- Administrative Directives
- Victim Services
- Mediation Services
- Workshops: Ethical Decision Making
Conferences are informal, one-on-one, educational conversations with an OSC case manager. Typically, they are scheduled in hour-long time slots, though entire hour may or may not be used. You may attend in your typical, casual attire.
The Office of Student Conduct offers Administrative Directives for that mandate that a student have no contact with another person. These will only be used in serious circumstances and will normally only be issued as part on an ongoing conduct process. Each request will be evaluated and managed through the case management staff.
A directive can be issued for a period of time (for example during an ongoing conduct process) or can be issued indefinitely during enrollment. The violation of a directive will be evaluated through a conduct process and can result in additional disciplinary action from the university.
If someone has been a victim of a student’s misconduct, that person may file an incident report with OSC. OSC can assist victims in accessing services on campus or in the community to support them through the experience. A victim of a crime of violence will have the opportunity to be involved as an equal party in any conduct process that develops as a result of the incident report.
The Office of Student Conduct offers free mediation services to Penn State students at the University Park campus as an option to help resolve conflicts and disagreements. Mediation is a problem-solving and resolution process facilitated by a neutral third party in a safe and confidential environment.
Some common issues that can be resolved through mediation include:
- Interpersonal/friendship disputes
- Off-campus roommate disputes
- Co-worker disputes
- Disputes with neighbors
- Disputes with faculty/staff
Mediation is a process in which two individuals or groups meet to resolve a conflict with the facilitation and help of a neutral third party. Mediators are trained to assist people in airing their concerns, clearing up misunderstandings, and arriving at a resolution that is agreeable to both parties. Mediation sessions at Penn State are one hour long and are conducted confidentially and safely by trained mediators.
Who are the mediators?
Mediators are Office of Student Conduct staff or affiliates who have been trained to provide this service. In order to ensure neutrality, the mediators assigned to each case are approved by all of the parties involved.
What happens to the information I share during a mediation session?
One of the advantages of mediation is the degree of privacy. Information disclosed to the mediator by the parties during the course of the mediation will not be divulged without cause. Students are asked to keep information shared confidential. Mediators will respond to information according to University Policy and/or professional standards. Most records, reports or other documents received or created during a mediation are not maintained beyond the conclusion of the mediation process.
The Office of Student Conduct is required to report any suspicion of current abuse of a minor child or any threat of harm to self or others that may be revealed by participants during the mediation process. The Office of Student Conduct also reserves the right to intervene in situations where students’ health or well being may be threatened or to refer students to appropriate services.
What does mediation have to do with student conduct?
In most cases, mediation will not be a part of the student conduct process. On occasion mediation may be an appropriate service utilized in conjunction with or in lieu of a conduct process as per a consultation with the Senior Director.
Why should I give mediation a try?
Mediation is a way to resolve personal disputes in a timely manner and in a way that can preserve the integrity of personal relationships. The focus of mediation is to seek a mutually acceptable agreement between parties. Mediation creates and explores many options for resolution and provides a forum for open communication and structure for discussion in which the parties are active, voluntary participants. The parties are expected to take ownership of the agreements reached, which results in greater compliance, cooperation, and feelings of satisfaction.
Benefits of Mediation
- Mediation can lead to a resolution that is acceptable to both parties and allow people to preserve their relationship.
- Mediation has a high success rate.
- Mediation is free to enrolled Penn State University Park students.
- Mediation addresses the issue of concern effectively.
- Mediation is voluntary and involves a good faith effort from both parties.
How do I request a mediation session?
- You may call the Office of Student Conduct or walk-in to our offices in 120 Boucke Building to schedule a mediation intake appointment.
- A case manager will meet with you. You will have a chance to explain the conflict and identify the party or parties you wish to invite to mediation. Using the information you provide, the case manager will decide if mediation is appropriate.
- If it is, the case manager will have you fill out a Mediation Intake Form. The case manager will then contact the invited parties and determine whether they are interested in being part of the mediation process.
- If all parties agree to mediate, a session date and time will be arranged.
Participation in the mediation process is voluntary. The Office of Student Conduct cannot force any person to agree to mediation or attend sessions. If the conflict presented by the student during intake is not appropriate for mediation, the student may be referred to other campus or community resources.
The Office of Student Conduct offers decision making workshops on a regular basis throughout the academic year. The workshops include a number of activities related to ethical decision making and provides a beginning knowledge of basic ethical principles. The workshop is also available as an individual delivery module that students can work through at their own pace.