Office of Student Accountability and Conflict Response
The Office of Student Accountability and Conflict Response (OSACR) works to uphold community and university standards through compassionate interventions in which students are heard, respected, and treated with dignity. These students, including student organization leaders, have the developmental opportunity to participate in fair and impartial resolution processes which encourage personal accountability and responsible decision-making; promote reflection and restoration; and reduce and prevent behavior which undermines student success and community safety.
Student Code of Conduct
OSACR is responsible for the oversight and implementation of the Student Code of Conduct and related written procedures. The Code outlines community standards for student behavior, both on- and off-campus, while the written procedures explain how alleged violations of the Code are managed within the Student Conduct process.
When a student or organization is named in a report and/or participates in a resolution process, a record is created and maintained by OSACR. In addition to managing formal allegations of misconduct, the OSACR also offers a wide-range of Adaptable Resolutions and Conflict Response options.
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 misconduct includes, but is not limited to, copying, 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.
Parent and Family Notification Policy
Under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), colleges and universities are afforded certain liberties relative to notifying parents or guardians of information concerning their student. In order to involve students’ families in the total educational experience of the students and to facilitate communication between students and their parents/legal guardians, OSACR has established a notification and disclosure policy.
The goals of this policy are:
- To clarify when notification and/or disclosure may be appropriate
- To partner with families in support of their student
- To identify additional supportive points of intervention for students
Pennsylvania’s Anti-Hazing Law
In 2018, Pennsylvania adopted the Timothy J. Piazza Antihazing Law which:
- Establishes a tiered penalty with stricter punishments for hazing (including felony-level violations)
- Holds individuals and organizations accountable for hazing
- Requires schools to publish anti-hazing policies and publicly report hazing violations
To the extent possible, any student, organization, faculty or staff member, contractor, or volunteer of the University will be held accountable for hazing-related violations both by the University and by the appropriate law enforcement agency. Any allegations of hazing should be reported to the University’s Office of Ethics and Compliance or the Office of Student Conduct, in addition to the police.
The Timothy J. Piazza Antihazing Law, in addition to Pennsylvania’s medical amnesty law, provides immunity from prosecution when a student seeks help for themselves or others who need medical attention. Students who seek help may also avoid formal student conduct action under the Penn State Responsible Action Protocol.
Office of Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response
Wanda L. Ochei, Director of Student Services and Engagement
email: [email protected]
office: 120 Murphy Center
Penn State is committed to providing an environment that is free from harassment or misconduct on the basis of sex or gender. The Office of Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response (OSMPR) ensures compliance with Title IX, a federal law that prohibits discrimination based on the sex or gender of employees and students, as well as Penn State policy AD‑85 (Sexual and/or Gender-based Harassment and Misconduct). Behaviors that fall under AD‑85 include:
- Gender-based Harassment — Behavior consisting of physical or verbal conduct based on gender, sexual orientation, gender-stereotyping, perceived gender, or gender identity
- Sexual Harassment — Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature
- Sexual Misconduct — Rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, sexual exploitation, and other forms of non-consensual sexual activity
- Stalking — Repeatedly following, harassing, threatening or intimidating including by telephone, mail, electronic communication, or social media
- Dating Violence — May include emotional, verbal, and/or economic abuse
- Domestic Violence — May include emotional, verbal, and/or economic abuse
- Retaliation — Adverse employment, academic, or other actions against anyone reporting or participating in an investigation of Title IX allegations
Any sexual contact that occurs without consent violates Penn State’s policy. Consent is a knowing, voluntary, and mutual decision among all participants to engage in sexual activity. Consent must be informed, freely given, and mutual.
Penn State offers confidential and non-confidential reporting options for those who have become a victim of sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, or stalking. The University strongly encourages students to report incidents violating this policy. Therefore, students who act responsibly by reporting information about sexual and/or gender-based harassment or misconduct, typically will not face University disciplinary action for their own drug or alcohol possession or consumption in connection with the reported incident.
Pennsylvania's Medical Amnesty Law
Pennsylvania law provides immunity from prosecution for underage drinking and/or hazing for an individual who seeks help for a friend who has a medical emergency due to underage alcohol consumption or hazing. The immunity also applies to the friend for who medical assistance was sought. When a person is in violation of underage drinking or hazing laws and dials 911 to get help for a peer who needs immediate medical attention due to excessive alcohol consumption or hazing, the called and the peer for who assistance was sought will not be charged with underage drinking or hazing as long as:
- The person's phone call was the initial way law enforcement found out about the hazing and/or underage person's drinking violation
- The caller reasonably believed they were the first to call and report the emergency
- The person correctly identified themselves by name when reporting the emergency
- The person remained with the individual needing medical assistance until emergency services arrived
What are my reporting options?
Penn State offers a variety of confidential and non-confidential reporting options if you or a friend are a victim of sexual or gender-based harassment or sexual misconduct. Student survivors, witnesses, and bystanders who report, in good faith, any incident of sexual assault, dating or domestic violence, or stalking will not be charged with an alcohol or drug violation of the Student Code of Conduct.
Confidential Reporting Options
Visit the University’s Title IX web page to learn more about campus, community and University resources.
Non-Confidential Reporting Options
- Office of Sexual Misconduct Prevention & Response (OSMPR), 814-863-0342, [email protected]
- Title IX Resource Person, Wanda Ochei, 570-675-9225, [email protected]
- Campus Police, 570-675-9111 or 570-675-9249
- Lehman Township Police, 570-675-1483 or 911
What happens when a report is made?
A prompt response is activated when an incident is reported to a non-confidential resource:
- The Title IX Coordinator leads the University response, which may include a University investigation.
- The Title IX Coordinator or designee will inform you of your rights and options.
Accommodations and/or interim remedies may be taken, including:
- a no-contact order
- classroom and housing adjustments
- access to on-and off-campus support services
A thorough investigation of the incident will be conducted by OSMPR staff. The University will:
- review all relevant information, and
- determine if the behavior violates the University’s Code of Conduct