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Information for Students

No Contact Directives

The Senior Director of Student Accountability & Conflict Response (Senior Director) or the Director of Sexual Misconduct Prevention & Response (Director), or their designees, may issue a No Contact Directive prohibiting contact between two or more students when there is reasonable concern that such contact may:

  • Cause disruption of or interference with university services and/or administrative functions or an environment conducive to learning,
  • Create a hostile or unwelcoming environment, and/or
  • Cause reasonable fear of physical harm.

Any student may make a request for a No Contact Directive to the Senior Director or Director in writing. All No Contact Directive requests must be made in good faith.

Violations of No Contact Directives are subject to student conduct action in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct. The University will not issue a No Contact Directive when there is reasonable belief that the directive has been requested for the purpose of discrimination or harassment and may refer allegations of discrimination or harassment for further review.

Mutual Directives: A mutual directive, meaning that it applies equally to each party, may be issued by request or when it is determined the directive is necessary. Mutual Directives will remain in effect until the graduation or withdrawal of at least one of the parties, unless the Directive expressly provides otherwise, or is modified or rescinded by the University. A student seeking the modification or rescission of a Mutual Directive shall make such a request to the Senior Director or Director. That Senior Director or Director may consult with both parties before determining whether to modify or rescind the No Contact Directive.

  • Emergency Directives: Certain designees have been granted the authority to implement Emergency Directives when there is an urgent need outside of business hours. These directives are temporary and must     be reviewed by the Senior Director or Director within two business days to determine if they will be removed or replaced with a full No Contact Directive. Emergency Directives are mutual and therefore apply equally to each party.

Single Party Directives: A Directive that applies to only one student may only be issued through the Interim Action process, outlined in the Code of Conduct, or through an Action Plan or resolution agreement imposed at the conclusion of process. Students may contest the Directive through applicable appeal or review processes.

“Contact” may include, but is not limited to e-mail, text messages, letters, phone calls, face-to-face meetings, remaining in the close physical presence of the other person, and written/oral communication of any kind. Social media postings that cause a notification to be sent specifically to the other person, such as posting on their social media, or engaging in any other social media or social networking, including dating apps, communication with this person is considered contact. This does not include participating in required class posts or other assignments on Canvas. Furthermore, contact includes encouraging other people to contact the other person on one’s behalf or in relation to the underlying situation. This may include behaviors or communications that would indirectly incite, or reasonably cause, a person to contact the other person, such as “tagging” the other person on social media (e.g., Instagram, TikTok, and/or Snapchat). Generally, participating in a student conduct process, permitted that the participation aligns with university policy, does not constitute prohibited contact. 

Pre-Admission, Re-Enrollment, and Continuing Enrollment Review

Penn State has the responsibility to set and to maintain standards of conduct for members of the community and for those seeking admission. When information suggests that the prior behavior of an applicant may endanger the health and safety of others, jeopardize University property, and/or adversely affect the University's educational mission, a review is required.

If the University learns that a current student or applicant for admission* or re-enrollment has been involved in:

  • prior misconduct
  • incarceration
  • illegal activities

the University reserves the right to determine whether that person may be a student at the University.

The presence of prior conduct or criminal history DOES NOT automatically preclude the applicant from admission. In fact, the majority of pre-admission and re-enrollment reviews of persons who indicate a criminal or conduct history are approved for admission consideration. However, in some circumstances, the review may result in the student being denied admission, or, if the review is of a current student, the University may prevent the student from enrolling in a subsequent semester.

*These review procedures apply to non degree-seeking, degree-seeking, and provisional admission as well as changes from non degree-seeking/provisional to degree-seeking status.

Guidelines

  1. Applicants will not be considered for admission or re-enrollment in residential instruction while incarcerated in any federal, state, county, or city prison or jail, including youth detention centers.
  2. Incarcerated individuals enrolled in non-residential University programs or courses are subject to review procedures prior to consideration for a change from non-residential to residential instruction.
  3. Individuals on parole, probation, or any type of intermediate punishment or house arrest program may be subject to review procedures.
  4. Individuals with conduct history resulting in separation from a previous school may be subject to review procedures.
  5. Individuals with known emotional and/or psychological problems who have violated the law, or engaged in misconduct related to the policies of another university or secondary school that was disruptive or threatening to the functioning and well-being of self or others, are subject to review procedures.
  6. Individuals, who provide inaccurate information throughout the review process, including any misleading or false responses to the criminal, conduct, and academic integrity questions contained in the University’s admission application or other enrollment forms, may be subject to rescission of admission or administrative dismissal procedures.

Procedure

To be considered for admission, re-enrollment, or continued enrollment, consistent with the above rationale and guidelines, the following review procedures may be required. Additional information may be required based on the nature of the misconduct and/or specific facts of an applicant’s or student's case. This process is administered by the Office of Student Accountability and Conflict Response working closely with other offices, such as the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, Office of the University Registrar, Graduate School, University Health Services, or Center for Counseling and Psychological Services, as appropriate.

  1. Letter of explanation clarifying the nature of the offense(s) and consequences experienced (including prior school or court resolution); any counseling, diversionary, or other programs completed (including documentation or independent verification); current status (e.g., incarcerated, supervised, eligibility to return to prior institution); and the applicant's or student's plan for future success.
  2. Release of information from parole or probation supervisors, prison officials, treatment specialists (e.g., counselor, psychiatrist), caseworkers, secondary or post-secondary school administrators, and/or other professionals/references may be requested when the information has a direct bearing on the applicant’s or current student’s behavior and suitability for enrollment at the University.
  3. Depending on the nature of the facts with respect to the applicant or student described in Guideline #5, special requirements may be stipulated, such as, but not limited to, a personal review; a signed release with any treating psychologist, counselor, or psychiatrist; a psychiatric or psychological evaluation by University counseling staff; or a comprehensive diagnostic/treatment report from a duly recognized mental health practitioner of the University’s choice.
  4. After documentary and testimonial materials have been collected, the senior director of the Office of Student Accountability and Conflict Response will render a final decision, notifying the applicant or student as well as appropriate University offices and departments (e.g., Undergraduate or Graduate Admissions, University Registrar). Depending on the nature of the misconduct or relevant concern, the decision may be made in consultation with the Center for Counseling and Psychological Services, University Health Services, or another health care provider chosen by University staff. If the decision is to approve the applicant for enrollment consideration, there may be additional requirements or expectations upon enrollment.

All circumstances and correspondence relative to the above reviews shall be directed to the Senior Director of the Office of Student Accountability and Conflict Response.

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Information for Students
Penn State Student Affairs
Student Accountability and Conflict Response
Location

120 Boucke Building 
University Park, PA 16802
StudentConduct@psu.edu