The Charter of the Student Disciplinary System (condensed)

The Charter sets forth the procedures the Office of Student Conduct must follow if a complaint is filed against a student. To fully understand the student disciplinary stsyem, you will need to read the entire Charter. What follows, highlights cretain key provisions. It is not all inclusive. The numbers and letters floowing each paragraph refer to the Charter section where the information can be found.

  1. The Office of Student Conduct (“the OSC”) is responsible for administering the Student Disciplinary System. It enforces the Code of Student Conduct, the Code of Academic Integrity and various other policies and regulations. (Introduction)
  2. The Student Disciplinary System is not a legal system, and the OSC’s proceedings are not civil or criminal litigation. It operates under different rules, standards and procedures and seeks to further the educational mission and high standards of the University. (§ § I.A., I.C., II.F.4)
  3. All members of the University community—including trustees, faculty, staff, and students—are required to cooperate with the Student Disciplinary System. This means you must respond to the OSC’s requests, whether you are the subject of an investigation, a witness or in any other role. If you do not cooperate with the OSC, a disciplinary hold may be put on your academic record, which may prevent you from registering for classes, accessing your grades, and receiving transcripts and your diploma. (§ § I.C.5, IV.C)
  4. A complaint to the OSC that a student has violated the University’s rules, regulations or policies may come from any member of the University community—student, staff, faculty member/lecturer or Penn police. It may also come from outside the University community; e.g., from a landlord or other aggrieved party. (§ II.A) A complaint may be resolved in a number of ways: dismissal of the complaint; referral of the matter to mediation or to another appropriate University office; resolution through voluntary agreement; and resolution by disciplinary hearing. (II.A.2, II.E., II.F.)
  5. A complaint is not a determination that you have done something wrong. It is an allegation that something has occurred that should be looked into. After an investigation, the OSC will determine whether or not you should be charged with a violation. (See #8 below.) (§ II.A.3.)
  6. You are permitted to have an advisor to help you understand and progress through the disciplinary process. Throughout the disciplinary process, your advisor may accompany you to all meetings and any hearing that may occur. It is not an advisor’s role to advocate your position. You are not required to have an advisor, but the OSC recommends that you do, especially in cases of alleged academic integrity or serious conduct violations. You may select a trained advisor from the list we give you, or you may select another member of the faculty or staff or a student in good academic and disciplinary standing to be your advisor. We recommend that you use an advisor from the list we provide as they have been specially trained in and are experienced with the disciplinary system. (§ I.D.7.)
  7. Only if criminal charges are pending, may your advisor be an attorney who is not a member of the University community. However, please understand that your attorney does not function as an advocate during the disciplinary process. You are expected to speak for yourself. (§ I.D.7.b.)
  8. To investigate the complaint, the Associate Director assigned to your case will interview you, the complainant and any other witnesses he or she identifies during the investigation. She/he may also review documents, conduct Internet searches, make site visits and use other means to determine the facts relevant to your case. (§ II.C.)
  9. When the investigation is complete, the OSC will either dismiss the complaint with no further action or will file charges. (§ II.D.)
  10. You will receive written notice of the decision. If you are being charged, you will receive a charge letter which will specify the conduct with which you are being charged and the evidence the OSC considers the basis of the charge. (§ II.D.)
  11. If you are charged, you will also receive a proposed agreement asking you to accept responsibility and agree to certain sanctions proposed by the OSC, acting on behalf of the University, as the most appropriate for the conduct with which you are charged. The student may accept, reject, propose an alternative to the proposed sanctions or request a disciplinary hearing. (§ II.E.)
  12. In the rare instance that disciplinary charges are not resolved by voluntary agreement, a disciplinary hearing is held. Disciplinary hearings are not trials. They are designed to encourage open discussion among the participants. If your case goes to a hearing, the OSC will discuss hearing procedures with you in more detail. (§ II.E.4., II.F.)
  13. Possible formal sanctions are: warning, reprimand, disciplinary probation, suspension (imposed and not imposed), expulsion, delayed diploma, withdrawal and notation on transcript. The OSC or a hearing panel (if your case goes to a hearing) may also require fines, restitution, community service, writing an apology letter or essay, and/or participating in a substance abuse or other evaluation. (§ II.H.)
  14. A finding that you have violated the Code of Academic Integrity always creates a permanent record which is reportable outside the University. A finding that you have violated the Code of Student Conduct that results in a sanction of probation, suspension (imposed and not imposed), expulsion, delayed diploma, withdrawal and/or notation on transcript also results in the creation of a record which is reportable outside the University. A finding that you have violated the Code of Student Conduct that results in a letter of warning or a letter of reprimand, whether or not other conditions (such as community service or counseling) are imposed, is generally not reportable. (§ IV.G., IV.H.)
  15. All disciplinary proceedings, the identity of individuals involved in particular disciplinary cases, and all disciplinary files, testimony, and findings are confidential. For record-keeping purposes, the OSC will notify the Dean of your school when a sanction is imposed in any academic integrity case and a sanction of probation, suspension or expulsion is imposed in a conduct case. In academic integrity cases, the professor involved is notified of the outcome. The complainant in conduct cases is advised of the outcome in sexual assault and personal violence cases. (§ IV.F.2)