UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – As part of Penn State’s multi-layered Back to State health and safety plan for the fall semester, the University announced mandatory requirements for students, including health and safety expectations, testing, and requirements contact tracing, masking and social expulsion policies – prior to their return to campus. While the overwhelming majority of students complied with and continues to adhere to safety policies, the Penn State Office of Student Conduct responded to a number of reported violations.
Since August 17, the University has issued 1,277 penalties for violating various restrictions and policies related to COVID-1
“The University’s top priority in response to the pandemic has been the health and safety of our community. We are grateful for the seriousness with which most of our students take the virus threat, but we will continue to hold accountable those students who threaten our community by violating our clearly stated expectations, ”said Damon Sims, vice president for student affairs. “The consistent compliance of the majority of students continues to be a source of encouragement for universal compliance among the students we seek, and the decline in conduct referrals in recent weeks has been pleasant.”
Of the penalties, 1,046 students received warnings, which may include a discussion of the situation, an explanation of misconduct and future expectations, and a warning that a further violation could lead to more serious consequences; 204 were placed on probation or probation with transcription notation, reserved for multiple or more serious crimes; and 10 suspensions have been issued by the University, which prohibits them from enrolling, attending courses and staying on campus for the rest of the academic year.
Another 17 students lost their accommodation on campus, most notably for violations of strict no-picking and no-guests policies. These students were given appropriate time to make new arrangements and leave the university accommodation. A prorated share of unused accommodation fees will be refunded, but living on campus will be prohibited for the remainder of the 2020-21 academic year.
“The health of our community depends on individual and collective action,” said Sims. “We will continue to work closely with student leaders and local authorities to encourage necessary behavior among all students, but I could not be happier with the personal and public responsibility that many of our students have consistently shown during this difficult time.” .
The University continued to emphasize the importance of following its health and safety measures along with local and state laws and established the consequences for students who do not comply, including for those living in university residences and off campus .
More information on COVID-19 student conduct expectations can be found on the Student Affairs website. For the latest information on the University’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, including a link to the Penn State COVID-19 dashboard and other key resources, visit virusinfo.psu.edu.