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The University identifies and outlines 17 overarching categories of unacceptable student/student organization behavior in the Code of Conduct. It is important for students to familiarize themselves with the Code of Conduct and to allow it to inform their everyday decision-making, both in and out of the classroom. It is equally important for students to take time to review the description of each category as well as the student conduct procedures.

The Student Guide to General University Policies and Rules will provide further information regarding Penn State's Policy Statements and Penn State's Nondiscrimination Statement can be found on the Affirmative Action website.

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It is important for students to familiarize themselves with the Code of Conduct and to allow it to inform their everyday decision-making, both in and out of the classroom.
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Code of Conduct & Student and Student Organization Conduct Procedures

(Revised 08/31/2018)

Section I: Introduction

The following document outlines the standard procedures and practices of the University conduct process. To be fully aware of their individual and organizational rights and responsibilities, individuals and student organizations are encouraged to review all materials on the Office of Student Conduct website.

The Office of Student Conduct strives to deliver a conduct process that is equitable, educational, effective and expeditious; and to provide a process that promotes individual and organizational growth through responsibility, in which the success of its educational endeavors is characterized by increased civility.

The Office of Student Conduct supports the University’s educational mission by promoting a safe, orderly and positive University climate through enforcing behavioral standards, enacting and facilitating intervention efforts, managing conduct proceedings, mentoring students, developing leadership, delivering informational programming and fostering peer education. We hope to create a University culture that is self-disciplined, where civility is embraced, and the norms and foundational beliefs validate the essential values of Penn State University.

Section II: Definitions
  • The term “administrative directive” is a mandate that a student or organization have no contact with another person or that restricts a student’s or organization’s access from a specific location, activity, or program.  Administrative directives are utilized in situations where there is concern that ongoing contact between individuals that may result in physical harm or significant emotional distress.  A directive may be issued for a period of time (e.g., during an ongoing conduct process) or may be issued indefinitely during enrollment. The violation of a directive will be evaluated through a conduct process and can result in additional conduct action from the University. 

  • The term “Administrative Hearing Officer” is defined as the faculty or staff members authorized by the Senior Director to conduct Administrative Hearings.

  • The term “advisor” is defined as any person selected by the respondent or complainant to assist and accompany them through the University conduct process (including conduct conferences, investigative meetings, University hearings, Sanction Reviews, and Appeals).  Parties may choose from a list of trained advisors available at the Office of Student Conduct website, or person of their choice, or may choose to proceed without an advisor. A party shall not select an advisor with the actual or effective purpose of disrupting the proceedings, causing emotional distress to the other party, or otherwise attempting to disrupt the process. The advisor, upon request may (1) accompany the party in any conduct proceeding, (2) advise the party in the preparation and presentation of sharing of information, and (3) advise the party in the preparation of any appeals or sanction reviews.  The advisor shall not perform any function in the process other than advising the party and may not make a presentation or represent the party.  The parties are expected to ask and respond to questions on their own behalf, without representation by their advisor. The advisor may consult with their advisee quietly or in writing, or outside during breaks, 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. 

  • The term “case manager” is defined as any University official who is authorized by the Senior Director of the Office of Student Conduct to meet with students regarding alleged violations of the Code of Conduct, to recommend charge(s) and sanction(s), to serve as University presenters in hearings, and to monitor and mandate the completion of assigned sanctions. This includes staff in the Offices of Student Conduct and Residence Life, and others designated by Senior Director.

  • The term “complainant” is defined as any person alleging that they were adversely affected by a student or student organization who participated in a crime of violence and/or Title IX incident (Special procedures exist in Section VI: Conduct Procedures)

  • A “conduct conference” is an informal, non-adversarial meeting intended to allow the case manager to explain the conduct process, examine the complaint, listen to the respondent, discuss circumstances regarding the incident, and address the respondent’s questions.  

  • The term “crimes of violence” is defined as any behavior that may involve a crime of violence as defined in the Code of Federal Regulations, Title 34, Appendix A. 

  • "Evidence" is any information that may be used in the Student or Student Organization Conduct Process to determine whether an alleged behavior violates the Code of Conduct. This information may include, but is not limited to, witness statements, information provided as part of the investigative process, and materials submitted for review by a hearing authority.

  • The term “faculty member” refers to employees of the University with academic appointments as well as those with emeritus status.

  • The term “hearing” encompasses proceedings heard by an Administrative Hearing Officer, Student Organization Conduct Committees, University Conduct Board, or Title IX Decision Panel. 

  • The term “hearing authority” encompasses Administrative Hearing Officers, Student Organization Conduct Committees, University Conduct Boards, or Title IX Decision Panels.

  • The term “investigator” is defined as any person who is assigned by the Senior Director or Title IX Coordinator to conduct investigations in cases involving alleged violations of the code of conduct.

  • The term “preponderance of the evidence” describes the standard of evidence that is used to decide responsibility in a hearing and is defined as a “more likely than not” standard.

  • The term “respondent” is defined as a student or student organization who allegedly violated the Code of Conduct. In the case of a student organization, one student representative (typically, the president) will be allowed to represent the organization in the conduct process.

  • The term “Sanction Review Officer” is defined as the faculty or staff member who conducts Sanction Reviews, when requested, for sanctions of Probation with Transcript Notation or higher for individuals, or for sanctions of Suspension or higher for student organizations.  For individual cases, the Sanction Review Officer is an Associate or Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs at University Park, or designee, or the Campus Chancellor at other Penn State campuses, or designee.  For organizational cases, the Sanction Review Officer is the Vice President for Student Affairs at University Park, or designee, or the Director of Student Affairs (or equivalent) at the Commonwealth Campuses, or designee.

  • The “Senior Director” is defined as the Senior Director of the Office of Student Conduct who is designated by the University President to be responsible for the administration of the Code of Conduct and the student conduct process.

  • The term “staff member” is defined as anyone hired by the University, apart from faculty members, with administrative or professional responsibilities.

  • "Student” includes all individuals taking courses at the University, either full-time or part-time, pursuing undergraduate, graduate, or professional studies, both degree and non-degree seeking, as well as individuals enrolled in non-credit courses and programs.  In addition, for purposes of the Student Code of Conduct, Code jurisdiction also includes individuals who have accepted an offer of admission to the University; and students who withdraw after allegedly violating the Student Code of Conduct, who are on leave of absence from the University, or who are not officially registered and/or enrolled for a specific term but have a continuing relationship with the University.

  • The term “Student Conduct Appeals Officer” is defined as the University community member authorized to conduct Student Conduct appeals.  For individual cases, the Student Conduct Appeals Officer at University Park is the Vice President for Undergraduate Education for Undergraduate students, the Senior Vice President for Research and Dean of the Graduate School for Graduate students, or the campus Chancellor for students at Commonwealth Campuses, or designee. For organizational cases, the Student Conduct Appeals Officer at University Park is the Vice President for Student Affairs, or the Director of Student Affairs (or equivalent) at the Commonwealth Campuses, or designee.

  •  “Student organization” includes any organization or club sport that has received recognition by the University as a student organization.

  • The term “Student Organization Conduct Committee” (SOCC) is defined as a group of students authorized by the Senior Director to serve in organizational conduct proceedings at University Park as members of an Administrative Hearing panel or as student representatives on University Conduct Boards.

  • The term “Title IX” refers to Title IX of the Education Amendment of 1972 and the related regulations and guidance, specifically as they relate to sexual harassment, gender discrimination and harassment, sexual assault and sexual violence, including dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking.  Special procedures exist for cases involving potential Title IX violations (See Section VI, D: Special Protocols for Title IX Allegations

  • The terms “Title IX Decision Panel” and “Title IX Administrative Hearing Officer” are defined as a specific group of faculty and staff authorized by the Senior Director to review cases alleging Title IX violations that have been assigned to them, to determine whether a student has violated the Student Code of Conduct, and to assign sanction(s) in response to violation(s).

  • The term “University” means The Pennsylvania State University (including its campuses).

  • The term “University premises” is defined as any building, facility, land, or other property owned, used or controlled by the University, including adjacent streets and sidewalks.

  • The term “University Conduct Board” is defined as a specific group of faculty, staff and students authorized by the Senior Director to determine, through a hearing, whether a student or organization has violated the Code of Conduct and to assign sanction(s) in response to violation(s).

  • The term “University Conduct Board Chair” is defined as the faculty or staff members authorized by the Senior Director to serve as chairpersons of the University Conduct Boards during University Conduct Board Hearings.

  • The term “witness” is defined as an individual, known to the University, who has had direct involvement in an incident and/or who was provided with information directly from an individual involved in the incident. This also includes individuals who in their professional capacity have contributed information which led to University charges (e.g., University investigator or faculty/staff member who provided professional knowledge/guidance). Private investigators will not typically be permitted in the University’s conduct process. The Senior Director (or designee) or hearing authority may exclude witnesses if they are deemed duplicative, irrelevant, or inappropriate. In student organization cases, individuals who provide information as part of an investigation may remain anonymous through the conduct process, provided their identities are known to the University and the investigative entity serves as a witness.

Section III: Authority of the Senior Director and the Office of Student Conduct

A. Authority

  1. The Senior Director and their designees are specifically authorized by the President of the University to have the responsibility and authority to carry out, interpret, and direct the processes of the student conduct system.  The Senior Director shall develop policies for the administration of the student and student organization conduct system and procedures for a University hearing that are consistent with the provisions of the Code of Conduct.

  2. The Senior Director may review, modify, and/or reverse any resolution of a conduct conference or Administrative Hearing.

  3. The Senior Director may make minor modifications to sanction(s) assigned by the University Conduct Board or Title IX Decision Panel. 

  4. The Senior Director or designee reserves the right to issue, in writing, an administrative directive or condition that requires adherence to specific behavioral actions.

  5. The Senior Director or designee may restrict an individual from participating as an advisor when they determine that an advisor's presence, based on the advisor's prior relationship or interactions with either the respondent or complainant, is reasonably likely to cause significant emotional distress or to create significant disruption.

  6. The Senior Director has the authority to delay a student’s graduation and/or hold or recommend revocation of degrees until, or after, a pending conduct matter has been resolved.

  7. The Senior Director or designee reserves the right to convene a conference and/or hearing, prior to re-enrollment, for a student facing pending University charges. This will typically take place after criminal proceedings.

  8. On behalf of the University, in limited circumstances, the Senior Director or designee may request a review by the appeal authority of the decision(s) of a University hearing within five (5) University business days following the date that the respondent and/or complainant receives official notification of the results of the hearing.

    • The respondent and/or complainant will be informed that a review is being considered or requested.

    • The review may be requested on one or more of the following grounds: (1) the decision of the hearing authority does not adequately account for all available evidence; (2) the decision of the hearing authority does not provide for adequate sanction(s) or intervention or the violation(s); and/or (3) University conduct procedures were not followed.

B. Jurisdiction

  1. The Code of Conduct shall apply to conduct that occurs on University premises; at University sponsored activities; at functions, activities, or events hosted by recognized student organizations, on or off campus; and other off-campus conduct that warrants a Substantial University Interest. 

  2. Residence Life: At the direction of the Senior Director of the Office of Student Conduct and in coordination with the Senior Director of Residence Life, minor to moderate level incidents that occur in or around the residence halls that involve students living in on-campus housing will typically be managed by Residence Life staff.  Incidents involving repeated behaviors or more severe allegations of violations and all incidents involving allegations of major violations will typically be managed by the Office of Student Conduct. 

  3. Off-Campus Misconduct: While the University has a primary duty regarding behavior on its premises, there are many circumstances where the off-campus behavior of students or student organizations is of Substantial University Interest and warrants conduct action. 

  4. The Pennsylvania State University expects students and organizations to conduct themselves in accordance with the law. Student or organization behavior off the premises of the campus that may have violated any local, state, or federal law, or yields a complaint from others alleging violations of the law or the Student Code of Conduct will be reviewed by the University. Upon receipt of a complaint alleging off-campus student misconduct, the Senior Director or their designee will review the allegations to determine the appropriate course of action by the University.

  5. Any student or student organization’s off-campus behavior that affects a Substantial University Interest and violates the Code of Conduct is subject to conduct action following standard University procedures.

  6. Prohibited conduct that affects a “Substantial University Interest” is behavior that

    • Constitutes a violation of local, state or federal law;

    • Indicates that the student or student organization may present a danger or threat to the health or safety of them or others;

    • Significantly impinges upon the rights, property or achievements of self or others or significantly breaches the peace and/or causes social disorder; or

    • Is detrimental to the educational interests of the University.

Section IV: The Code of Conduct

The Code of Conduct describes behaviors that are inconsistent with the essential values of the University communityAny student or student organization found to have committed, to have attempted to commit, or to have assisted in the prohibited behavior(s) listed in the Code of Conduct may be subject to the conduct sanctions as outlined in Section VI, E: Sanctions.  A student or student organization engages in an attempt when, with intent to commit a specific violation of the Code of Conduct, they perform any act that constitutes a substantial step toward the commission of that violation. 

Student organizations may be found responsible for violations when behaviors include but are not limited to those listed below:

  • The conduct is endorsed by the student organization (SO) or any of its officers including, but not limited to, active or passive consent or support, having prior knowledge that the conduct was likely to occur and not taking any substantive action to prevent it (e.g., canceling the event, notifying the Office of Student Conduct, University or local police, etc.), or helping to plan, advertise, or promote the conduct;

  • The conduct is committed during an activity paid for by the SO, or paid for as a result of one or more members of the SO contributing personal funds in lieu of organizational funds to support the activity or conduct in question;

  • The conduct occurred on property owned, controlled, rented, leased, or used by the SO or any of its members for an organizational event;

  • The purpose of the activity was related to initiation, admission into, affiliation with, or as a condition for continued membership in the SO;

  • Non‐members of the SO learned of the activity through members, advertisements, or communications associated with the SO, or otherwise formed a reasonable belief that the conduct or activity was affiliated with or endorsed by the SO;

  • Members of the SO attempted to conceal the activity of other members who were involved; or

  • One or more officer(s) of the SO had prior knowledge or reasonably should have known that the conduct would take place.

It is important to note that when persons are functioning in the capacity of members of a recognized student organization, a student organization and its leaders (elected, appointed, or volunteer) may be held collectively and individually responsible for violations of the Code of Conduct. Student organizations may be charged with violations of the Code of Conduct without regard to whether members of such organizations are individually charged with violations arising from the same misconduct.

A position of leadership in a student organization entails responsibility. Student officers or leaders cannot knowingly plan, permit, condone, or participate in any violation of the Code of Conduct by the group/organization. In their role as a student leader, they have a responsibility to act to prevent violations of the Code of Conduct, and at minimum to notify the appropriate staff/advisor if they become aware of a potential violation of the Code of Conduct. Failure to do so could implicate them in a Code of Conduct violation.

A. The Code of Conduct

1. ABUSE/ENDANGERMENT/HAZING OF A PERSON: Physically harming or threatening to harm any person, intentionally or recklessly causing harm to any person or reasonable apprehension of such harm or creating a condition that endangers the health and safety of self or others, including through the facilitation of or participation in any mental or physical hazing activity. (Also see Student Guide to University Policies and Rules.)

2. SEXUAL HARASSMENT AND MISCONDUCT:  Engaging in unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that is sufficiently severe or pervasive so as to substantially interfere with the individual’s employment, education, or access to University programs, activities and opportunities, and such conduct would detrimentally affect a reasonable person under the same circumstances.  Sexual harassment may include, but is not limited to, sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, sexual exploitation, stalking, dating violence, and domestic violence (as described in policy AD-85).

Sexual misconduct is a form of sexual harassment and refers to attempted or completed unwanted or non-consensual sexual activity, including, but not limited to the following: rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, forcible sodomy, sexual penetration with an inanimate object, intercourse without consent, sexual touching and fondling, the touching of an unwilling person's intimate parts (defined as genitalia, groin, breast or buttock, or clothing covering those intimate parts), forcing an unwilling person to touch another's intimate parts, sexual exploitation, and sexual coercion.

3. HARASSMENT: Harassment means behavior consisting of physical or verbal conduct that is sufficiently severe or pervasive such that it threatens or substantially interferes with an individual’s employment, education or access to University programs, activities or opportunities and such conduct would detrimentally affect a reasonable person under the same circumstances. Harassment may include, but is not limited to, verbal or physical attacks, stalking, graphic or written statements, threats, or slurs. Whether the alleged conduct constitutes prohibited harassment depends on the totality of the particular circumstances, including the nature, frequency and duration of the conduct in question, the location and context in which it occurs, and the status of the individuals involved. These behaviors also include when said actions are directed at an individual because of the individual’s age, race, color, ancestry, national origin, religion, creed, service in the uniformed services, veteran status, sex, sexual orientation, marital or family status, pregnancy, physical or mental disability, gender identity, genetic information or political ideas. Additionally, behaviors include engaging in a course of conduct or subjecting a person or group of persons to unwanted physical contact or threat of such.

4. WEAPONS, EXPLOSIVES AND OTHER DANGEROUS ITEMS: Possessing, storing, carrying, or using any weapon, ammunition, explosive, or dangerous chemical or gas is prohibited on all University property except by authorized law enforcement officers and other persons specifically authorized by the University. Possessing, carrying, or using any fireworks on University property, except for those persons authorized by University and local governments to discharge such fireworks as part of a public display. Paintball guns and paintball markers may only be used on the property of the University in connection with authorized University activities and only at approved locations. (Also see policies SY-08 and SY-12.)

5. FIRE SAFETY VIOLATIONS: Tampering with fire or other safety equipment or setting unauthorized fires. Exhibiting behaviors that risk health and safety of self or others during a fire related incident.  Burning candles, incense or other items in the Residence Halls or other University facilities, whether attended or unattended. (Also see policies SY10, SY28, and SY30.)

6. ALCOHOL AND/OR DRUGS: Illegally possessing, using, distributing, manufacturing, selling, or being under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.  Supplying alcohol to persons under 21, even by those under 21.  Excessive consumption of alcohol that occurs when a person is intoxicated to the degree that the person may endanger self, other persons, or property, or annoy persons in the vicinity.  Using, possessing, or distributing beverages containing alcohol in any way that does not comply with the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and/or University Regulations. (Also see policies AD-18, AD-33 and the Student Guide to University Policies and Rules).

7. FALSE INFORMATION: Intentionally providing false or inaccurate information or records to University or local authorities. Providing a false report of an emergency, University policy and/or Code violation.  Knowingly providing false statements or testimony during an investigation or University proceeding. Falsely presenting oneself as an official of the University or a local authority. (Also see policy AD-67.)

8. THEFT AND POSSESSION OF STOLEN PROPERTY: The taking, or possession of, items belonging to another individual or entity. The taking or attempting to take anything of value from the care, custody or control of a person or persons by force or threat of force or violence and/or by putting the victim in fear.

9. DISRUPTION OF OPERATIONS: Obstruction or disruption of classes, research projects, conduct processes and/or investigations (University or police), University governance proceedings, or other activities or programs of the University; or obstructing access to University facilities, property, or programs. An action or combination of actions by one or more individuals that unreasonably interferes with, hinders, obstructs, or prevents the operation of the University or infringes on the rights of others to freely participate in its programs and services. (Also see Student Guide to University Policies and Rules and policy AD-57.)

10. VIOLATIONS OF ACADEMIC INTEGRITY:  Academic integrity is the pursuit of scholarly activity in an open, honest and responsible manner. Academic integrity is a basic guiding principle for all academic activity at The Pennsylvania State University, and all members of the University community are expected to act in accordance with this principle. Consistent with this expectation, students should act with personal integrity, respect other students' dignity, rights and property, and help create and maintain an environment in which all can succeed through the fruits of their efforts.  Academic integrity includes a commitment not to engage in or tolerate acts of falsification, misrepresentation or deception. Such acts of dishonesty violate the fundamental ethical principles of the University community and compromise the worth of work completed by others.

Violations of Academic Integrity include, but are not limited to, copying, plagiarism, fabrication of information or citations, facilitation of acts of academic dishonesty by others, unauthorized possession of examinations, submitting work of another person or work previously used without informing the instructor, and tampering with the academic work of other students. (Also see Faculty Senate Policy 49-20 and G-9 Procedures.)

Special Procedures are used to address violations of academic integrity.  (See Section VII:  Protocol for Violations of Academic Integrity.)

11. FAILURE TO COMPLY: Failing to comply with reasonable directives from University or other officials when directed to do so. This includes, but is not limited to failure to provide identification, to report to an administrative office, to complete sanctions assigned as part of the conduct process or, when reasonable cause exists, failure to leave University-controlled premises (both physical and virtual) or dangerous situations when directed to do so by properly authorized persons, including police and/or University faculty and staff.

12. FORGERY/ALTERATION: Making, possessing and/or knowingly using or submitting any falsified official record or University document; altering or forging any University or official document or record, including identification, meal or access cards. This includes but is not limited to forging documents (signing another’s name and/or ID number), manufacturing IDs or tickets, altering parking permits, and misuse of forms (e.g., medical forms/letters, letterhead stationery, University forms). This category includes both physical and electronic documents and records.

13. UNAUTHORIZED ENTRY OR USE: Unauthorized entry into or use of property or University facilities, including private residences, businesses, offices, residence halls, classrooms, computers, computer networks, virtual University learning spaces and other restricted facilities. Unauthorized entry or use is considered any use or attempt to use without permission to do so (e.g. an unsecured door is not necessarily permission to enter said space). (Also see policy AD-95)

14. DISORDERLY CONDUCT: Engaging in disorderly, disruptive, lewd, or indecent conduct, including, but not limited to, creating unreasonable noise; pushing and shoving; creating a physically hazardous condition or a condition that requires restoration or clean-up; inciting or participating in a riot or group disruption; failing to leave the scene of a riot or group disruption when instructed by officials; or disruption of programs, classroom activities or functions, and processes of the University.

15. VIOLATIONS OF UNIVERSITY REGULATIONS: Violating written University policy or regulations contained in any official publications, administrative announcements, contracts (e.g., residence hall contracts or leases) and/or postings, including University websites.

16. VIOLATION OF LAW: When it is established that a student or student organization has violated federal, state, or local law and the violation of law affects a Substantial University Interest.

17. RETALIATION: Taking adverse action against any individual on the basis of a good faith report made by such individual, or based on said individual’s participation in an investigation, hearing, or inquiry by the University or an appropriate authority, or the individual’s participation in a court proceeding relating to suspected wrongful conduct. (Also see policy AD-67.)

Section V: Code of Conduct and Violations of Law

University student conduct proceedings may be instituted against a student or student organization charged with conduct that potentially violates both criminal law and this Code of Conduct (that is, if both possible violations result from the same factual situation) without regard to the pending civil or criminal litigation in court or criminal arrest or prosecution.  Proceedings under this Code may be carried out prior to, simultaneously with, or following civil or criminal proceedings off campus at the discretion of the Senior Director or designee.  Determinations made or sanctions assigned under this Code shall not be subject to change because criminal charges arising out of the same facts were dismissed, reduced or resolved in favor of or against the criminal law defendant.

A. Request for a Delay

For an incident in which there is a report of a violation of the Code of Conduct as well as a violation of law, the respondent may request a short delay in the University conduct process. The decision to delay the process will be at the sole discretion of the Senior Director or designee.  These delays will typically not be granted in cases which may involve an alleged Title IX violation. If the request is granted, the process may be delayed for a short period of time until some part or all the criminal or civil process has been completed. Interim actions may be imposed.

When a delay is granted, one or more of the following conditions may be implemented during the delay.

  • Hold on their University accounts

  • Loss of privilege to participate in University-related activities

  • Cessation of organization processes or recruitment

  • Prohibition from meeting as an organization

  • Prohibition from hosting any events

B. Conduct Withdrawal

At the written request of a student, the Senior Director or designee may approve a conduct withdrawal in cases where a student is or may be charged both by the University and criminally for the same incident.  Requests will be reviewed on a case by case basis. Reasons for denial include, but are not limited to, the nature and circumstances of the case, the status of the University investigation, or the reported impact of the behavior on other parties. The conduct process may be reinitiated at the discretion of the Senior Director.

If a conduct withdrawal is approved, a notation will be placed on the student’s transcript indicating that the student withdrew while conduct charges were pending, and the student will be banned from University premises as well as from participating in any activity, class or program of the University. Depending upon the nature of the allegations, additional restrictions may be added.

Section VI: Conduct Procedures

For cases involving allegations of crimes of violence, also see Section VI, C: Special Protocols for Crimes of Violence; for cases involving allegations of Title IX violations, see  Section VI, D: Special Protocols for Title IX Allegations; for Academic Integrity, see Section VII:  Protocol for Violations of Academic Integrity.

A. Reports, Conduct Conferences, Advisors and Charges

  1. Anyone may file a report alleging that a student or student organization violated the Code of Conduct. Any report should be submitted as soon as possible after the event takes place. After a report is filed, additional investigation may be conducted. If conducted, the investigation is designed to gather information through interviews with relevant parties and the collection of additional evidence. 

  2. The University will typically contact the student via their official University email account. Students are expected to regularly check their University email account as well as spam folder.

  3. The respondent will have the opportunity to meet with a case manager during a conduct conference. If a respondent, with notice, does not participate in the conduct conference, the conference will take place in their absence, and all available information will be reviewed by the case manager.

  4. Respondents may be accompanied by an advisor.

  5. The case manager or investigator may investigate to determine if charge(s) are appropriate.

  6. If the acquired information does not reasonably support that a violation of the Code of Conduct occurred, then the case will be closed without charges.

  7. If the acquired information reasonably supports a Code of Conduct violation, the case manager may recommend charge(s) and sanction(s) to the respondent. Charges shall be provided to the respondent in written form. The decision to charge is based on a low standard of evidence and does not indicate if a respondent will be found responsible in a hearing, should the respondent contest the charge(s).

  8. The respondent will then decide whether to accept responsibility for the charge(s) and/or sanction(s) assigned. The respondent may take three (3) business days to decide whether to accept the charge(s) and sanction(s) or contest.  Failure to respond, in writing, in the three (3) days allotted will result in the charge(s) and sanction(s) being implemented, unless the case manager has approved an alternative timeframe.

  9. If the respondent contests the charge(s) (i.e., denies responsibility for the violations), the matter will be referred to a hearing.  The hearing will take place as soon as reasonably possible but not less than five business days after the respondent has been notified of the charge(s) unless the respondent waives the five-day notice and the University can accommodate a shortened timeframe. The hearing is an independent review of the entirety of relevant and available information that will determine whether or not the respondent is responsible for the charge(s) issued. If so, the hearing authority will determine appropriate sanction(s), which may or may not be in alignment with those originally recommended by the case manager.

  10. If the respondent accepts the charge(s) but contests the sanction(s) (for sanctions of Probation with a Transcript Notation, Suspension, Indefinite Expulsion or Expulsion for students, or Suspension or higher for a student organization), the matter will be referred to a sanction review.  The sanction review will typically take place within five (5) business days of forwarding the review to the Sanction Review Officer. (Also see Section VI, D: Special Protocols for Title IX Allegations.)

B. Hearings

  1. The Administrative Hearing is a more informal hearing and will be conducted by an Administrative Hearing Officer (in individual cases) or Student Organization Conduct Committee (in organizational cases). An Administrative Hearing will typically be utilized in cases that will not result in sanctions ranging from Suspension to Expulsion unless specifically requested by the respondent(s) and/or complainant and agreed to by the Senior Director.

  2. The University Conduct Board (UCB) hearing will be utilized in cases in which there is a potential that the respondent may be suspended or expelled from the University.

  3. Hearings normally shall be conducted in private unless the respondent requests an open hearing.  Even if an open hearing is requested, the Senior Director or designee may rule that a hearing be closed if, in their opinion, an open hearing would have an adverse impact on any witness, respondent, complainant, and/or victim; would disclose personal, psychological or medical information of a sensitive nature; or would otherwise jeopardize the privacy or welfare of any witness, respondent, complainant, and/or victim.  An open hearing means that only current faculty, staff, or students who show a current PSU identification card would be admitted.  The hearing authority shall determine the number of persons to be admitted, and under no circumstances shall the hearing be open to more than the normal capacity of the typical hearing room.

  4. The respondent will be allowed to submit a statement of facts prior to the hearing that will be added to the hearing packet.

  5. The respondent may be assisted by an advisor. 

  6. The respondent and their advisor will be allowed to attend the entire portion of the hearing excluding deliberations. 

  7. If the matter involves more than one respondent, the Senior Director, in their discretion, may permit the hearing concerning each respondent to be conducted either jointly or separately.

  8. The respondent, hearing authority and University Presenter will be allowed to ask questions of all witnesses who participate in the hearing process. Note that witnesses may not be compelled to attend or provide information.

  9. All witnesses will be considered University witnesses. Names of witnesses may be provided by the respondent, complainant (if applicable) and others who may have been involved with the case. Prior to the hearing, it is important that the case manager understand the role of each witness in the case. To assist this process, those who have not met with the case manager will be requested to provide a brief statement outlining the relevant information they will share at least two (2) business days in advance of the hearing.

  10. The testimony of unknown or unidentified witnesses shall not be admissible. In student organization cases, individuals who provide information as part of an investigation may remain anonymous throughout the conduct process, provided their identities are known to the University and the investigative entity serves as a witness.  

  11. The Senior Director (or designee) and/or hearing authority may exclude witnesses if they are deemed duplicative, irrelevant or inappropriate.

  12. Evidence may be accepted for consideration at the discretion of the hearing authority.

  13. Formal rules of process, procedure, and/or technical rules of evidence, such as those applied in criminal or civil court, are not used in these proceedings.

  14. After the portion of the hearing concludes in which all evidence has been received, the hearing authority shall determine whether the respondent is responsible for each alleged violation of the Code of Conduct. The determination shall be made using a preponderance of the evidence standard.

  15. The respondent may submit an impact statement that the hearing authority will review should the respondent be found responsible of violating the Code.  Other documentation relative to sanctioning, including any prior conduct history, may also be submitted at that time.

  16. There shall be a single recording of all University Conduct Board hearings (not including deliberations), unless the respondent requests the hearing not be recorded and the Senior Director approves.  The recording shall be the property of the University and will be maintained as outlined in Section VIII: Conduct Records.  Administrative Hearings are typically not recorded.

If a respondent, with notice, does not appear before the hearing authority, the hearing will take place in their absence, and all available evidence will be reviewed by the hearing authority.

The hearing authority may accommodate concerns for the personal safety, well-being, and or fears of confrontation of the respondent, complainant, and/or witness during the hearing by providing separate facilities, by using a visual screen, and/or by permitting participation by telephone, videophone, closed circuit television, video conferencing, videotape, audio tape, written statement, or other means, as determined in the sole judgment of the Senior Director (or designee) to be appropriate.

The hearing authority will typically submit the outcome to the case manager within five (5) business days of the hearing.  The case manager will notify the student, in writing, of the outcome. 

Decisions made by a hearing authority are final pending the normal review and appeal process.

C. Special Protocol for Crimes of Violence

As defined in the Code of Federal Regulations, Title 34, Appendix A), excepting potential Title IX violations (see Section VI, D: Special Protocols for Title IX Allegations

In cases involving a potential crime of violence, the following additional procedures will be followed:

  1. When a formal conduct process is enacted regarding a potential crime of violence, the first step will typically be a meeting between the complainant and a case manager.  

  2. A conduct conference will take place with the respondent. 

  3. If the Senior Director determines that it is appropriate and necessary, additional investigation prior to the determination of charge(s) and sanction(s) will occur. 

  4. If the acquired information reasonably supports a Code of Conduct violation, the case manager may recommend charge(s) and sanction(s) to the respondent. If the acquired information does not reasonably support charge(s), then the case will be closed without charge(s). 

  5. If the respondent accepts the charge(s) and sanction(s), the matter will be closed, and the sanction(s) implemented. Both parties will be notified.

  6. If the respondent accepts the charge(s) but requests a review of the sanction(s) (for sanctions of Probation with a Transcript Notation, Suspension, Indefinite Expulsion or Expulsion), the matter will be forwarded to the sanction review process outlined in Section VI: Sanction Reviews.

  7. If the respondent contests the charge(s), the matter will be forwarded to a hearing, and the respondent and complainant will be permitted to attend and participate fully in the hearing procedures.  The hearing is an independent review of the entirety of relevant information that will determine whether or not the respondent is responsible for the charge(s) issued. If so, the hearing authority will determine appropriate sanctions, which may or may not be in alignment with those originally recommended by the case manager.

    • The respondent and complainant will be allowed to attend the entire portion of the hearing with the exception of deliberations.

    • The respondent, complainant, hearing authority and University Presenter will be allowed to ask questions of all witnesses who choose to participate in the hearing process. Note that witnesses may not be compelled to attend or provide information.

    • Questions by both the respondent and the complainant may be posed to the other; however, questioning of the other party will be permitted only through the hearing authority. 

    • The respondent and complainant may be assisted by an advisor.  Delays in the conduct process will not normally be allowed due to scheduling conflicts with advisors. 

    • The respondent and complainant may submit a statement of facts prior to the hearing.

    • The respondent and complainant may submit an impact statement that will be reviewed by the hearing authority to help inform sanctioning, should the respondent be found responsible for violating the Code of Conduct.

    • There shall be a single recording of all University Conduct Board hearings (not including deliberations) unless the respondent requests that the hearing not be recorded.  If the respondent requests the hearing not be recorded, the Senior Director will consult with the complainant, and the Senior Director will make a decision. The recordings shall be the property of the University and will be maintained as outlined in Section VIII: Maintenance of Respondent Records.  Administrative Hearings are typically not recorded.

    • Both the respondent and the complainant will be notified, in writing, of the hearing outcome once the outcome has been submitted to the case manager by the hearing authority.

    • If the charge(s) against the respondent could have resulted or do result in suspension, indefinite expulsion or expulsion, both the complainant and the respondent will have the opportunity to file an appeal. (See Section VI, G, 2: Appeals).

    • At the conclusion of any appeal process, both the complainant and the respondent will be notified, in writing, of the outcome of the process.

D. Special Protocols for Title IX Allegations:

The University’s Office of Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response (OSMPR) has responsibility for investigating allegations of Title IX violations. The OSMPR will typically investigate such allegations utilizing the process articulated at http://titleix.psu.edu. When information regarding a Title IX allegation is referred to the Office of Student Conduct and a conduct process is initiated, the following process will occur. (See also AD-85):

  1. The case will be assigned to a case manager.

  2. The case manager will typically meet with the complainant first.  

  3. A conduct conference will then take place with the respondent. 

  4. Both the respondent and the complainant may be accompanied by an advisor.

  5. If the Senior Director or designee, in consultation with the Title IX Coordinator, determines that it is appropriate and necessary, additional investigation prior to the determination of charge(s) and sanction(s) will occur. 

  6. If the acquired information does not reasonably support charge(s), then the case will be closed without charge(s), and both parties will be notified.

  7. If the acquired information reasonably supports a Code of Conduct violation, the case manager will recommend charge(s).

  8. If charge(s) are issued, both the respondent and the complainant may provide an impact statement which would be reviewed by the case manager to help inform sanctions the case manager would recommend.

  9. The complainant and respondent will be given the opportunity to provide a written response addressing the charge(s) within five (5) business days. No new information may be included in this response.

  10. If the respondent accepts the charge(s) and sanction(s), the matter will be closed, and the sanction(s) implemented. Both parties will be notified.

    • If the charge(s) against the respondent could have resulted or do result in a sanction of Probation with a Transcript Notation, Suspension, Indefinite Expulsion or Expulsion, both the respondent and complainant will have the opportunity to request a sanction review.  (See Section VI, G, 1: Sanction Reviews)

  11. If the respondent contests the charge(s), the matter will be forwarded to a Title IX Administrative Hearing or a hearing before a Title IX Decision Panel.

    • The Title IX Administrative Hearing is an informal hearing.  An Administrative Hearing will typically be utilized in cases that will not result in sanctions ranging from Suspension to Expulsion and where there are no allegations of physical or sexual violence or nonconsensual penetration. 

    • The Title IX Decision Panel (Panel) hearing will be utilized in cases in which there is a potential that the respondent may be suspended or expelled from the University and/or where there are allegations of physical or sexual violence or nonconsensual penetration.

  12. The respondent and complainant will be permitted to attend and participate fully in the Title IX hearing procedures (excluding deliberations). 

  13. The hearing packet (which will include the Investigative Report and the written responses to the charge(s)) will be forwarded to the hearing authority.

  14. In addition, both the complainant and respondent may provide an impact statement, if not already provided. The impact statement will only be shared with the hearing authority should it find that the respondent is responsible for violating the Code of Conduct.

  15. The hearing authority will typically be permitted at least five business days to individually review the hearing packet.  During this time, they may submit additional questions to the Investigator or request additional follow-up by the Investigator. If new information is acquired by the Investigator, both parties will be permitted to review this new information and respond within an appropriate amount of time, to be determined within the discretion of the Investigator.

  16. Following the hearing authority’s individual review of the hearing packet and any required follow up investigation and responses, the hearing authority will convene a Title IX hearing. 

  17. At the Title IX hearing, the Investigator will be present and will provide an overview of the investigation. The complainant and respondent may hear/observe the Investigator’s interaction with the hearing authority through remote audio or video access, if reasonably practicable.

  18. When the hearing convenes, no new information may be provided to the hearing authority, unless the person offering the information can show that the evidence was (1) not available during the investigation, and (2) is relevant to establishing whether or not the respondent is responsible for misconduct. If the introduction of new information to the hearing authority is allowed, the other party will have the opportunity to respond.

  19. If the party who did not present the new information declines to respond during the appearance before the hearing authority, or if that party has chosen not to appear before the hearing authority, the hearing authority’s deliberation may be stayed, in the discretion of the hearing authority, to give the party that did not present the new information appropriate time to provide a response to the Investigator and/or hearing authority.  If the deliberation is stayed, the hearing authority will reconvene at a later date.

  20. The respondent and the complainant will each have the opportunity to personally address the hearing authority in person so that they may highlight the information that they believe is most relevant to the hearing authority’s deliberation and so that they may respond to questions that may be posed by the hearing authority and the Investigator, if any.

  21. Each party will have the option to hear/observe the other’s interaction with the hearing authority through remote audio or video access, if reasonably practicable. The hearing authority may reasonably accommodate concerns for the personal safety, well-being, and/or fears of confrontation of the respondent and/or complainant during the hearing as determined in the sole judgment of the Senior Director (or designee) to be appropriate.

  22. The complainant and respondent may suggest questions to be posed to the other party by and through the Panel. Proposed questions will be submitted to the hearing authority, which will review the proposed question(s) for relevance and appropriateness before they are posed to the other party.

  23. For cases that go before the Title IX Decision Panel, there shall be a single recording of the hearing authority’s interaction with the Investigator and the parties (not including deliberations).  The recording shall be the property of the University and will be maintained as outlined in Section VIII: Conduct Records.

  24. Once all permitted evidence has been placed before it, the hearing authority will deliberate and determine responsibility or non-responsibility based on a preponderance of evidence standard.  If the respondent is found responsible for violating the Code of Conduct, the hearing authority will also determine appropriate sanction(s).

    • Within five business days of the hearing, the hearing authority will submit its finding of responsibility or non-responsibility, sanction(s) (if any), and rationale, in writing, to the case manager.

    • Both parties will be informed, in writing, of the hearing authority’s decision and their rights to appeal as permitted in Section VI: Appeals of the Student Code of Conduct. 

    • After any appeal process has concluded, both the respondent and complainant will be notified, in writing, of the outcome of the process.

    • The University’s Title IX Coordinator will also be notified and may continue to work with the parties as appropriate.

E. Sanctions

The following sanctions may be imposed upon any student or student organization found to have violated the Code of Conduct. More than one of the sanctions listed below may be imposed for any single violation.

The case manager is responsible for the implementation of sanctions. The hearing authority may assign sanctions; however, it is the responsibility of the case manager to ensure that the sanctions are imposed and communicated to the respondent. 

1. Primary Administrative Sanctions

CONDUCT CONVERSATION:  A conduct conversation is used in limited circumstances in very minor level cases.  It is formal documentation that the respondent misconduct has been discussed and future violations may result in further conduct action.

CONDUCT WARNING:  A conduct warning is an indication to a respondent that their conduct violated the Code of Conduct and that further misconduct will result in more severe conduct action. 

CONDUCT PROBATION: Conduct probation is assigned for a specified period of time and is intended to foster reflection, responsibility, and improved decision-making for the respondent. Additional conditions and/or educational programs may be assigned as a component of the probation. Future established misconduct, failure to comply with any conditions or to complete any assignments may lead to a more severe conduct action, including suspension or expulsion.

Conduct probation may be recorded on a student’s official University transcript when, either due to the serious nature of the offense or when a student’s conduct history is significant, the Office of Student Conduct determines a notation is merited. 

CONDUCT SUSPENSION: Conduct suspension from the University is assigned for a specified period of time. A suspended student is precluded from registration, participation in any class, activity or program of the University, and residence on campus. In addition, the student is prohibited from using or visiting University facilities, including virtual facilities, unless special permission is obtained from the Senior Director or designee. During the period of the suspension, a notation will appear on the student’s official University transcript.

For student organizations, suspension means that the student organization loses recognition and is unable to participate in any University function for a specified period of time. Loss of recognition means that the student organization loses all rights and privileges associated with being a recognized student organization at the University. 

INDEFINITE EXPULSION:  Indefinite expulsion from the University is for a period of not less than one calendar year, and re-enrollment must be approved by the Vice President for Student Affairs or designee at University Park or by the Chancellor or designee at the Commonwealth Campuses. During a period of indefinite expulsion, a student is precluded from registration, participation in any class, activity or program of the University, and residence on campus. In addition, the student is prohibited from using or visiting University facilities unless special permission is obtained from the Senior Director or designee. If a student wishes to return to the University after the period of his or her indefinite expulsion, he/she must request re-enrollment (in writing) from the Senior Director or designee. During the period of the expulsion, a notation will appear on the student’s official University transcript.

For student organizations, indefinite expulsion means that the student organization loses recognition for a period of not less than one calendar year, and re-recognition must be approved by the Vice President for Student Affairs or designee at University Park or the Director of Student Affairs (or equivalent) at the Commonwealth Campuses.  Loss of recognition means that the student organization loses all rights and privileges associated with being a recognized student organization at the University. 
               
EXPULSION:  Expulsion of a student from the University is permanent.  A student is precluded from registration, participation in any class, activity or program of the University, and residence on campus. In addition, the student is prohibited from using or visiting University facilities unless special permission is obtained from the Senior Director or designee. Expulsion requires administrative review and approval by the President.  The sanction of expulsion is permanently noted on a student’s official University transcript.

For student organizations, expulsion is a permanent loss of University recognition. Loss of recognition means that the student organization loses all rights and privileges associated with being a recognized student organization at the University. 

XF GRADE: See Section VII:  Protocol for Violations of Academic Integrity

2. Secondary Administrative Sanctions

HOUSING REVIEW:   Housing Review is implemented when an on-campus student has either breached the terms and conditions of their housing contract/lease agreement or has engaged in inappropriate behavior in or near the residence halls.  This review is for a specified period of time with the understanding that any further breach of the conditions of their housing contract/lease agreement, during the time specified, may result in an extension of review of housing contract or a termination of a student’s housing contract, or a notice of non-renewal of a lease agreement.  A housing review will typically be assigned in conjunction with other administrative sanctions.

For student organizations, housing review means the organization has violated the terms and conditions of their housing contract/lease agreement or has engaged in inappropriate behavior in or near the residence halls. This review is for a specified period of time with the understanding that any further breach of the conditions of their housing contract/lease agreement, during the time specified, may result in an extension of review of housing contract or a termination of a student organization’s housing contract, or a notice of non-renewal of a lease agreement.  A housing review will typically be assigned in conjunction with other administrative sanctions.

ROOM REASSIGNMENT:   A student is relocated from one housing assignment to another residence hall assignment.  This may be a temporary or permanent change of assignment.  

For student organizations, room reassignment means the students living in a designated residential space may be relocated from one housing assignment to another residence hall assignment. This may be a temporary or permanent change of assignment.  

This sanction should be made after consultation with the appropriate Residence Life staff member. 

LOSS OF HOUSING:  Loss of housing permanently separates a student from the University housing program.  This separation is typically immediate.

LOSS OF PRIVILEGE: Loss of Privilege involves the withdrawal of the use of service, participation in an activity, or withdrawal of privileges consistent with offense(s). Loss of privilege may be imposed separately or in addition to other sanctions.

For student organizations, loss of privilege may involve an organization losing one or more privileges of being a recognized student organization.  This sanction is generally for a specified period of time.  Examples of privileges that can be lost include, but are not limited to, suspension of the student organization’s funds, prohibition of hosting social functions, discontinuation or cancellation of new member processes, suspension of access to the organization’s web space, suspension of the ability to reserve rooms on campus, suspension of the ability to apply for Student Activity Fee funding, suspension of fund-raising activities, suspension of access to office space, new member recruitment, participation in University-wide activities, loss of preferred housing space, which may or may not include the loss of organizational suite space, and others. 

3. Active Sanctions

Active sanctions are sanctions that the University reserves the right to assign to respondents in addition to administrative sanctions.  These include, but are not limited to, the following: administrative directives, alcohol or drug education, counseling, reflection papers, projects, restorative activities, decision-making workshops/modules, educational workshops with required minimum attendance, meetings with staff or others, restitution, and sanctioned service.

4. Other Sanctions

The University reserves the right to impose other sanctions in addition to those listed above in response to specific circumstances of a case.

F. Interim Actions

In situations where there is a need for immediate action to alleviate concerns for safety, to help ensure the well-being of members of the University community, or to prevent the disruption of normal campus operations, the University community, or management of a residential facility, case managers may assign appropriate interim actions. Interim actions assigned should be reviewed by the Senior Director of Student Conduct or designee. Interim actions may include, but are not limited to, administrative directive, a loss of privilege, a residence hall room reassignment, a contract termination, a mandated assessment, or restriction from parts of campus.

1. Interim Suspension

On rare occasion, the Office of Student Conduct may become aware of a student or student organization whose continued participation within the University community or continued operation as an organization may pose an immediate threat to the student or others or may pose an imminent threat of disruption to normal campus operations.  If the Senior Director or designee reasonably believes that such a threat is posed, an interim suspension may be assigned.  

 

  • Notification of an interim suspension will be sent to the respondent’s University e-mail account and/or to the mailing address listed as their local and/or permanent address in the University records.  If a student organization, the organization’s advisor of record will also be copied. The notification will include information regarding the alleged behavior that provided the rationale for the interim action.  Respondents who are placed on interim suspension will have the opportunity to contest the action.

  • An interim suspension will typically include, but is not limited to, all of the following actions:

    • For individuals

      • Restriction from all University premises, including on-campus housing; loss of privilege to participate in classes (either in person or electronically/virtually and including World Campus); loss of privilege to participate in all University-related activities; loss of access to University accounts (e.g., email, Canvas)

      • Registration hold

      • Notation on the student’s transcript

      • Graduation hold if student is on the graduation list or scheduled to graduate within the semester of the suspension

      • Potential notification to student’s academic program

    • For student organizations

      • Hold on their University accounts

      • Loss of privilege to participate in all University-related activities

      • Cessation of new member processes or recruitment

      • Prohibition from meeting as an organization

      • Prohibited from hosting any events

      • Other conditions as appropriate

  • Respondents wishing to contest an interim suspension action may do so through the Office of the Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs at University Park.  At other Penn State locations, respondents may contest through the Director of Student Affairs (or equivalent) or Chancellor.  The respondent’s appeal must be in writing and include the following information:

    • Name (Student or Student Organization)

    • Student ID (not applicable in Student Organization related cases)

    • Rationale for the request

    • Any documentation that supports that the respondent would not pose an immediate threat to the student or others or would not pose an imminent threat of disruption to normal campus operations

  • The respondent will be notified of the decision within five (5) business days of receipt of the request.  The Interim Suspension will remain in effect while any review is pending.  There will be no further appeals to this decision.  If the Interim Suspension is lifted, other interim restrictions (e.g., removal from university housing, limited access to campus, cessation of any organizational activities, and cessation of new member processes) may be assigned until the outcome of any related conduct case. 

  • The interim suspension does not replace the regular conduct process, which shall proceed on the normal schedule. 

      G. Sanction Reviews and Appeals

      1. Sanction Reviews

      • Sanction reviews may be conducted when a respondent accepts responsibility for the Code of Conduct violation(s) through a conduct conference, receives a sanction that includes Probation with a Transcript Notation or higher and would like to have that sanction reviewed. Requests for a sanction review shall be in writing and shall be delivered to the Senior Director or designee. 

      • For cases that involve Title IX violations, the respondent and/or complainant may request a sanction review if a sanction of Probation with a Transcript Notation or higher was assigned or was possible given the charge(s) recommended. (See Section VI, D: Special Protocols for Title IX Allegations).

      • When a respondent requests a sanction review and submits an accompanying rationale, the matter shall be forwarded to the Sanction Review Officer for review and consideration.  The scope of the sanction review will ordinarily be a review of the written record of the case, unless otherwise determined by the Sanction Review Officer. 

      • The Sanction Review Officer may sustain the sanction(s) assigned by the case manager; or the Sanction Review Officer may modify the sanction(s) assigned by the case manager when they determine that the sanction(s) recommended was outside the University’s sanction range for such violations and/or not justified by the nature of the offense.

      • The Sanction Review Officer will typically forward a decision and rationale to the Senior Director or designee within five (5) business days of receiving the sanction review request. At the completion of the sanction review, there are no opportunities for further review or appeal.

      • The case manager will then share the outcome, in writing, with the respondent and the complainant, if applicable.

      2. Appeals

      • Cases resulting in sanctions of Suspension to Expulsion after a hearing may be appealed to the Student Conduct Appeals Officer by the respondent within five (5) business days of receiving official notification of the results of the hearing. Such appeals shall be in writing and shall be delivered to the Senior Director or designee.

      • In cases involving a Title IX violation and those involving a crime of violence, the respondent and/or complainant may request an appeal when suspension, indefinite expulsion or expulsion is either assigned or was possible given the Code of Conduct charge(s) recommended.

      • An appeal may be requested on one or more of the following grounds:

         

         

         

        • the respondent or complainant have been deprived of their rights and/or stated procedures were not followed that affected the outcome;

        • new evidence is presented, that was not available during the time of the original outcome, relevant to establishing whether it is more likely than not that the respondent is responsible for misconduct; and/or

        • the sanction(s) imposed was (were) outside the University’s sanction range for such violations and/or not justified by the nature of the offense.

      • In cases involving a Title IX or crime of violence, if either party requests an appeal, the other party will be notified and may choose to submit a response to the other’s appeal. A short extension to the five (5) day limitation may be granted by the Senior Director.

      • The Student Conduct Appeals Officer will review the case records and any additional information that is submitted as may be requested by the Student Conduct Appeals Officer.

      • The original decision(s) regarding responsibility and sanction(s) may be sustained, modified or reversed. No decision should be overturned or modified without consultation with the Vice President for Student Affairs, Senior Director, or Chancellor.

      • If an appeal is granted, one of the following processes will take place:

        • If an appeal is granted on the grounds that the respondent or complainant has been deprived of their rights and/or stated procedures were not followed that affected the outcome for the student(s), the matter will be referred to a new hearing board or Title IX Decision Panel to be reheard. If the error occurred as part of the Title IX investigative process, the matter will be referred back to the Title IX investigative process to address the error, and the process will resume from that stage.

        • When an appeal is granted on the grounds that new evidence is presented that was not available during the time of the original hearing or review and that is relevant to establishing whether it is more likely than not that the respondent is responsible for misconduct, the Student Conduct Appeals Officer shall return the case to the Title IX investigative process or the original hearing authority to be reheard with the new evidence.

        • When an appeal is granted on the grounds that the sanction(s) imposed was (were) outside the University’s sanction ranges for such violations and/or not justified by the nature of the offense, the Student Conduct Appeals Officer shall modify the sanction as they deem appropriate.

      • The Appeals Officer will typically forward their decision and rationale to the Senior Director or designee within five (5) business days of receiving the appeal request. 

      • The respondent and complainant, if applicable, will be notified in writing. 

      • If an appeal is denied, there will be no opportunity for further review.

      Section VII: Protocol for Violations of Academic Integrity

      A. Initial Process

      Although Violations of Academic Integrity are included in the Code, the management of these cases is handled by faculty and the college or campus academic integrity committee.  All procedures must conform to the G-9 Procedures established by the Faculty Senate.  The procedures may be found at http://undergrad.psu.edu/aappm/G-9-academic-integrity.html.

      B. Role of the Office of Student Conduct

      When an academic integrity committee recommends that a student receive a conduct sanction in addition to the academic sanction assigned by the faculty or academic integrity committee, then a Student Conduct case manager will manage that aspect of the case.  Consideration will be given to the sanction(s) recommended by the committee.  The case manager will meet with the respondent in a conduct conference to discuss the additional conduct sanction(s).  The student may request a sanction review for the conduct sanction(s) per the procedures in which will be implemented as outlined in Section VI: Sanction Reviews.

      Section VIII: Conduct Records

      A. Maintenance of Respondent Records

      • All records related to cases involving Code of Conduct violations or Academic Integrity are maintained by the Office of Student Conduct.

      • Typically, a conduct record is established when information on a student or organization is received and maintained by the Office of Student Conduct or the Office of Residence Life. An electronic database maintains all pertinent information required for government reporting indefinitely. 

      • The case file will be maintained by the Office of Student Conduct for seven (7) years after the graduation date of the student or four (4) years from the date of the incident for student organizations and will normally be destroyed at that time. If a student or student organization is assigned the sanction of Expulsion, the case file will be maintained permanently in University Archives.

      • Electronic recordings of University hearings will typically be maintained through the resolution of the conduct process, after which they may be destroyed.

      • Case files for students who have left the University prior to graduation will be maintained for seven years following the completion of their last semester of enrollment.  For those students who have not completed their assigned sanction(s) but have not been enrolled at the University for over seven years or have not been approved for return after an indefinite expulsion, or who voluntarily withdraw while a conduct process was pending, a decision regarding retention of the record may be made by the Senior Director or designee on a case by case basis.

      • If a student or organization is involved in litigation with the University, the case file may be kept indefinitely.

      • If the student has not met the conditions for re-enrollment after a separation from the University, the case file may be maintained indefinitely but will not be destroyed prior to the seven-year time frame elapsing. 

      • Accessibility to Student Conduct Records follows the University Policy on Confidentiality of Student Records (http://www.registrar.psu.edu/confidentiality/confidentiality.cfm).

      B. Student Access to Student Conduct Records

      In accordance with FERPA, a respondent may have access to their Student Conduct Record if they can be properly identified and provided that the original Student Conduct Record is not removed from the office. The Office of Student Conduct may take up to two (2) business days to provide the Student Conduct Record to the respondent and there may be a fee assessed to the respondent.

      Section IX: Interpretation and Review

      A. Interpretation

      Any question of interpretation or application of the Code of Conduct shall be referred to the Senior Director for final determination.

      B. Review

      Feedback related to the Code of Conduct or any student conduct procedure should be directed to the Senior Director. 

      A formal review of the Code of Conduct and the student conduct process and procedures will occur at least every three years under the direction of the Senior Director.