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Clearance for Return

Last Updated

After a hospitalization or emergency room visit by a student that raises serious questions about the student’s health or well-being, or in other circumstances that raise serious questions about the student’s health or well-being and reasonably call into question their ability to function as a student in the Harvard Griffin GSAS environment, Harvard Griffin GSAS ordinarily will not permit that student to return to residence and enrollment or participation in any Harvard-related programs or activities before making its own assessment of the suitability of the student’s return. (See Procedure for Notice and Consultation). To better inform that assessment, students are expected to notify HUHS of any hospitalization or emergency department visit. HUHS can be notified by phone 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at 617-495-5711. 

Reason for Policy

An important consideration in Harvard Griffin GSAS’s decision as to whether a student may continue in or return to residence and enrollment is the impact of the student’s presence on the community. A student who is injured, ill, or exhibiting disturbing or disruptive behavior may require ongoing care. Serious alcohol- or drug-related problems, in particular, have the potential to disrupt residential life and/or life in the academic community significantly and impair a student’s ability to function academically and socially. Harvard Griffin GSAS regards as unreasonable the expectation that roommates, suitemates, friends, or Harvard Griffin GSAS staff will take on health care responsibilities for other students.

Any student may, of course, refuse to allow consultation between the student’s clinician(s) and Harvard Griffin GSAS, but such a refusal will not prevent Harvard Griffin GSAS from making a decision regarding a student’s return to residence or continued enrollment.

Procedure for Notice and Consultation

The Harvard Griffin GSAS will consult with clinicians at HUHS and/or, if the student has been treated elsewhere, clinicians at other facilities or in private practice ordinarily with the student’s permission. Depending on the relevant circumstances, such consultation may be initiated either by Harvard Griffin GSAS or by clinicians at HUHS. A notice that a student has been hospitalized or treated in an emergency department of an area hospital may prompt Harvard Griffin GSAS to begin a process of consultation through which it will decide whether and under what circumstances the student may continue in or return to residence or enrollment.

Harvard Griffin GSAS also may independently decide that, based on its observations or other information it has about a student, it should initiate the process of consultation with HUHS clinicians, which may include ascertaining whether the student has been hospitalized or treated by an emergency department.

Consultation will focus on the concerns raised by the student’s condition or behavior and requirements for continued care in order to facilitate Harvard Griffin GSAS’s decision about the student’s capacity to continue in or return to residence and enrollment.


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