Northeastern University is committed to promoting a safe and healthy environment for all members of the community and to preventing hazing before it occurs.
Participating in student organizations or groups is an important part of your Northeastern University experience. However, no group or individual should be physically or emotionally at risk in order to participate in, or become a member of, an organization or group.
Northeastern University prohibits hazing behaviors within its community, as hazing is a serious and often hidden experience some students face. Our community is dedicated to helping students find resources and support, while holding organizations, groups and individuals responsible/accountable for such dangerous behaviors. Hazing is not only a violation of Northeastern University policies, but is also against the Massachusetts State Law, and does not offer a healthy, safe and welcoming environment for community members. This policy applies to all members of the University faculty, staff and students. It applies to on- and off-campus behavior.
"Hazing, as defined by Chapter 269 of the Massachusetts General Laws, or defined as follows: any action taken or situation created, whether voluntary or involuntary, for the purpose of initiation, admission into, affiliation with, or as a condition for continued membership in a group or organization, which endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a student, creates risk of injury, causes mental or physical fatigue or distress, discomfort, embarrassment, harassment, ridicule, or intimidation, causes damage to or destruction of property, or which is a violation of law, University policy, or the Code of Student Conduct. Such activities include, but are not limited to, the following: striking another student by hand or with any instrument; requiring or advocating alcohol or other drug use; late sessions/meetings that interfere with academic activities; tattooing, branding, or piercing; physical or psychological shocks; wearing of apparel in public that is embarrassing, humiliating, or degrading; or games/activities causing or resulting in fatigue, sleep deprivation, mental distress, panic, embarrassment, or humiliation. Activities that would not be considered hazing and therefore acceptable would include agreeing to: maintain a specific GPA, comply with a dress code for a team/organizational function, participate in volunteer community service, participate in a team/organizational trip, take an oath, or sign a contract of standards." Northeastern Code of Student Conduct
Northeastern University Policy Prohibiting Hazing
Northeastern University Athletics Statement on Hazing
"Northeastern Athletics strives for high achievement both in competition and in the classroom. Through dedication to our core values, we support the University’s mission of educating students for a life of fulfillment and accomplishment and the ability to create and translate knowledge to meet global and societal needs. Accordingly, hazing has no place in our community and will not be tolerated. Northeastern Athletics, through its coaches, student-athletes, and administrators, is committed to working together to eradicate any culture of hazing."
Who May Be Affected by Hazing?
- Academic Groups
- Athletic Teams & Club Sports
- Cultural Groups
- Fraternities and Sororities
- Performing Arts Groups
- Religious Group Members
- Professional Groups
Want to read more about who is affected by hazing? Myths vs. Facts
Members & Prospective Members
If you think you, or someone in the Northeastern University community, are experiencing or participating in a hazing behavior and/or activity ask these questions.
- Are these behaviors/activities supposed to be secret?
- Do these behaviors/activities involve anything illegal?
- Do these behaviors/activities cause anyone to feel embarrassed?
- Does participation in this activity violate one’s values or those of the organization?
- Does this behavior/activity cause emotional or physical distress or harm?
- Is this behavior/activity against my co-op’s policies?
- Is this behavior/activity against the Code of Student Conduct or state or federal law?
- Would I feel comfortable participating in this behavior/activity if my parents or family were watching?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, report it.
Read more here, Hazing in View: College Students at Risk.
Parents & Families
Parents and families are an important part of the college experience. If you believe that your student, or someone else from the Northeastern University community is experiencing hazing behaviors, you should report the incident to the Office for Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution.
Here are a few tips for talking with your student about hazing:
- Encourage them to research the organizations they are interested in joining to ensure a safe and welcoming community.
- Encourage your student to maintain friendships across multiple settings, not just in one particular team/organization.
- Ask your student about their experiences and how they are feeling after they join a team/organization.
- Talk about how the impacts of hazing can be dangerous.
- Encourage your student to report instances of potential hazing.
If you're concerned about your student contact us or make a report.
If you believe that you or someone you know is experiencing behaviors/activities that could be considered hazing, you should report the incident in order to prevent continued and/or future behaviors from occurring. You can report alleged occurrences of hazing behaviors to any staff or administration at Northeastern University.
It is best to file an official report with Northeastern University so an official investigation can take place to collect more information regarding the behaviors.
What happens when a report is submitted?
When an official report of alleged hazing behaviors is submitted, the Director in the Office of Conduct and Conflict Resolution (OSCCR), or designee, reviews the report to determine if the alleged incident is serious enough to warrant an official investigation to gather additional information about the incident. If the Director determines that an investigation is necessary, the Hazing Prevention Task Force(HPTF) will be notified, and the chair will coordinate the investigation.
In an investigation, administrators, faculty and/or staff will serve as investigators and meet with members of the organization in question to gather information. After the investigation, a the chair of the HPTF will present the findings from the investigation to staff in the Center for Student Involvement, and the two will determine if an official hearing is required to resolve the allegations. Depending on the group in question, the case will be resolved through one of the following methods:
- Student Conduct Board (SCB)
- Interfraternity Council (IFC) Standards Board
- Panhellenic Council (Panhel) Standards Board
- Multicultural Greek Council (MGC) Standards Board
All Board hearings involve the report as the basis of the charge and require at least one member, and no more than two, of the group to represent the group, provide an explanation of the incident, answer questions of the Board, and respond to the charges. Group representatives can reach out to faculty/staff, alumni, or hearing advisors to assist in preparing for the hearing. In addition, this advisor can accompany the group representative to the Board hearing.
Groups who accept responsibility or are found responsible for participating in hazing behaviors will receive sanctions appropriate to the severity of their allegation. Sanctions include, but are not limited to, probation, loss of various privileges, suspension for a specific period of time, revocation of campus charter and/or recognition, etc.
Consistent with the Code of Student Conduct, group representatives can file a written appeal within five (5) days of receipt of the outcome. Appeals need to be submitted to OSCCR and should contain the Notice of Appeal which identifies the ground(s) of the appeal and a rationale of the appeal.
Grounds upon which a group representative can file an appeal:
- Procedural Error
- New Information
- Review of the Imposed Sanctions
The appeals board is made up of a member of Student Affairs, a member of Academic Affairs, a student from the SCB (Student Conduct Board) and a member of CSI (Center for Student Involvement). The Director of OSCCR, or designee, serves as the ex-officio member of the board.
All decisions of the Boards need to be approved by the Vice President for Student Affairs.
- Do you want to get involved with hazing prevention at Northeastern University?
- Are you interested in becoming a member of Northeastern University's Hazing Prevention Task Force?
- Do you have a programming idea?
If you have answered yes to any of these questions click here to explain your interest and a member of the Task Force will contact you.
*Please note: OSCCR does not testify to, sponsor, or endorse any information provided on any externally linked page. OSCCR provides the links above for your information and for the benefit of the Northeastern community.