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University of Pennsylvania Student Policies

All students are responsible for upholding the University policies and procedures described in the University Pennbook

As a community of scholars, the University depends upon mutual trust among its members, their fundamental respect for the rights, dignity, and the worth of others, their support for basic principles of free and open expression, and their abiding commitment to the highest levels of quality and integrity of academic work. These University expectations are embodied in the Non-Discrimination Statement, the Statement on General Conduct, the Racial and Sexual Harassment Policies, the Guidelines on Open Expression, and the Code of Academic Integrity. In addition to these six documents, the University has issued other policies, guidelines, and procedures to make explicit the expectations of the students, faculty, administrators, teaching assistants, advisers, coaches, and support staff in dealing with one another. These documents appear in the University Policies and Procedures booklet, issued and distributed to all incoming students by the Office of the Vice Provost for University life.

Although these published statements outline basic expectations for behavior on campus, they do not cover all of the University’s regulations, departmental requirements, and administrative procedures. Members of the community should refer to the academic bulletin of each School. New and revised policies are published in the University Almanac.

Code of Academic Integrity 

Since the University is an academic community, its fundamental purpose is the pursuit of knowledge. Essential to the success of this educational mission is a commitment to the principles of academic integrity. Every member of the University community is responsible for upholding the highest standards of honesty at all times. Students, as members of the community, are also responsible for adhering to the principles and spirit of the following Code of Academic Integrity.

You can read the Code of Academic Integrity here in its entirety.

For detailed information regarding the Disciplinary Process, resources for students and faculty, and frequently asked questions, please consult the Office of Student Conduct.

 

Code of Student Conduct

I. Preamble

When Benjamin Franklin founded the Pennsylvania Academy, he defined its mission as “education for citizenship.” In pursuit of this mission, the University of Pennsylvania is committed to achieving academic excellence, to creating an environment for inquiry and learning, and to cultivating responsible citizenship in the larger society.

The University of Pennsylvania is a community in which intellectual growth, learning from others, mutual tolerance, and respect for freedom of thought and expression are principles of paramount importance. In an environment that promotes the free interchange of ideas, cultural and intellectual diversity, and a wealth of social opportunities, Penn students take advantage of the academic and non-academic opportunities available to them, deepening their intellectual insights through formal instruction, and expanding their educational experience beyond their academic programs. Members of the Penn community participate actively in the greater Philadelphia, state, national, and international communities in which they reside. “Citizens” of the University community include students, faculty, staff and those otherwise affiliated with the University.

Accepting membership into the University of Pennsylvania community as a student entails an obligation to promote its welfare by assuming the rights and responsibilities listed below. Each individual member of this community is responsible for his or her own actions and is expected to respect the rights of others.

II. Rights of Student Citizenship

Membership in the University of Pennsylvania community affords every student certain rights that are essential to the University’s educational mission and its character as a community:

     a) The right to have access to and participate in the academic and non-academic opportunities afforded by the University, subject to applicable standards or requirements.

     b) The right to freedom of thought and expression.

     c) The right to be free from discrimination on the basis of race, color, gender, sexual orientation, religion, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, or status as a disabled or Vietnam Era veteran.

     d) The right to fair University judicial process in the determination of accountability for conduct.

III. Responsibilities of Student Citizenship

Students are expected to exhibit responsible behavior regardless of time or place. Failure to do so may result in disciplinary action by the University. Responsible behavior is a standard of conduct which reflects higher expectations than may be prevalent outside the University community. Responsible behavior includes but is not limited to the following obligations:

     a) To comply with all provisions of the University’s Code of Academic Integrity and academic integrity codes adopted by the faculties of individual schools.

     b) To respect the health and safety of others. This precludes acts or threats of physical violence against another person (including sexual violence) and disorderly conduct. This also  precludes the possession of dangerous articles (such as firearms, explosive materials, etc.) on University property or at University events without University authorization.

     c) To respect the right of fellow students to participate in University organizations and in relationships with other students without fear, threat, or act of hazing.

     d) To refrain from conduct towards other students that infringes upon the Rights of Student Citizenship. The University condemns hate speech, epithets, and racial, ethnic, sexual and religious slurs. However, the content of student speech or expression is not by itself a basis for disciplinary action. Student speech may be subject to discipline when it violates applicable laws or University regulations or policies.

     e) To refrain from stealing, damaging, defacing, or misusing the property or facilities of the University or of others. This also precludes the disruption of University computing services or interference with the rights of others to use computer resources.

     f) To be honest and truthful in dealings with the University, about one’s own identity (e.g., name or Social Security number), and in the use of University and other identification.

     g) To cooperate fully and honestly in the Student Judicial System of the University, including the obligation to comply with all judicial sanctions.

     h) To comply with all contracts made with the University, such as Residential Living Occupancy Agreements and Dining Services contracts.

     i) To comply with policies and regulations of the University and its departments (e.g., the University’s Guidelines on Open Expression, Anti-Hazing Regulations, Drug and Alcohol Policies, Sexual Harassment Policy, etc.).

     j) To comply with federal, state and local laws.

(Source: Almanac, September 27, 1994, Volume 41, No. 5)

Code of Student Conduct

 

Confidentiality of Student Records

Penn’s policy regarding student information is that students are adults, and the University generally will not share their academic and other records (apart from directory information) with third parties without their explicit consent. This is in accordance with the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. Though there are situations in which the University can choose to divulge information without a student’s consent (for example, if they are listed as dependents on their parents’ tax returns), for the most part, students must decide who has access to their academic record. They can indicate whether or not they wish their parents or others to see their educational records using the Privacy Settings screen on Penn InTouch.

A summary of University policy on the privacy of student records, which includes rights under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA”), often referred to as the “Buckley Amendment”, is available at: http://www.upenn.edu/oacp/privacy/penndata/ferpa.html

The Office of Student Information in the School of Nursing maintains files for all students.  Student folders may contain, but are not limited to, copies of transcripts, clinical course summaries, and relevant correspondence.  Advisors may request student folders from the Office of Student Information for viewing; materials are not to be taken out of Claire M. Fagin Hall and must be returned within 24 hours.  Students’ online records in Penn in Touch contain demographic and admissions information, privacy flags, student schedules, unofficial transcripts, and academic worksheets.  Much of this information can be reviewed by students via Penn InTouch.

Further information on the Confidentiality of Student Records can be found in the Pennbook.

 

University Policy on Secular and Religious Holidays

1. The University recognizes/observes the following secular holidays: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Memorial Day, July 4, Thanksgiving and the day after, Labor Day, and New Year’s Day.

2. The University also recognizes that there are several religious holidays that affect large numbers of University community members, including Christmas, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, the first two days of Passover, and Good Friday. In consideration of their significance for many students, no examinations may be given and no assigned work may be required on these days. Students who observe these holidays will be given an opportunity to make up missed work in both laboratories and lecture courses. If an examination is given on the first class day after one of these holidays, it must not cover material introduced in class on that holiday.

Faculty should realize that Jewish holidays begin at sundown on the evening before the published date of the holiday. Late afternoon exams should be avoided on these days. Also, no examinations may be held on Saturdays or Sundays in the undergraduate schools unless they are also available on other days. Nor should seminars or other regular classes be scheduled on Saturdays or Sundays unless they are also available at other times.

3. The University recognizes that there are other holidays, both religious and secular, which are of importance to some individuals and groups on campus. Such occasions include, but are not limited to, Sukkot, the last two days of Passover, Shavuot, Shemini Atzerat and Simchat Torah, as well as Chinese New Year, the Muslim New Year, Diwali, and the Islamic holidays Eid Al-Fitr and Eid Al-Adha. Students who wish to observe such holidays must inform their instructors within the first two weeks of each semester of their intent to observe the holiday even when the exact date of the holiday will not be known until later so that alternative arrangements convenient to both students and faculty can be made at the earliest opportunity. Students who make such arrangements will not be required to attend classes or take examinations on the designated days, and faculty must provide reasonable opportunities for such students to make up missed work and examinations. For this reason it is desirable that faculty inform students of all examination dates at the start of each semester. Exceptions to the requirement of a make-up examination must be approved in advance by the undergraduate dean of the school in which the course is offered.

(Source: Almanac, August 30, 2016, Volume 63, No. 03)

Policy on Secular and Religious Holidays