The University provides a multitude of resources for reporting inappropriate conduct, ranging from the Employee Assistance Program to the Office of the Ombuds. Incidents can also be filed through the Bias Incident Reporting Form, or students, faculty, and staff can go directly to resources that might be more specific to their needs.
Below are selected campus resource offices available and a brief overview of their functions and services.
Associate Vice President For Equity and Title IX Officer
The Office of the Associate Vice President for Equity and Title IX Officer oversees the investigation, and when appropriate informal resolution, of complaints against Penn faculty, staff and enrolled students that allege a violation of the University’s Sexual Misconduct Policy. The University’s Sexual Misconduct Policy prohibits sexual harassment, sexual violence, relationship violence, stalking, and inappropriate consensual romantic relationships. The Policy also prohibits retaliation against faculty, students, or staff who report having experienced, observed, or received complaints that allege violations of this Policy. The Office collaborates with other resource offices to provide education and training for members of the Penn community to aid in efforts to prevent and respond to complaints and concerns.
Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Programs
The Office is responsible for supporting the University aspirations of creating a respectful and inclusive living, learning, and working community. In addition to educational programming, the Office responds to complaints and concerns related to discrimination based on race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, national or ethnic origin, citizenship status, age, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected class. The Office also oversees the provision of reasonable accommodations for faculty and staff with disabilities and authorizes use of the Penn Accessible Transit van. Members of the Penn community may contact the Office (215-898-6993) to discuss their concerns or submit a written complaint using this form.
Student Intervention Services
Student Intervention Services (SIS) provides advocacy and support for students as they are in distress, identifying options for addressing complaints and resources to help with the impact of students' distress. For students, SIS is often the first point of contact and offers in-person and virtual meetings. SIS staff can help students connect with counseling services and advisors who can provide academic support when a crisis affects students' academic work. SIS has five full-time staff in addition to its director.
Penn was one of the first universities to set up an office specifically to support students in crises, distress, and critical incidents, and is often described as the University’s “quarterback” for finding students the appropriate avenue for further action. SIS supports undergraduate and graduate students in all schools and is connected to all resources on campus.
Special Services, a department within the Division of Public Safety, offers confidential and comprehensive support and advocacy for any member of the University community (student, faculty, and staff) if they experience any type of crime or incident of harm including incidents of bias, misconduct, and harassment. Special Services has highly trained personnel on call 24-hours a day who offer immediate assistance, including crisis intervention, accompaniment to legal and medical proceedings, options counseling and advocacy, and linkages to other University and community resources as well as city, state, and federal resources.
The Special Services team also responds to critical incidents to address and alleviate individual and community distress and partners with relevant support offices like Student Counseling and the Employee Assistance Program.
Finally, Special Services is among the first recipients and responders to any reports of online harassment made through the University’s Online Harassment Resource Page, and the team works closely with the offices who receive reports of Sexual Misconduct, Bias Incidents, Student Misconduct, and Complaints of Discrimination or Harassment.
The Office of Audit, Compliance, and Privacy operates the 215-P-COMPLY Compliance Hotline, a confidential and anonymous reporting and help line. Members of the Penn community may call the Hotline or use a web form to file a report related to violations of Penn policies or legal responsibilities, including, but not limited to, discrimination, conflicts of interest, sexual misconduct, and research misconduct. The Office then reviews the report and may assign it, as necessary, to the appropriate Penn office for further review and investigation, which may include the Division of Human Resources, a school, or school official such as the Title IX officer.
The Hotline, used for both the University and the University of Pennsylvania Health System, does not have Caller ID and complainants are not required to offer their name when speaking. For Web reports, users are given a code for reference upon filing the report. Reporting aids in strengthening compliance at Penn.
Restorative Practices @ Penn
Students, staff, and faculty can elect to resolve conflict through Restorative Practices @ Penn (RP@P), under the Center for Community Standards and Accountability (previously the Office of Student Conduct). RP@P is based on a core set of values that believe everyone has value; that healing, accountability, and community are of central importance and are interconnected; and that a person’s healing is not contingent on another person’s actions or inactions. After completing a private intake conversation, a facilitator can be called upon to help establish what the needs are of the parties involved and what a process looks like to ensure harm does not occur again. This is also intended as a process of reflection.
Students can also refer to various Cultural Resource Centers or the Office of the University Chaplain for support as well as Student Health and Counseling. Students can call 215-746-WELL for more information or to schedule an appointment with Student Health and Counseling. Tailored support is available for international students.
Penn affiliates experiencing an emergency should call Penn Police at 215-573-3333 or 511 from a campus phone.