The Office of College Houses & Academic Services and Residential Services supports and expects adherence to the University of Pennsylvania Code of Student Conduct and to all local, state and federal law, as well as, regulations related to residential living. Behavior that violates these standards, laws and regulations may be grounds for disciplinary action by the College House Office or Residential Services. A House Dean or Sansom Place Manager will most likely address possible residential policy violations. Addressing these possible violations may include an informal conversation, a more formal administrative hearing, or referral to a House Discipline Committee. Any of these means of addressing a violation may result in sanctions being issued to residents.
The Executive Director, Directors of College Houses, or Director of Residential Services may hear cases that are more serious or are specific to their areas of responsibility. Electronic mail should be used only for logistical purposes and should not be used as a substitute for meeting and discussing an alleged violation with a staff member.
Students can expect fairness and due process from staff in addressing alleged violations. Failure to comply with a sanction will be considered as a further violation of standards and may result in additional, extended or more severe sanctions.
Violations of standards or other misconduct should be reported to the College House or Sansom Place staff for investigation and follow-up. The authority to investigate and to respond to violations is delegated to House staff (House Deans, Sansom Place Manager, Residential Advisors, and Graduate Associates) at the direction of the Executive Director, Directors of College Houses, and the Director of Residential Services. In all cases an attempt will be made to resolve a dispute or alleged violation by reaching voluntary agreement. Repeated misconduct, serious offenses and offenses by non-residents may be referred to the Executive Director and Directors of College Houses, Director of Residential Services, or to the Office of Student Conduct. In addition, criminal activity in the College Houses and Sansom Place is subject to criminal prosecution.
Conduct Process Outline
- Staff person becomes aware of a possible violation of standards.
- Student is notified in writing that they are potentially in violation of a standard and a meeting is requested.
- Meeting is held to hear the student’s perspective and to ascertain responsibility.
- Student is notified in writing of determination of responsibility and sanction, if appropriate.
Rights and Obligations
A student against whom an allegation of violation is made has the following rights and obligations:
- The right to be notified within a reasonable time of the complaints against them.
- The obligation to cooperate with any investigation of complaint, including the obligation to appear to be interviewed by the Office of College Houses staff, Residential Services staff or other University officials or boards.
- The right to know the nature of any pertinent information against them.
- The right to confidentiality of information.
The following sanctions are normally issued separately or in combination for violations; sanctions are accumulative and apply to a student's length of stay in College Houses:
- Residential Warning: This sanction is typically imposed for minor violations. A warning basically puts a student on notice and provides an opportunity to address and change behavior in future situations. Repeat behavior could then result in additional and retroactive sanctions.
- Required Move: Some situations may warrant moving a resident to a new location, either for their own benefit or for the benefit of their residential community.
- Removal from Housing: Removal from housing is a sanction that typically is used for serious violations of standards including endangering behavior, theft, and significant damage to property and for students who repeatedly violate policies and show no signs of changing behavior.
- Restitution: Residents who cause damage or vandalize University property will typically be expected to pay restitution
- Fines: Fines will be imposed for some violations as deemed appropriate based upon circumstance.
- Educational Sanctions: Educational sanctions are used for students in situations where they would benefit from further learning about their behavior, or from completing a project that allows them to contribute positively to their community. Examples of such sanctions include: community service, organizing a program, doing a survey, attending a presentation or similar projects.
- Restriction of Privileges: Some situations may warrant a restriction of privileges, such as guest privileges or restriction from entering a specific residence hall.
- Referral to a University Resource Office: Students who need additional professional assistance may be referred to any number of University offices or resources.
- Parental Notification: Some situations warrant a call to a parent or guardian to discuss a student’s behavior and the impact of that behavior upon other residents.
- Residential Probation: This sanction is typically imposed for more serious violations of standards, as well as for repeated or multiple minor violations. Probation includes the potentional for restriction of various College House privileges and serves as a final notice wherein future violations could result in removal from Housing.
- Referral to the Office of Student Conduct.
NOTE: In situations when an individual or group poses an immediate threat to the health, safety or property of others or oneself the individual or group may be relocated or removed from University housing prior to a hearing to address the specific behaviors. The decision to remove or relocate rests with the Executive Director of College Houses or in his/her absence one of the Directors of College Houses or, for Sansom Place, the Director of Residential Services.