Anti-Hazing Policy

Anti-Hazing Policy

Hazing is a serious offense. The College encourages students to report such offenses promptly. Hazing is prohibited by both state law and the Mount Holyoke College Honor Code and will not be tolerated in this community of trust. All reported cases of suspected hazing will be seriously investigated with a fair process.

On November 26, 1985, legislation prohibiting hazing took effect in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Although hazing is most commonly associated with induction into college fraternities and sororities, the practice can also occur in a number of other circumstances.

The legislation states:

The term "hazing"... shall mean 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.

Such conduct shall include whipping, beating, branding, forced calisthenics, exposure to weather, forced consumption of any food, liquor, beverage, or other substance, or any brutal treatment or forced physical activity which is likely to adversely affect the physical health or safety of any such student or other person, or which subjects such student or other person to extreme mental stress, including extended deprivation of sleep or rest, or extended isolation.

Go to the following website for the complete text of the Massachusetts Hazing Law and review 269: 17, 18, 19:

Some ways to tell if an activity is hazing:

  • A selected group is singled out for ritual
  •  It results in behavior or pictures that you would not share with your parents, coach, professors or athletic director
  • The activity is humiliating, demeaning, intimidating, and exhausting, and/or results in physical or emotional discomfort, involves harassment or ridicule, or which endangers the health or safety of any person whether on or off campus.

Remember: what may seem like harmless "fun" to you may be deeply humiliating to another person.

Distribution of Policy:

All students receive a copy of this policy when receiving keys to their residence hall room and sign a statement that they will abide by this policy. (Non-residential students will be mailed a copy of the policy.) All student team captains and organization chairpersons receive copies of the policy from Athletics and Student Programs at the start of the year/their season, and are required to have each member of their group sign a statement that they agree to abide by this policy. Each group member then receives a copy of the policy statement they have signed. *Certain student organizations, such as the SGA, FPSA, Class Boards, and Day Student Organization, that act as governing bodies or represent a constituency based upon enrollment in the college, require only the signatures of officers and other actively participating students, not the entirety of their constituency.

See Athletics Handbook and Student Programs Rules and Tools for more information on team and organization anti-hazing statement signatures .