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For more information, see our Parent/Guardian section.

Can a parent/guardian be involved in the Accountability Process?

Administrative Case Reviews are one-on-one meetings with a Case Administrator in OSARP: third parties, including parents/guardians, are not permitted to be a part of these meetings. At an Accountability Board Case Review, a Responding Party’s parents/guardians can provide information as a witness in the case. Guidelines for Support Persons and Attorneys apply to parents/guardians; if a parent/guardian does not meet those guidelines, they may not serve in that capacity. Further guidelines apply to witnesses in the Sexual Misconduct Accountability Process

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What policies should my student be aware of?

It is your student's responsibility to know and obey federal, state, and local laws in addition to the policies listed in the Student Handbook. The Student Handbook can be accessed online at

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What happens if my student receives notice of an alleged policy violation?

If OSARP receives a report that contains information that shows a student may have violated policy, the student is notified of the alleged policy violation via a student's JMU email. The Accountability Process is used to determine whether or not the student violated policy based on a preponderance of the evidence standard. The Accountability Process is outlined in the Student Handbook

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Where does the university get information regarding an alleged policy violation?

OSARP most frequently recieves information regarding alleged policy violation(s) from Campus Police, Residence Life, Parking Services, the Harrisonburg/Rockingham Court System and faculty members. Students can also directly report violations to the Office of Student Accountability and Restorative Practices. All resports received are reviewed by a Case Manager who determines if there is any evidence that a policy may have been violated. If there is any evidence that a policy may have been violated, an email is sent to the student's JMU email address indicating the alleged policy violation(s) and requesting a meeting with the student so that they may share their perspective on the alleged incident.

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Will I be notified if my student receives notice of an alleged policy violation?

The Family Educational Rights to Privacy Act (FERPA) prevents OSARP from disclosing information to parents/guardians unless the alleged policy violation is related to alcohol or drugs while a student is under the age of 21; in which case the parents/guardians will be notified of the violation(s).

Therefore, parents/guardians are only notified by the Office of Student Accountability and Restorative Practices for students under 21 who are found responsible for alcohol and/or drug violations. For on-campus cases (i.e. Residence Life and/or JMU Police case), this notification occurs at the conclusion of the Accountability Process if the student is found responsible for violating the Alcohol or Drug policy. For off-campus cases (i.e. Harrisonburg Police Officer), this notification occurs when a student is arrested or receives a citation related to alcohol or drugs. If your student receives notice of any alleged policy violation(s), we may discuss the case with you if your student signs a FERPA waiver form. We encourage you to talk to your student directly regarding any alleged policy violation(s).

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What constitutes a major or minor alcohol/drug violation?

Major violations include, but are not limited to:

  • Alcohol - Providing Alcohol to Underage

  • Alcohol - Driving Under the Influence

  • Alcohol - Hospitalization due to Alcohol

  • Alcohol and Drugs in the same incident

  • Drugs - Driving Under the Influence

  • Drugs - Hospitalization due to Drugs

  • Drugs - Selling, Providing to Another, or Distribution of Drugs or Drug Paraphernalia

  • Drugs - Felony Possession of Marijuana or other Drugs

Minor violations include, but are not limited to:

  • Alcohol - Open Container

  • Alchohol - Underage Possession

  • Alcohol - Drunk in Public

  • Drugs - Misdemeanor Possession of Marijuana


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What are my student’s rights in the Accountability Process?

The Student Handbook outlines the rights afforded to students participating in the Accountability Process as a Responding Party, Reporting Party, or as a Witness.

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My student experienced something committed by another JMU student. What should they do?

The Office of Student Accountability and Restorative Practices can pursue alleged policy violation(s) for student behavior that violates policies listed in the Student Standards of Conduct section of the Handbook. A staff member in OSARP can meet with any student and explain the options available for those reporting alleged violation(s); your student is able to choose the options that best meet their needs. Students are encouraged to report criminal behavior they experience to law enforcement. Students who want to report allegations of behavior that violates JMU Policy J34-10 Sexual Misconduct should contact the Title IX Office.

Students who have experienced a sexual assualt should talk with the Title IX Office, the JMU Police, and/or a confidential resource in the University Health Center or Counseling Center.

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If the incident occurs off-campus, will JMU get involved?

James Madison University reserves the right to hold students accountable for off-campus behavior that falls within the jurisdiction of the University. Alcohol violations, drug violations, and felonies that occur in the City of Harrisonburg or Rockingham County will be addressed by the Office of Student Accountability and Restorative Practices in accordance with university policies and procedures. Student behavior that is against the mission of the institution, including felonies or sexual misconduct, may be addressed by the Office of Student Accountability and Restorative Practices regardless of the location in which it occurred.

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How are sanctions determined?

Sanctions are determined based on the totality of the evidence, severity of the incident, previous case history, and the perspective(s) of the student(s) involved on the policy violation(s), and the guidelines listed in the Student Handbook.

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What are the “Big Four” alcohol and drug strategies?

These strategies include:

  1. Three Strikes
  2. Parental/Guardian Notification
  3. Off-Campus Adjudication
  4. Enlightened Citizen Amnesty Process

A complete description of these strategies can be found in the Student Handbook at

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My student was placed on probation. What does that mean?

Probation is a period where the student may be given a more significant sanction if found responsible for additional violations while on probation. Probation is not reflected on a student’s transcript, nor are students placed on any additional restrictions as a function of the probation period.


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