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Off-Campus Misconduct Policy

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While the University has a primary duty to supervise behavior on its premises, there are many circumstances where the off-campus behavior of students affects a Substantial University Interest and warrants disciplinary action.

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

In cases in which criminal or civil action is involved, such action and the review of the Off-Campus Misconduct Policy and administration of the University’s conduct process will occur simultaneously. However, the University may defer action until the proceedings of the criminal or civil action have been completed. A deferment will be considered by the Office of Student Conduct following an initial review of the circumstances. Students may also delay action by the Office of Student Conduct by seeking a Disciplinary Withdrawal, whereby they would withdraw from the University until the criminal matter has been resolved.

In addition, where there is a compelling reason (such as concern for the safety of other students), the Office of Student Conduct may, after an initial review of the evidence, impose the sanction of Interim Suspension, requiring that the student leave the campus pending disciplinary proceedings or medical evaluation (See Interim Suspension, reference location).

Student conduct committed off the campus which affects a Substantial University Interest is conduct which:

Any off-campus student behavior that affects a Substantial University Interest (as previously defined) violates the Code of Conduct and is subject to disciplinary action following standard University Discipline Procedures.

In accordance with University disciplinary procedures, students are entitled to contest any allegations and/or sanctions and may request a hearing or review before an Administrative Hearing Officer or the University Hearing Board. The hearing body will review the referred incidents for off-campus misconduct in the same manner they do for violations that have occurred on University premises. The hearing body may also consider whether or not the referred off-campus misconduct affects Substantial University Interest and whether the behavior should be subject to University disciplinary action.

When students are found responsible for behavior off-campus that both meets the definition of affecting Substantial University Interest, and violates the Code of Conduct, sanctions will be applied. The University has established sanctioning guidelines for University Code of Conduct violations. Specific sanctions established for off-campus misconduct will vary just as sanctions do for on-campus violations depending upon the individual nature of each situation including the student’s prior misconduct record.

The sanctions for off-campus misconduct range from a Disciplinary Warning to Expulsion.

The following is a sample list of misconduct behaviors and/or law violations in each of the University's sanctioning categories of Minor, Moderate and Major. This listing does not take into consideration a student's prior disciplinary record or account for varying degrees of severity of similar types of violations. Therefore, those students with a history of prior misconduct or who are involved with a particularly serious violation may receive firmer sanctions than those listed below for any particular act of misconduct. Also, this list is not designed to be comprehensive and the University reserves the right to respond to any off-campus misconduct that affects a Substantial University Interest as defined above.

MANDATORY PARTICIPATION IN THE ALCOHOL EDUCATION/INTERVENTION PROGRAM AT UNIVERSITY PARK

All students who engage in behavior on or off the premises of the campus involving the Prohibited Underage Possession or Use of Alcoholic Beverages, Public Drunkenness or Driving Under the Influence will be required to complete a University alcohol education/intervention program. Students assigned to the mandatory alcohol education/intervention program will be responsible for paying all fees and costs associated with the program.

MAJOR STUDENT MISCONDUCT BEHAVIORS / LAW VIOLATIONS:

The University Student Code of Conduct violations committed off the campus that typically would fall into the MAJOR category and yield a sanction range of Suspension to Expulsion are:

Homicide; Manslaughter; Kidnapping; Assault and Abuse of a Person; Sexual Assault; Rape; Incest; Ethnic Intimidation; Crimes Motivated by Intolerance; Child Pornography; Confining Others; Domestic Violence; Burglary; Robbery; Major Thefts; Arson; Resisting Arrest or Detainment; Creating or Contributing to a Dangerous Condition; Engaging in acts which encourage, prolong or contribute to a public disturbance (e.g. riot, failure to disperse); Distribution of Illegal Drugs; and Serious cases of: Hazing, Harassment and Stalking; Direct Threat of Harm; Unlawful Use or Possessions of Weapons.

MODERATE STUDENT MISCONDUCT BEHAVIORS / LAW VIOLATIONS:

The University Student Code of Conduct violations committed off the campus that typically would fall into the MODERATE category and yield a sanction range of Probation* to Suspension are:

Simple Assaults; Fights with Injury; Driving While Impaired**, Driving Under the Influence**; Furnishing Alcohol to Minors; Endangering Self or Others; Unlawful Entry; Theft; False Swearing, Reports, Witness and Identification; Impersonating a Public Servant; Obstructing an Official in their Duties; Aiding or Abetting in a Crime; Public Lewdness; Firearms Violations; Obstructing a Public Throughway; Possession of Illegal Drugs; Excessive Consumption of Alcohol**, Public Drunkenness**; Disrupting Meetings or Operations of Others and Processions; and Corruption of Minors.

*Probation may include a notation on the student's transcript
**Requires participation in a University Alcohol Education/Intervention Program

MINOR STUDENT MISCONDUCT BEHAVIORS/LAW VIOLATIONS AT UNIVERSITY PARK AND OTHER LOCATIONS AS DESIGNATED BY UNIVERSITY PARK, ALTOONA AND BERKS.

The University Student Code of Conduct violations committed off the campus that typically would fall into the MINOR category and yield a sanction range of Disciplinary Warning to One Semester of Probation* are:

Disorderly Conduct; Retail Theft; Criminal Mischief; Loitering; Public Nuisances; Underage Purchase, Consumption, Possession or Transportation of Liquor or Malt or Brewed Beverages**; Possession of Illegal Drugs and Public Damage.

*Probation may include a notation on the student's transcript
**Requires participation in a University Alcohol Education/Intervention Program

The University will review all subsequent student misconduct behaviors stated above in the Minor category. Although the continuum of sanctioning for behaviors under the Minor category range from Disciplinary Warning to University Probation, because these are repeat acts of misconduct, sanctions would typically include sanctions greater than probation.


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