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Code of Conduct

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The Code of Conduct describes behaviors that are inconsistent with the essential values of the University community. Any student found to have committed, to have attempted to commit, or to have assisted in the misconduct listed in the Code of Conduct may be subject to the disciplinary sanctions outlined in Section V, E. A person engages in an attempt when, with intent to commit a specific violation of the Code of Conduct, he/she performs any act that constitutes a substantial step toward the commission of that violation.

Links are provided for University policy statements that inform the Code of Conduct. The Code of Conduct behaviors include, but are not limited to:

  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 Policy Statement 8).
  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 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: Engaging in behavior that is sufficiently severe or pervasive so as to threaten an individual or substantially interfere with the individual’s employment, education or access to University programs, activities or opportunities, and such behavior would detrimentally affect a reasonable person under the same circumstances. (also see Policies AD-85)

    Behaviors that meet the above definition may include, but are not limited to, the following:

    • directing physical or verbal conduct 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;
    • subjecting a person or group of persons to unwanted physical contact or threat of such;

    engaging in a course of conduct, including following the person without proper authority (e.g., stalking), under circumstances which would cause a reasonable person to fear for his or her safety or the safety of others or to suffer emotional distress.

  4. WEAPONS, FIREARMS, AND PAINTBALL DEVICES: The possession, storing, carrying, or use of any weapon, ammunition, or explosive by any person is prohibited on all University property except by authorized law enforcement officers and other persons specifically authorized by the University. No person shall possess, carry, or use 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 SY-12).
  5. FIRE SAFETY VIOLATIONS: Tampering with fire or other safety equipment or setting unauthorized fires.
  6. ALCOHOL AND/OR DRUGS: Illegally possessing, using, distributing, manufacturing, selling or being under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. Anyone, including those under 21, serving alcohol to persons under 21 is in violation of both University regulations and state law. Excessive consumption of alcohol is also prohibited and 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. Use, possession or distribution of beverages containing alcohol on University property shall comply with the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and University Policies and Rules. (also see Policies AD-18, AD-33 and Policy Statement 3).

    It is also a violation of the residence hall contract for a student to be in the presence of alcohol and/or illegal drugs in any residential area (also see http://www.hfs.psu.edu/housing/housing-contracts/terms-and-conditions/tcr-res-halls.cfm )

  7. FALSE INFORMATION: Intentionally providing false or inaccurate information or records to University or local authorities. Providing a false report of an emergency, University rule and/or Code violation. Knowingly providing false statements or testimony during a University investigation or proceeding.
  8. THEFT AND OTHER PROPERTY OFFENSES: Stealing, vandalizing, damaging, destroying, or defacing University property or the property of others.
  9. DISRUPTION OF OPERATIONS: Obstruction or disruption of classes, research projects, or other activities or programs of the University; or obstructing access to University facilities, property, or programs. Disruption is defined as 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 Policy Statement 1).
  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 VI: 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. Failure to provide identification or to report to an administrative office or, when reasonable cause exists, failing to leave University-controlled premises or dangerous situations when directed to do so by properly authorized persons, including police and/or other University staff. This charge may be added to other charges, e.g., when a student fails to leave a residence hall during a fire drill and refuses to leave when directed to do so by a University official.
  12. FORGERY/ALTERATION: Making, using or possessing any falsified University document or official record; 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, misusing of forms (letterhead stationery, University forms) to mislead.
  13. UNAUTHORIZED ENTRY OR USE: Unauthorized entry into or use of property, residences, or University facilities including the Penn State computers, computer network, residence halls, classrooms, offices, and other restricted facilities. Unauthorized entry or use of facilities is described in more detail in those University policies regarding the rights of individuals and the rights of the institution. Specifically, students have an “obligation not to infringe upon the rights of all members of the campus to privacy in offices, laboratories and residence hall rooms, and in the keeping of personal papers, confidential records and effects, subject only to the general law and University regulations.” The University also has the right to control use and entry into facilities for reasons of security, safety or protection of property. This includes closing facilities at specified times. It should also be recognized that an open or unlocked door is not an invitation to enter and use facilities. The same concept applies to computer entry or misuse, including violation of any University computer policy (also see Policy AD-20 and Policy Statement 4).
  14. DISORDERLY CONDUCT: Engaging in disorderly, disruptive, lewd or indecent conduct, including but not limited to creating unreasonable noise; creating a physically hazardous or physically offensive condition, 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 and/or postings.
  16. VIOLATION OF LAW: When it is established that a student has violated federal, state, or local law and the violation of law affects a Substantial University Interest, the student may be charged within the Code of Conduct for Violation of Law.
  17. RETALIATION: Taking adverse action against any individual on the basis of a good faith report made by such individual, or on the basis of such 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. (See Policy AD-67)

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