Student Policies and Code of Conduct

Student Policies and Code of Conduct

All Penn State students are expected to abide by local, state, and federal laws and University policies and rules governing conduct of individuals and student organizations. To assist students in understanding the policies and rules at Penn State DuBois there are a number of resources available on this page.

Policies and Rules

A booklet, Policies and Rules For Students, is published annually electronically and contains the University Code of Conduct, disciplinary procedures, and other policies relating to student activities.  A copy is available to all students.  All students are responsible for the information contained in the Student Planner and the  Student Guide to General University Policies and Rules.

Smoking/Vaping/Tobacco Use Policy

Smoking/Vaping is prohibited in all campus facilities and classrooms, including University owned vehicles.  In addition, if an official University class is conducted outside, smoking/vaping is prohibited during that time period as to not disturb the learning environment. Smoking/Vaping is permitted outdoors only and must be 15 feet from all doors and windows. Smoking/Vaping areas are marked with a cigarette receptacle.

No one is permitted to move cigarette receptacle from their designated areas.  If you see a cigarette receptacle that has been moved, please report it to Police Services or Business Services.

Smokeless tobacco products are permitted on campus, however, spitting the products within buildings, at entrances to buildings (in gardens, bushes, sidewalks, paved areas, etc) or spitting tobacco products into containers is prohibited.  Faculty may ban smokeless tobacco products from their classrooms and classroom settings. They can do so by placing a statement in their syllabus.

Disposing of tobacco products, including pipe residue, cigarette and cigar butts on the ground or in containers other than the appropriate disposal container provided is prohibited.  

The definition of smoking includes burning of any type of lighted pipe, cigar, cigarette, or any other vaping/smoking equipment (i.e. electronic cigarettes, hookah pens, etc).

Health services can assist those wishing to stop tobacco use with tobacco cessation classes and other programming opportunities.  

This policy will be enforced by Human Resources, University Police Services and the office of Student Conduct.    Students found in violation of this policy will be referred to the office of Student Conduct for possible sanctions.

*University Policy Manual, AD-32; this policy has been adapted for the DuBois Campus 11/2015

Alcoholic Beverages

Possession or use of alcoholic beverages on University property or at University-sponsored activities is prohibited for all students, including those who are over twenty-one years of age. Students under the influence of alcohol are not permitted on campus.

Use of Athletics Center Facilities and Fitness Center

All students, faculty, staff and retirees using the fitness center or gymnasium are required to present and/or swipe their valid Penn State Photo ID for entrance to the facilities.


Use of the gymnasium is restricted to currently enrolled Penn State DuBois students, faculty, staff and retirees or those involved in Penn State-sponsored activities during approved events. Penn State faculty, staff and retirees are also permitted one family member with them; however, the individual will be responsible for their accompanied family member at all times.  The gymnasium can be used by non-PSU individuals if the event is sponsored by the University or a University recognized club or organization during an approved event which is open to the public or if an outside event has been approved for use by the Director of Business Services.The gymnasium must be staffed by a CPR/First Aid trained employee when the room is being used by anyone for athletic purposes. During the day, students, faculty, staff and retirees may use the gymnasium during the posted open gym hours.  The gym will be locked during times it is not staffed.

During athletic practices the gym may be used by athletes provided the First Aid/CPR trained coach is on site. When practice is over, each coach is responsible for closing the gym and locking the doors and ensuring that all student athletes have exited the gymnasium.



Penn State DuBois students can only use the fitness center when it is staffed by a CPR/First Aid trained employee during posted hours. Fitness center staff can be identified by their fitness center staff shirt. All users of the center must swipe their Penn State ID card at the desk.

Faculty, staff or retirees may use the fitness center during non-posted hours; however the following rules apply:

·         Penn State DuBois faculty, staff and retirees who choose to use the fitness center during non-posted hours MUST have a faculty, staff or retiree partner with them at all times while using the Fitness Center.  

·         Faculty, staff and retirees using the fitness center during non-posted hours are NOT permitted to allow any student to enter the facility.

·         To gain access use your Penn State ID card and swipe your card at the door

·         Failure to comply with these rules will result in loss of privileges

Student Athletes may use the fitness center during practice times provided the CPR/First Aid trained coach is on site

Community members, family members, or any non PSU individuals are not permitted to use the fitness center at any time.

Student Code of Conduct Policies

The Code of Conduct describes behaviors that are inconsistent with the essential values of the University community. Intentionally attempting or assisting in these behaviors may be considered as serious as engaging in the behavior. A person commits 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.

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 alcohol and/or illegal drugs 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. ACADEMIC DISHONESTY: 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.

Click here for the link to the University Student Code of Conduct website for further information on students rights, victims rights and other information.

Student Rights

The Pennsylvania State University has a clear standard of conduct to protect the rights of members of the University community. These standards are expressed in the Student Code of Conduct. The Office of Student Conduct is responsible for conducting University judicial proceedings for students when it is alleged that a violation of the Student Code of Conduct has occurred.

The Student Code of Conduct does not replace or relieve any requirement of civil or criminal law. This means that victims may bring complaints to the Office of Student Conduct and also file criminal or civil complaints. Victims are encouraged to report violations of law to proper authorities on or off campus.

The Office of Student Conduct is committed to the safety and well-being of all its community members. We strive to create an environment that is free of acts of violence, harassment, and infringement of rights of privacy and property. The Office of Student Conduct is one of many service offices in the University community that assists students, whether an accused student or victim of an incident. As a staff, we will support students by assisting them in identifying resources which, based on personal needs, will further support them throughout the disciplinary process. 

Victim Rights

If someone has been a victim of a student’s misconduct, that person may file an incident report with the Office of Student Conduct (OSC). OSC can assist victims in accessing services on campus or in the community to support them through the experience. A victim may have the opportunity to be involved as a witness or as an equal partner in any conduct process that develops as a result of the complaint.

Click here for more information about victim rights in the conduct process. 

Rights for Accused Students

Students who are accused of a violation have rights too. It is not assumed that a verbal or written report is accurate or an exact account of behavior. Because of this, the staff in the Office of Student Conduct will meet with each student who has been accused of a violation of the Student Code of Conduct. During this Disciplinary Conference, the student and staff member will discuss the alleged violation. A large part of the conduct process involves fact-finding and presenting the opportunity for students to respond to allegations of misconduct. The Office of Student Conduct will provide an opportunity for this to happen in a respectful, equitable and expeditious manner.

Click here for more information about rights of students accused of inappropriate behavior or Student Code of Conduct violations.

If you have any questions in regards to the Student Code of Conduct, please contact Conduct Officer, Rebecca Pennington at