Safety and Misconduct

Harvard University Police Department 

The Harvard University Police Department (HUPD) is committed to assisting all members of the Harvard community in providing for their own safety and security. It is important for students to be aware of their surroundings and personal belongings at all times. Learn about ways to prevent theft, and register your personal property such as laptops and bicycles.

Students should report crime and suspicious activity to the Harvard University Police:

Urgent: 617-495-1212
Longwood: 617-432-1212
Online contact form

Sexual or Gender-based Harassement or Assault

Harvard University is committed to creating and advancing a campus community where you feel empowered to raise concerns, ask for help, or learn about your options before making any decisions. If you have experienced, witnessed, or been impacted in any way by sexual or gender-based harassment, we can assist in finding the options that feel right for you. To seek assistance and information, you can contact your local Title IX Coordinator and/or the Title IX Office. You can also contact any of the resources listed on the Title IX Office website, or any combination of resources with whom you are most comfortable – you are in control of deciding to whom you speak and how much you want to share.

  • Title IX Coordinator for Students:  Carrie Sylven, Director of Student Affairs, Office of Dental Education, 188 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115,carrie_sylven@hsdm.harvard.edu617.432.4245
  • Title IX Coordinator for Staff: Judith Vance, Director of Human Resources, 188 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115,, 617.432.2625 
  • Title IX Coordinator for Complaints against Faculty: Carol Bates, Assistant Dean for Faculty Affairs, Gordon Hall, Faculty Affairs, Suite 206, 25 Shattuck Street, Boston, MA 02115, , 617.667.5728
  • University Title IX Officer: Nicole Merhill, Smith Campus Center, Suite 901, 1350 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138, 617-496-2470
  • Director, Office for Dispute Resolution (ODR): William McCants, Smith Campus Center, Suite 901, 1350 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 617-495-3798
  • Office of Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (OSAPR): Smith Campus Center, Suite 624, 1350 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge MA 02138,osapr@harvard.edu617-496-5636. 24 hour confidential hotline: 617.495.9100

University Resources

Office of Sexual Assault Prevention & Response | 617-496-5636
University Mental Health Services | 617-495-2042
Harvard University Health Services| 617-495-5711
Harvard Chaplains | 617-495-5529
Harvard University Police Department | 617-495-1212

Community Resources

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center’s Rape Crisis Intervention Center | 617-667-8141
Boston Area Rape Crisis Center | 617-492-8306 or 1-800-841-8371
Cambridge Police Department Sexual Assault Unit | 617-349-9342
The Cambridge Hospital Victims of Violence Program | 617-591-6360
Middlesex District Attorney Victim/Witness Bureau | 781-897-8490
Victim Rights Law Center | 617-399-6720 

What is sexual harassment?

Sexual harassment is unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature when: Submission to or rejection of such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a condition of an individual's employment or academic standing or is used as the basis for employment decisions or for academic evaluation, grades, or advancement (quid pro quo harassment); or such conduct is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive that it interferes with or limits a person's ability to participate in or benefit from the University's education or work programs or activities (hostile environment harassment). Conduct is unwelcome if a person did not request or invite it and regarded the unrequested or uninvited conduct as undesirable or offensive.

What is sexual violence?

Sexual violence, including rape and sexual assault, are types of sexual harassment. These sexually violent acts may violate federal law, including Title IX; state criminal law; and Harvard policy. As a result, if you believe you have experienced sexual violence, you may file a complaint with the Harvard Title IX Coordinator or the HDS Title IX Coordinators and/or you may file a criminal complaint with the Harvard University Police Department (HUPD). Different standards are used to assess a complaint under Harvard policy and a criminal complaint.

Why does sexual harassment continue to occur?

Those who engage in acts of sexual harassment are unlikely to stop unless they are challenged.  It is therefore imperative that those who experience sexual harassment be supported and encouraged to come forward.  Unfortunately, many people who ex­perience sexual harassment do not come forward because they are afraid that no one will believe them.  Others blame themselves.  Sometimes those who have experienced sexual harassment fear they are making too much of the experience, and sadly, some­times, they are told as much by those in whom they confide.  They should not stop there.  They should speak to someone else.

If you have experienced sexual harassment (or if you are not sure), you may find it difficult to come forward when you feel vulnerable or threatened.  There are, however, a wide variety of resources available to you.

Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment Policy

For complete policies related to sexual misconduct, discrimination, and harassment, please refer to the HSDM Handbook for Students.

Office for Dispute Resolution

“While Harvard is made up of multiple Schools, we are one community. Our responsibility is to protect all students, faculty, staff, affiliates, and visitors from discrimination, and for the task at hand, sexual and gender-based harassment."
- William McCants, Director of ODR