Hazing Policy

Policy Statement

The Culinary Institute of America prohibits hazing of any type on its campuses or in any CIA-sponsored program. In order to maintain public order and the safety of all, both within and outside of the campus community, any form of hazing—direct, indirect, or passive—is strictly prohibited. Violations of the Hazing Policy can result in severe consequences.

Hazing constitutes the activities of soliciting, directing, aiding, or otherwise participating actively or passively by any student, staff, faculty, visitor, contractor, or third party in a premeditated act of power and control over others which leads to victimization. Hazing is prohibited in the course of initiation in or affiliation with any organization.

Acts of hazing include, but are not limited to:

  1. The forced consumption of alcohol or drugs
  2. The forced consumption of food or drink
  3. Degrading an individual through humiliating activities
  4. Creating situations that cause physical harm or emotional strain
  5. Using brutality or force

Passive participation in hazing may include:

  1. Witnessing hazing as a group member, affiliate, or guest
  2. Participating in or being present in person or via technology in discussions where hazing is planned

Nothing set forth in this policy shall be construed to limit or restrict the freedom of speech and/or peaceful assembly.

The entire Hazing Policy can be found on the CIA Main Menu Policies and Procedures page.

Texas Hazing Information (San Antonio Campus)

Hazing is strictly prohibited by Texas law as well as CIA Policy.  Texas law requires us to provide you with this important information each semester.

Hazing is a criminal offense.  Conviction on hazing charges may be a Class A or B misdemeanor or—if the hazing results in a death—a state jail felony offense.  Conviction may carry penalties of jail time; fines between $5,000 and $10,000; fines based on expenses for personal injury, property damage or other loss; and/or community service. 

During the past three years, no CIA student organizations have been disciplined or convicted for hazing, on or off campus.

Texas law punishes individuals, student organizations and colleges for:

  • Engaging in hazing
  • Encouraging or aiding another person to engage in hazing
  • Recklessly permitting hazing to occur, and
  • Knowing about but not reporting hazing to the appropriate officials (Class B misdemeanor)

Hazing means any intentional, knowing, or reckless act—either on or off campus—by one person alone or acting with others, against a student for the purpose of joining or continuing to belong to an organization.  Hazing can include:

  • Physical brutality
  • Risky physical activity such as sleep deprivation, exposure to the elements, confinement, over-consumption of food, alcohol, drug or any other substance that adversely affects the mental or physical health or safety of a student
  • Pressuring the target to violate the law or ingest a drug or intoxicating beverage

Consent of the target is not a defense at law.

Immunity from prosecution or civil liability is available.  Texas courts may grant immunity from prosecution to each person who testifies for the prosecution following a subpoena in a hazing case.  Any person who voluntarily reports a specific hazing incident involving a student to an appropriate CIA official before being contacted by the CIA or otherwise included in an investigation of the incident, and who cooperates in good faith throughout the CIA's process regarding the incident, is immune from civil or criminal liability that might otherwise be imposed as a result of the report.  Immunity covers participation in any court proceeding resulting from the report.  However, a person who voluntarily reports in bad faith or with malice, or their own act of hazing, is not eligible for immunity.

See the CIA's Hazing Policy in your Student Handbook or on the CIA Policies & Procedures intranet webpage, including ways of reporting hazing.

For more information, see Texas Education Code Section 51.936 and Texas Education Code, Chapter 37, Subchapter F.