How Off-Campus Misconduct Can Have Consequences

Penn State has a primary duty regarding behavior on its premises, but there are many circumstances where the off-campus behavior of University students or student organizations is considered of “Substantial University Interest” and may warrant conduct action.

Penn State expects students and organizations to conduct themselves in accordance with the law. Off-campus student or student organization behavior that may have violated any local, state, or federal law, or that yields a complaint from others alleging violations of the law or the Code of Conduct, will be reviewed by the University. The Office of Student Conduct receives referrals from the local authorities about Penn State World Campus student behavior related to actions such as disorderly conduct, public drunkenness, DUI, harassment, and drug possession.

Upon receipt of a complaint alleging off-campus student misconduct, the senior director or their designee will review the allegations to determine the appropriate course of action by the University.

Student or student organization conduct committed off campus that affects a Substantial University Interest is behavior that:

  1. constitutes a violation of local, state, or federal law
  2. indicates that the student or student organization may present a danger or threat to the health or safety of themselves or others
  3. significantly impinges on the rights, property, or achievements of self or others or significantly breaches the peace and/or causes social disorder
  4. is detrimental to the educational interests of the University

Any off-campus behavior that affects a Substantial University Interest and violates the Code of Conduct is subject to conduct action following standard University procedures.

As a Penn State student, it is important to familiarize yourself with the Code of Conduct and use it to form your everyday decision-making, both in and out of the classroom.

Learn more about the Penn State Code of Conduct, and take the Know the Code quiz to test your knowledge. After you take the quiz, send a screenshot of your certificate of completion to; you will be entered into a drawing to win a t-shirt.