MONTPELIER, Vt. -- A former freshman at Norwich University in Northfield is suing the school for hazing, the school president said in an e-mail to alumni.
President Richard Schneider said disciplinary action had been taken against the students involved, but he did not describe the acts of hazing or identify the person who filed suit.
''The actions of these few people bring great discredit to the University and to our Corps of Cadets," Schneider said in the message sent on Saturday.
''It is unfortunate that a handful of students acting inappropriately can overshadow the good actions and accomplishments of so many current students and alums of Norwich."
Norwich spokesman Tony Venti referred questions yesterday about the lawsuit to school attorney Michael Popowski, who did not return calls seeking comment.
Since he arrived at Norwich in 1992, Schneider has worked to eliminate hazing at the nation's oldest private military school.
Incoming freshmen who join the school's military arm, known as the Corps of Cadets, are called rooks.
They are required to perform a variety of physical and mental challenges ordered by the upperclassmen.
Hazing is not allowed.
The Norwich student handbook defines hazing as ''the harassment of a student or a group of students by the imposition of unreasonable disciplinary action or personal requirements whereby a student or a group of students may suffer any cruelty, injury, humiliation, or the deprivation of a right/privilege."
Over the years, the school has faced a number of hazing lawsuits and, in at least one case, a multimillion-dollar judgment against the school.
In 2001, a federal jury in New York awarded a former student $312,000 for the pain and suffering that he said he endured during about 100 incidents of hazing in the 2 1/2 months he was at the military college in 1995.
In that case, the student said he was beaten and had his homework sprayed with water as he worked at his desk.
In 1997, a Washington Superior Court jury ordered Norwich to pay a student $2.2 million for hazing he suffered in the fall of 1990.
Evidence in that lawsuit alleged the student was repeatedly denied a chance to eat at meals, forced to endure long calisthenics periods outside the school's normal regimen, and was punched twice in or near an already injured shoulder by upperclassmen who were his military superiors.