2020-2021 Policy Library 
    Jun 14, 2024  
2020-2021 Policy Library [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Hazing Policy


This Hazing Policy (the “Hazing Policy” or the “Policy”) addresses the College’s commitment to addressing hazing activities within our community pursuant applicable law, including Section 245.6 of the California Penal Code, which provides that a criminal hazing violation that results in death or injury is punishable as a felony or misdemeanor, and that a criminal hazing violation that does not result in serious bodily injury is punishable as a misdemeanor.


Chief Civil Rights Officer and Title IX Coordinator

CMC’s Chief Civil Rights Officer (“CCRO”) oversees the College’s centralized review, investigation, and resolution of reports of civil rights violations, including this Hazing Policy.

Inquiries or complaints within the College

Inquiries or complaints concerning the application of this Policy should be referred to the College’s Chief Civil Rights Officer or Title IX Coordinator:

Chief Civil Rights Officer
Nyree Gray
E-mail: ngray@cmc.edu
Heggblade Center, Second Floor
Claremont, CA  91711
(909) 607-0347

External inquiries or complaints: Law Enforcement

The Claremont Police Department is the local law enforcement agency responsible for responding to and investigating potential criminal activity with the City of Claremont and The Claremont Colleges.

Claremont Police Department
570 W. Bonita Avenue
Claremont, CA 91711
Lobby Hours: 7:00 am - 10:00 pm, 7-days a week
Emergencies: Dial 9-1-1
(909) 399-5411 (non-emergencies)

1. Introduction

a. Prohibition against Hazing

Hazing is not permitted at Claremont McKenna College (“CMC” or the “College”).No individual, recognized student organization, club, team, or any other College-affiliated student group is permitted to plan, engage in, or condone hazing, on or off the CMC campus.

b. Relationship to Other Laws

As described in more detail below, CMC’s definition of hazing, as set forth in this Policy, is distinct from and broader than the definition in Section 245.6 of the California Penal Code (“Matt’s Law”). This Policy outlines how the College will respond to incidents of alleged hazing, and is separate and distinct from the criminal process.

The College strongly encourages all individuals who are the subject of potential hazing to pursue all remedies available to them, including reporting incidents of potential criminal conduct to law enforcement. If the conduct in question is alleged to be a violation of both College policy and the law, the College will proceed with its normal process, regardless of action or inaction by outside authorities. Decisions made or sanctions imposed through these or other College procedures are not subject to change because criminal charges arising from the same conduct are dismissed, reduced, or rejected in favor of or against the Respondent.

c. Reporting Options (within the College and to Law Enforcement)

Individuals are encouraged to report concerns about potential hazing activities internally to the College or externally to law enforcement as set forth below.

Within the College:

Chief Civil Rights Officer
Nyree Gray
E-mail: ngray@cmc.edu   
Heggblade Center, Second Floor
Claremont, CA  91711
(909) 607-0347

Department of Campus Safety for The Claremont Colleges
Pendleton Building - 150 E. 8th Street
Claremont, CA 91711
(909) 607-2000 (emergency)
(909) 621-8170

Reporting to Law Enforcement:

The Claremont Police Department
570 West Bonita Avenue
Claremont, CA 91711
Lobby Hours: 7:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m., 7-days a week
Emergencies: Dial 9-1-1
(909) 399-5411 (non-emergency number)


a. Hazing Defined

Hazing includes any activity done in connection with a student organization, regardless of whether the organization is officially recognized at CMC, that causes or is reasonably likely to cause another student to suffer bodily danger, physical harm, or significant personal degradation or humiliation, even if no bodily danger, physical harm, or significant degradation or humiliation in fact results. Hazing might occur during initiation or pre-initiation into a student organization, but is not limited to these time frames.

A level of coercion is often involved in hazing; individuals being hazed may not feel they can opt out of participation because of peer pressure or a desire to belong or “fit in” with the group. Because of the socially coercive nature of hazing, this definition of hazing applies regardless of whether the participants consent to such activity or perceive the activity as “voluntary.”

Any individual who plans or intentionally assists in hazing activity has engaged in hazing, regardless of whether that individual is present when the hazing activity occurs. An individual can also be responsible for violating this Policy for soliciting, directing, aiding, or otherwise participating actively or passively in activities that violate this Policy.

This Policy is not intended to prohibit student recruitment or new or continuing member activities that are positive and educational in nature. Similarly, this Policy is not intended to apply to customary athletic events or other similar institutionally approved contests or competitions. Hazing does not include actions or situations that are subsidiary to officially sanctioned and supervised College activities such as athletic training and events, e.g. running extra laps at practice. Instead, this Policy prohibits those behaviors that cause or are likely to cause danger, harm, or humiliation to another person.

b. Potential Sanctions

The College expects its students to conduct themselves in socially responsible and respectful ways. Thus, participation in hazing, either as an individual or as part of any student group, may result in serious individual and organizational consequences including, but not limited to: disciplinary action up to and including expulsion; permanent loss of organizational recognition; and loss of eligibility to remain a member of any club, team, or other College-affiliated student group. Consent, implied or expressed, is not a defense to any complaint or charge alleging a hazing violation.

Reports or complaints of alleged hazing activity will be forwarded to the College’s Chief Civil Rights Officer, who will respond and review the incident, including any potential sanctions, pursuant to the College’s Civil Rights Grievance Procedures (“Grievance Procedures” or “Grievance Process”).

c. Relationship to Matt’s Law

CMC’s Hazing Policy is distinct from and broader than California Penal Code Section 245.6, which prohibits: “any method of initiation or pre-initiation 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.” A violation of Penal Code Section 245.6 that does not result in serious bodily injury is punishable as a misdemeanor, while a violation that results in death or injury is punishable as a felony or a misdemeanor.

Nothing in this Hazing Policy prevents the College from taking institutional action against hazing activity that falls outside the narrower definition of Penal Code Section 245.6.

d. Other Prohibited Conduct

Retaliation: Retaliation against a person who properly reports, complains about, or participates in an investigation of a hazing incident is also prohibited, and is subject to disciplinary action pursuant to the Grievance Process.

False Reporting: It is a violation of College policy to file a knowingly false or malicious complaint of alleged hazing. A complaint against such conduct may be pursued pursuant to the Grievance Process. A complaint filed in good faith under this provision shall not constitute retaliation.


Hazing activities often involve alcohol; however, activities need not involve alcohol to violate this policy. Common examples of behaviors that can be hazing include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Shaving, tattooing, piercing, or branding
  • Engaging in or simulating sexual acts (may also constitute sexual harassment or sexual misconduct)
  • Threatening to physically restrain someone or actually restraining them
  • Assigning unreasonable chores or acts of servitude
  • Causing excessive exercise, sleep deprivation, or excessive fatigue
  • Interfering with an individual’s personal hygiene
  • Requiring the wearing of specific apparel or acting in a way that is conspicuous and may cause the individual embarrassment or ridicule
  • Degrading or humiliating games and activities, including paddling
  • Activities that would unreasonably interfere with students’ other activities or obligations (academic, extracurricular, family, religious, etc.)
  • Physical threats or abuse of any kind, including throwing objects or substances at an individual
  • Encouraging or requiring a person to consume alcohol, drugs, or foreign or unusual substances, including consumption of large quantities of same
  • Encouraging the use of alcohol or illegal drugs
  • Forcing a student to violate the law or College policy such as indecent exposure, theft, or trespassing

No policy can address, in specific fashion, all possible activities or situations that may constitute hazing. The determination of whether a particular activity constitutes hazing will be based on a “reasonable person standard” and will depend on the circumstances and context in which that activity is occurring and that determination will be through the Grievance Process.