources related to matters set forth herein should contact the Office for Student Affairs.