Policy Portal

University Policy


Policy Number: 3349-05-76
Effective Date: 10/06/2021
Responsible Department: Student Affairs, General Counsel
Applies To: Students, Employees, Alumni, and Volunteers

A. Purpose

All acts of Hazing are prohibited at NEOMED. The University strives to promote a safe environment in which its students can participate in experiences and activities without compromising their mental and physical health, well-being, dignity, and personal rights.  Students are entitled to be treated with consideration, respect, and professionalism at all times, including when engaging in the activities of a Student Organization, as defined in this policy.  To that end, the University has zero tolerance for acts of Hazing that may occur related to the admission, initiation, pledging, joining, or continued membership in any Student Organization.

B. Scope

This policy applies to all students, Student Organizations and all employees or volunteers who advise or support of a Student Organization.  Preventing Hazing from occurring is the responsibility of all members of the NEOMED community, including students, student organizations, employees, alumni and volunteers.

C. Definitions

  1. “Hazing” refers to engaging in or coercing, pressuring, or soliciting another to engage in any act of initiation, or act required in order to maintain membership, that causes or creates a substantial risk of physical or mental harm to any person.
    1. Hazing under this policy includes, but is not limited to the following, when performed in relationship to the foregoing purposes:
      1. ingesting food, drinks (including alcohol), drugs or other substances;
      2. acts of a physical nature, such as: beating, bonding, branding, calisthenics, exposure to outdoor elements, paddling, striking, throwing items at or on a person, and/or whipping;
      3. acts that adversely affect the mental health or dignity of the individual, such as: social isolation, kidnapping, abandonment, verbal berating and/or food or sleep deprivation;
      4. acts that a reasonable person would view to be frightening, humiliating, intimidating or deceptive, such as: blindfolding, personal servitude, designating entrances/exits to public spaces, requiring individuals wear uncomfortable, scant, or no apparel at designated times;
      5. acts that violate University policies, or federal, state, or local laws, regardless of whether charges are brought; and
      6. acts that endanger or have the potential to endanger a student’s academic or personal life (e.g., preventing attendance to academic, employment, or family matters).
    2. Hazing does not include:
      1. Reasonable and customary Student Organization trainings, contests or other events that are explicitly relevant to the mission of the organization and performed by all members; and
      2. Lawful expressive activities permitted under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, Section 11 of the Article I of the Ohio Constitution, or the NEOMED Free Speech Policy.
  2. “Student Organization” refers to any student association, group, club, or chapter whose members are primarily students or alumni of the organization or the University.

D. Policy Statement

  1. Prohibited Conduct. The following conduct constitute a violation of this policy:
    1. Purposefully, knowingly, recklessly, or negligently Hazing any person;
    2. Involvement in the planning of Hazing and/or being present during Hazing;
    3. Failing to intervene or stop Hazing if the individual has knowledge of a planned or ongoing Hazing activity;
    4. Failing to assist or seek assistance if the individual knows or reasonably should know that another person is in danger from the effects of Hazing;
  2. Training on Hazing
    1. Students are required to participate in training regarding Hazing during orientation. Students are prohibited from participating in any activities, including being accepted or initiated as a member, of a Student Organization until they complete the training.
    2. All employees and volunteers who advise a Student Organization and who have direct contact with students must complete Hazing training.
    3. The foregoing training may occur on-line or in person, at the discretion of the University and will reflect the provisions of this policy as well as the related potential for criminal prosecution related to Hazing activities.
  3. Reporting Hazing. Any person with knowledge that Hazing is scheduled to occur or has taken place is encouraged to immediately report the information to one or more of the following sources.  Prompt reporting of Hazing activities enables law enforcement and/or campus personnel to gather timely and relevant information related to the alleged activity.  While reports can be made anonymously, without identifying the reporting party’s name, it may limit the University’s ability to investigate and take action.  Reports can be made as follows:
    1. In writing or in person to the Student Conduct Officer or the Associate Dean for the Student Affairs of the college;
    2. By contacting the NEOMED Police at 330-325-5911 if the situation is non-emergent, or 911 if emergency personnel are required;
    3. By submitting an online Professionalism Concern Note;
    4. By contacting the employee serving as the Student Organization’s advisor; or
    5. By contacting Human Resources.
  4. Investigation of Hazing Reports. The Student Conduct Officer and/or the NEOMED Police will investigate all reports of Hazing.  All students and employees are required to cooperate in the investigation of Hazing allegations.  Retaliating against or taking adverse action toward an individual who participates in the investigation of a Hazing allegation will result in the filing of a Professionalism Concern Note (for students) or discipline (for employees).
    1. Students who are found to have been in violation of this policy will be addressed through the procedures set forth in the Administration of Student Conduct Policy, which may include implementation of interim safety measures.  Sanctions for Hazing may include the imposition of fines; revocation of permission to participate in the Student Organization or permission for the Student Organization to operate on campus; notification to the related national chapter organization; or discipline such as probation, suspension, dismissal or expulsion.
    2. Employees who fail to report Hazing occurrences about which they have been notified or who have been reckless in permitting Hazing of any student within a Student Organization will be subject to discipline, up to and including termination.
    3. Alumni and volunteers who have been reckless in permitting Hazing of any student within a Student Organization may be excluded from future activities on campus and reported to the related national chapter of the Student Organization.
    4. Students, employees, volunteers and alumni may also face criminal prosecution for permitting or participating in Hazing activities.
  5. Students who report Hazing under this policy or who participate in an investigation of Hazing will be granted amnesty from consequences tied to violations of other University policies that arose out of or are related to the Hazing incident under investigation, so long as the student’s conduct does not represent a threat to the health and safety of others (e.g., seeking medical assistance for overconsumption of drugs or alcohol).


Lisa Noland
Administrative Specialist
Phone: 330.325.6354
Email: lnoland@neomed.edu

Office of General Counsel

Northeast Ohio Medical University