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Office of Student Conduct Advisors

Recognizing that participating in the conduct process can be a challenging experience for any student, the Office of Student Conduct encourages students to consider bringing an advisor. Please call ahead to let the Office of Student Conduct know if someone will be accompanying you, so we can make arrangements for space.

An advisor is any person selected by the student (respondent or complainant) to assist and accompany them through the University conduct process. The advisor will not be allowed to disrupt the proceedings (e.g., causing emotional distress to the other party or attempting to disrupt the process) in any way.

Students may choose from:

Find Faculty/Staff Advisors

Campus Recreation

College of Arts and Architecture

College of Communications

College of Earth and Mineral Sciences

College of Education

College of Engineering

College of IST

College of Liberal Arts

Eberly College of Science

World Campus

Applied Research Laboratory

Social Science Research Institute (SSRI)

University Budget Office

Hintz Family Alumni Center

  • Colleen Heckard

Information Technology Services

Intercollegiate Athletics

Multicultural Resource Center

Morgan Center for Student Athletes

Undergraduate Education

Human Resource Manager

Gender Equity Center

University Community Members

Find Peer Advisors

Students at University Park can contact a University Park Undergraduate Association (UPUA) student and organization rights advisor (SORA).

UPUA Student and Organization Rights Advisors (SORA)

314 HUB-Robeson Center
University Park, PA 16802

For assistance at a campus location other than University Park, you may contact Council of Commonwealth Student Governments (CCSG), or consult the Office of Student Conduct Designee List.

Penn State Council of Commonwealth Student Governments

312 HUB-Robeson Center
University Park, PA 16802

What can an advisor do?

  • accompany the student in any conduct proceedings
  • advise the student in the preparation and presentation of sharing of information
  • advise the student in the preparation of any appeals or sanction reviews

Students are expected to ask and respond to questions on their own. The advisor may advise the student, but may not make a presentation or represent the student. The advisor may consult with their advisee, but may not speak on behalf of the advisee. Delays in the conduct process will not normally be allowed due to scheduling conflicts with advisors.

If the respondent is charged with a criminal offense by the courts, they may have an attorney act as the advisor. The attorney is limited to advising the student about answering questions that may be self-incriminating.

Attorneys as Advisors

Students may ask any one person to accompany them to a conduct conversation as an advisor. An attorney representing a student is welcome to serve as an advisor in the conduct process only with the student’s permission. An attorney can accompany the student in any conduct proceeding, advise the student in the preparation and presentation of sharing information, and advise the student in the preparation of any appeals. However, as with all advisors, attorneys may not speak on behalf of the student, disrupt proceedings and can be asked to leave at the discretion of the case manager.

In a Student Conduct hearing, an attorney cannot “represent” a student but may serve as the advisor. If in attendance, an attorney may advise the student about answering questions that may be self-incriminating, but may not question any individual, raise objections, or otherwise participate in the hearing.

The Student Code of Conduct at Penn State

Students at Penn State are expected to abide by the rules and standards set forth in the Student Code of Conduct. Per Penn State’s Off-campus Conduct Policy, students are responsible for abiding by the Code in any locale, both on and off-campus. When a possible violation occurs, the student is referred to the Office of Student Conduct.

How the student conduct process works

If in the course of the student’s meeting with a case manager, the student is determined to have violated the Code, the case manager will recommend official University charges and assign sanctions. Students typically are given three (3) business days to decide if they would like to contest the charge(s) or sanctions (if probation with transcript notation or a form of separation) and ask for a hearing or sanction review.

Student conduct vs. the legal system

The student conduct process is not attempting to determine whether a student has violated the law, but whether a student has violated Penn State’s Code of Conduct. Therefore, the outcome of a student’s legal process is not relevant to the student conduct process. The concept of “double jeopardy” does not apply, as criminal proceedings do not offer exemption from civil or administrative proceedings.

Due process

A significant body of case law has been established that outlines constitutional requirements in a student conduct process. At Penn State, students may accept all charges and sanctions issued at a conduct conversation. Students may choose instead to contest one or more of the charges that are issued in the conduct conversation by requesting a hearing. Or, students may challenge one or more of the sanctions that were assigned by asking for a sanction review if they included probation with a transcript notation or a form of separation from the University.

Student rights and burden of proof

Student participation is always valued and encouraged. If a student declines to participate or speak in a conduct conversation or hearing, the conduct process will proceed without student involvement. A decision will be reached based on the information available to the case manager or hearing officer/board. In a hearing, the burden of proof is upon the University to establish that the student is responsible by preponderance evidence. All reasonable evidence, including hearsay, is admissible.