Penn State Suspends 117 Students for Not Complying with COVID-19 Testing Requirements

Penn State Students at University Park who are subject to required weekly COVID-19 testing and who have missed at least three weeks of testing have been notified by Penn State that they are out of compliance with the University’s health and safety policies and have been placed on interim suspension through the Office of Student Conduct.

To date, 117 students at University Park have been placed on interim suspension for their failure to properly comply with Penn State’s weekly COVID-19 testing requirement.

Students on interim suspension may not participate in classes, in-person or remotely; are not allowed on University property; and may not attend any Penn State-sponsored events, programs and activities, including football games. On-campus students on interim suspension also are temporarily removed from their residence hall assignment.

Students who have not shared with the University that they are fully vaccinated have received weekly emails instructing them to complete the required testing. In addition, students who missed two weeks of tests had a registration hold placed on their records, which prohibits them from registering for future courses. Last week, to keep as many students as possible from being placed on interim suspension, University staff called every student who had three missed tests at their phone number on record to assist with any issues the students might be experiencing. These efforts brought several hundred students into compliance.

“It’s important that both students and employees comply with our testing requirement, and we have done everything we reasonably can to ensure that these students are aware of their obligation and do what they must to honor it,” said Damon Sims, vice president for Student Affairs. “The last thing we want is to suspend them. I’m sorry these students did not follow our repeated admonitions and warnings, and I hope they will make the correction necessary. Others should not repeat their mistake, and everyone who can be should be vaccinated and should upload their data to us as soon as possible.”

Before the start of the fall semester, Penn State announced that students and employees who are not vaccinated for COVID-19 and those who have not shared with the University that they are vaccinated must test weekly throughout the semester, and warned of significant consequences for those who do not comply with required testing.

Human Resources is examining employee testing data to determine the number of faculty and staff who are not in compliance.

Students who have been placed on interim suspension can request that it be rescinded after uploading proof of vaccination status or completing a COVID-19 test on campus. After completing one of those two actions, students can submit an online form to request their interim suspension to be lifted. The interim suspension is in effect until a student is explicitly notified otherwise. It is essential that a student maintain compliance should the action be rescinded. Students will be unable to have an interim suspension lifted a second time.