Student Rights & Responsibilities

Student Rights & Responsibilities

Student Conduct

The Office of Student Conduct is responsible for interpreting, enforcing and promoting the Code of Conduct. Student Conduct is dedicated to supporting students through a disciplinary process that is educational, equitable, expeditious, and just. Student Conduct not only meets with students accused of violating the Code of Conduct, but also works with victims to help them hold students accountable for their conduct. Recognizing the need to be proactive in educating students, it is recommended that incoming students learn more about the Code of Conduct and what is expected of them as members of the Penn State Community.

Penn State, as an institution of learning and a community with a special purpose, accepts its obligation to provide an environment that protects and promotes its educational mission and guarantees its orderly and effective operation for your student.

Code of Conduct

The Code of Conduct outlines 17 behaviors that students need to avoid as they are inconsistent with the essential values of Penn State. Student Conduct is responsible for interpreting and enforcing the Code of Conduct, ultimately determining whether or not a student has violated that code.

All members of the University community, including students, share the obligation to respect the fundamental rights of others as citizens, the rights of others based upon the nature of the educational process, the rights of the institution, and the rights of individuals to fair and equitable procedures regarding violations of University regulations. The goal is to support the University’s educational mission by promoting a safe, orderly, and positive University climate through enforcing behavioral standards, managing disciplinary proceedings, mentoring students, developing leadership skills, and fostering peer education.

The Code of Conduct fosters a University culture that is self-disciplined, where civility is embraced, and the norms and foundational beliefs validate the essential values of Penn State.

Student Conduct encourages the expression of diverse views and opinions, validates healthy life choices, and supports the concept of community respect. Through programs and services, students become responsible and contributing citizens within Penn State and the local communities.

In addition to the Code of Conduct and the University’s discipline process, students are also held accountable to local, state, and federal laws through traditional criminal procedures. Off-campus student behavior that violates the Code of Conduct may be subject to disciplinary action following standard University procedures.

Academic Integrity

One of the essential values at Penn State is 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 Penn State, and all members of the University community are expected to act in accordance with this principle. Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, cheating, 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.

The University takes violations of Academic Integrity seriously. When an act of academic dishonesty is believed to have occurred, the process begins with a conversation between the faculty member and the accused student and follows the procedures outlined by the Faculty Senate.

Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault

Penn State is committed to providing an environment free from discrimination and harassment on the basis of sex or gender. Resources are available to members of the University community to provide a prompt and effective response when incidents of sexual or gender-based harassment or misconduct, sexual misconduct, sexual assault, sexual violence, domestic violence, and stalking, occur. For more information, we encourage you to view the University’s SHARE (Sexual Harassment and Assault Reporting and Education) website. You may also view the relevant University policy, Policy AD-85.