The Code of Conduct, while informed by the Penn State Principles, specifies behaviors that students should avoid as they are inconsistent with the essential values of the university. A student will be held accountable through the University Discipline Process if he/she makes the decision to engage in these behaviors. In addition, intentionally attempting or assisting in these behaviors may be considered as serious as engaging in the behavior. A person commits an attempt when he/she performs any act that constitutes a substantial step toward the commission of a behavior specified in the Code of Conduct.
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.
2. SEXUAL MISCONDUCT OR ABUSE: The University does not tolerate sexual misconduct or abuse, such as sexual assault, rape or any other forms of nonconsensual sexual activity. Sexual misconduct and abuse can occur between acquaintances or parties unknown to each other. Sexual abuse is attempted or actual unwanted sexual activity, such as sexual touching and fondling. This includes the touching of an unwilling person's intimate parts (defined as genitalia, groin, breast or buttock, or clothing covering them), or forcing an unwilling person to touch another's intimate parts. Sexual misconduct includes, but is not limited to, sexual assault, rape, forcible sodomy or sexual penetration with an inanimate object, intercourse without consent, under conditions of force, threat of force, fear or when a person is unable to give consent because of substance abuse, captivity, sleep or disability (also see Policy AD-12).
3. HARASSMENT: Harassment is 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 that would detrimentally affect a reasonable person under the same circumstances. 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, ancestry, color, disability or handicap, national origin, race, religious creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or veteran status (see AD-42);
- 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, under circumstances which demonstrate intent to place the other person in reasonable fear of bodily injury or to cause the other person substantial emotional distress (see AD-12);
- or harassment of a sexual nature as described (see AD-41).
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. 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.
Note: Anyone, including those under 21, serving alcohol to persons under 21 is in violation of both University regulations and state law. Excessive consumption 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. (also see Policies AD-18, AD-33).
It is also a violation of the residence hall contract for a student to be in the presence of the presence of the use of illegal drugs or if under 21 years of age, alcohol, in any residential area.
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.
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 (see Faculty Senate Policy 49-20 and G-9 Procedures).
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 document or record, including identification, meal or access cards. This includes but is not limited to; forging (signing another's name and/or ID number) key request forms, manufacturing IDs or tickets, altering permits, misuse of forms (letterhead stationery, University forms), and keys to mislead.
13. UNAUTHORIZED ENTRY OR USE: Unauthorized entry into or use of property or University facilities including residence halls, classrooms, offices, and other restricted facilities. Unauthorized entry or use of facilities is referred to in the University policy regarding the rights of individuals and the rights of the institution. Specifically, policy refers to 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).
14. DISORDERLY CONDUCT: Engaging in disorderly, disruptive, lewd or indecent conduct. The item includes but is not limited to: inciting or participating in a riot or group disruption; failing to leave the scene of a riot or group disruption when instructed by officials; disruption of programs, classroom activities or functions and processes of the University; creating unreasonable noise; or creating a physically hazardous or physically offensive condition.
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.