Emerson College recognizes that student clubs and organizations including fraternities and sororities function as integral parts of the campus community. The College also believes that the purposes and programs of student groups should be in consonance with its educational mission, and that the orientation, education, and activities of group members should support the institutional mission. Hazing is antithetical to the College’s mission and is therefore strictly prohibited.
Hazing means any action or situation that recklessly or intentionally endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a student for the purpose of initiation or admission into or affiliation with any student club/ organization operating under the sanction of the College.
The term hazing includes, but is not limited to, any brutality of a physical nature, such as beating; forced calisthenics; exposure to the elements; forced consumption of any food, alcohol, or other drug or substance; or any forced physical activity that could adversely affect health or mental stress, such as sleep deprivation; forced exclusion from social contact, which could result in extreme embarrassment; or any other forced activity that could adversely affect the mental health or dignity of an individual. It is important to note that the willingness of an individual to participate in any activity as described above does not sanction such behavior.
Students and/or student groups found responsible for engaging in any activity that can be described as hazing will be subject to disciplinary action, which may include suspension or dismissal of campus privileges or from the campus. See malegislature.gov/Laws/GeneralLaws/PartIV/TitleI/Chapter269 and view Section 17, 18, and 19.
Penalties for Hazing
Massachusetts Hazing Law of the COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS GENERAL LAWS 269:17, 18, 19 state:
Section 17: HAZING; ORGANIZING OR PARTICIPATING; HAZING DEFINED
Whoever is a principal organizer or participant in the crime of hazing, as defined herein, shall be punished by a fine of not more than three thousand dollars or by imprisonment in a house of correction for not more than one, [sic] year, or both such fine and imprisonment.
The term “hazing’’ as used in this section and in sections eighteen and nineteen, 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 the weather, forced consumption of any food, liquor, beverage, drug or other substance, or any other brutal treatment or forced physical activity that is likely to adversely affect the physical health 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.
Notwithstanding any other provisions of this section to the contrary, consent shall not be available as a defense to any prosecution under this action.
Section 18: FAILURE TO REPORT HAZING
Whoever knows that another person is the victim of hazing as defined in section seventeen and is at the scene of such crime shall, to the extent that such person can do so without danger or peril to themselves or others, report such crime to an appropriate law enforcement official as soon as reasonably practicable. Whoever fails to report such crime shall be punished by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars.
Section 19: COPY OF SECS. 17-19; ISSUANCE TO STUDENTS AND STUDENT GROUPS, TEAMS, AND ORGANIZATIONS; REPORT
Each institution of secondary education and each public and private institution of post-secondary education shall issue to every student group, student team, or student organization that is part of such institution or is recognized by the institution or permitted by the institution to use its name or facilities or is known by the institution to exist as an unaffiliated student group, student team, or student organization, a copy of this section and sections seventeen and eighteen; provided, however, that an institution’s compliance with this section’s requirements that an institution issue copies of this section and sections seventeen and eighteen to unaffiliated student groups, teams, or organizations shall not constitute evidence of the institution’s recognition or endorsement of said unaffiliated student groups, teams, or organizations.
Each such group, team, or organization shall distribute a copy of this section and sections seventeen and eighteen to each of its members, plebes, pledges, or applicants for membership. It shall be the duty of each such group, team, or organization, acting through its designated officer, to deliver annually to the institution an attested acknowledgement stating that such group, team, or organization has received a copy of this section and said sections seventeen and eighteen, that each of its members, plebes, pledges, or applicants has received a copy of sections seventeen and eighteen, and that such group, team, or organization understands and agrees to comply with the provisions of this section and sections seventeen and eighteen.
Each institution of secondary education and each public or private institution of post-secondary education shall,at least annually, before or at the start of enrollment, deliver to each person who enrolls as a full-time student in such institution a copy of this section and sections seventeen and eighteen.
Each institution of secondary education and each public or private institution of post-secondary education shall file, at least annually, a report with the regents of higher education and in the case of secondary institutions, the board of education, certifying that such institution has complied with its responsibility to inform student groups, teams, or organizations and to notify each full-time student enrolled by it of the provisions of this section and sections seventeen and eighteen and also certifying that said institution has adopted a disciplinary policy with regard to the organizers and participants of hazing, and that such policy has been set forth with appropriate emphasis in the Student Handbook or similar means of communication the institution’s policies to its students. The board of regents and, in the case of secondary institutions, the board of education shall promulgate regulations governing the content and frequency of such reports, and shall forthwith report to the attorney general any such institution that fails to make such report.
Hazing Law: Penal Code Section 245.6 http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displaySection.xhtml?lawCode=PEN§ionNum=245.6.
(a) It shall be unlawful to engage in hazing, as defined in this section.
(b) “Hazing” means any method of initiation or preinitiation into a student organization or student body, whether or not the organization or body is officially recognized by an educational institution, which is likely to cause serious bodily injury to any former, current, or prospective student of any school, community college, college, university, or other educational institution in this state. The term “hazing” does not include customary athletic events or school-sanctioned events.
(c) A violation of this section that does not result in serious bodily injury is a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of not less than one hundred dollars ($100), nor more than five thousand dollars ($5,000), or imprisonment in the county jail for not more than one year, or both.
(d) Any person who personally engages in hazing that results in death or serious bodily injury as defined in paragraph (4) of subdivision (f) of Section 243 of the Penal Code, is guilty of either a misdemeanor or a felony, and shall be punished by imprisonment in county jail not exceeding one year, or by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170.
(e) The person against whom the hazing is directed may commence a civil action for injury or damages. The action may be brought against any participants in the hazing, or any organization to which the student is seeking membership whose agents, directors, trustees, managers, l or officers authorized, requested, commanded, participated in, or ratified the hazing.
(f) Prosecution under this section shall not prohibit prosecution under any other provision of law.