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As part of Penn State’s plans for the fall 2021 semester, the University is communicating several behavioral expectations to help every member of the Penn State community stay safe and healthy. It is important that all members—faculty, staff, students, and visitors—take responsibility for their own health and safety and act in a manner that demonstrates respect and consideration for those around them.

While we expect each Penn State community member to assume personal responsibility to protect the Penn State community, we understand that missteps and oversights with compliance may occur. Generally, issues with compliance will be addressed with care, understanding, and information sharing. The overarching goal will be to de-escalate the situation while encouraging compliance.

This guidance is current as of August  20,2021  and is subject to change or as additional information becomes available.

Possible Outcomes

Ask Offer Leave Report
Not Wearing a Mask while Indoors
Ask if the individual is aware that face coverings are required  If available, offer to give the individual a mask If non-compliance continues, either ask the person to leave or remove yourself from the area For ongoing violations and/or egregious violations, please report*
Violating Other University COVID-19 Expectations
Ask Offer Leave Report
Ask if the individual is aware   Offer information and/or options If non-compliance continues, either ask the person to leave or remove yourself from the area For ongoing violations and/or egregious violations, please report*

*Student concerns should be reported to the Office of Student Conduct; faculty concerns to the department head or Human Resources; staff concerns to the supervisor or Human Resources.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens if I report someone for violating a University COVID-19 expectation?

Reports will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the appropriate University department and follow up with the involved individual will occur.

What are the expectations for compliance with COVID-19 testing for students?

Expectations are outlined on the University’s Testing and Support website and include information for move-in and throughout the semester. This information should be reviewed thoroughly and often in the event there are updated expectations. There will be escalating serious consequences for students, faculty, and staff who do not adhere to testing expectations

    What are the possible consequences students face for violating COVID-19 expectations?

    Each situation is different and unique. Outcomes will depend on various considerations such as impact of the behavior, prior conduct history, demonstrated learning, and willingness to make necessary changes to behavior. Sanctions are designed to be educational in nature and intended to provide the student with an activity or intervention to increase their knowledge and perspective and encourage positive decision-making. Generally, outcomes of non-compliance could include the following:

    1. A written notice

    • The notice could include a reminder about University expectations and consequences for subsequent failure to comply. A record of the matter will be made and may be considered if there are subsequent issues of non-compliance.

    2. An informal meeting

    • A meeting with the student may be requested to discuss the report. A record of the matter will be made and may be considered if there are subsequent issues of non-compliance.

    3. Formal conduct action

    • A student may face formal conduct action which could include being charged with violations of the University’s Code of Conduct and sanctions ranging from a warning to separation from the University. Egregious, significantly threatening, and/or repeat violations may be addressed by the student being immediately suspended from the University on an interim basis while the matter is addressed through the University’s formal conduct process.
    What if a Registered Student Organization (RSO) violates COVID-19 requirements?

    Again, each situation is different and unique. For minor issues, the group may receive a written notice or be asked to engage in an informal meeting. For more significant matters, when warranted, the RSO may be issued an interim suspension while the matter is investigated. Conduct action for RSOs may include probation, revocation or restriction of privileges, or withdrawal of recognition. When appropriate, advisory, national, and/or governing bodies will be notified.

    How will violations of COVID-19 requirements be enforced off campus?

    While we do not have much ability to monitor or control the behavior of our faculty, staff, and students off campus, we do encourage every member of the Penn State community to follow the guidance for the health and safety of our broader community.

    Referrals for possible conversations or conduct actions may be made to OSC, the department head, supervisor, or Human Resources.

    How should I enforce expectations in my classroom or office environment?

    Guidance has been developed for these environments and can be accessed on the Conduct Information Related to COVID-19 website