4.16 Policies Regarding Hazing

Although hazing is virtually unheard of on the medical school campus, Harvard University is obliged to bring to the attention of each student the Massachusetts law prohibiting hazing. This law applies to both officially recognized and unrecognized groups and practices conducted both on and off campus.

Hazing is defined as “any conduct or method of initiation into any student organization, whether on public or private property, which willfully or recklessly endangers the physical or mental health of any student or other person.” Students found guilty of organizing or participating in hazing activities may be fined up to $3,000 and/or imprisoned for up to one year. Failure to report a hazing incident that you have witnessed to a law enforcement official is also a crime punishable under state law.

Each student organization must file with the Office of Student Affairs “an attested acknowledgment that such organization understands and agrees to comply with these provisions” that has been signed by the head of the student organization.

If you have any questions about the hazing law or have concerns about an incident you have witnessed, please contact the Office of Student Affairs at Harvard Medical School. Violations of Massachusetts hazing law may result in disciplinary action by the School.

Last updated 12/17/18