Ban on initiation ceremonies backed by harsh penalties

Spanish universities have begun implementing a ban on initiation or hazing ceremonies as the new term starts. Under a controversial new law, students caught participating in the novatadas or initiation acts can be suspended for up to three years, reports Spanish News Today.

Ministers approved a new law on ‘university co-existence’ on 7 September, which establishes a mediation procedure for conflicts and a new disciplinary scale. The initiation acts, organised by older students for new students, in some cases may involve ‘physically or psychologically degrading conduct or actions that seriously undermine personal dignity’, which is now reclassified as a ‘very serious offence’.

This puts it on the same level as bullying and sexual abuse and violence and students found guilty of taking part in such offences can be suspended from university for between two months and three years and lose their right to sign up to classes for a full year. However, the new law does not apply to private universities, which are permitted to establish their own disciplinary proceedings.
Full story on the Spanish News Today site