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The adjudication process must be managed to ensure all participants receive a fair, impartial, and unbiased experience that allows the Hearing Panel members to gather information necessary to make a decision regarding responsibility for the alleged violations in the case. During the adjudication process, all participants must adhere to the following expectations and the adjudication procedures in the OEO Formal Complaint Investigation Procedures and the OEO Hearing Panel Protocols.

General Expectations

Advisor of Choice or Support Person for any party in the OEO Hearing Panel (if applicable) must:

  • Listen respectfully to the individual speaking without interruption.
  • Wait to begin speaking until addressed by the Chair, if applicable.
  • Avoid speaking over other participants.
  • Use respectful language that is not demeaning, derogatory, or disrespectful.
  • Avoid raising their voices.
  • Remain seated in their predetermined locations. If participation is virtual, remain on mute.
  • Refrain from making distracting or offensive gestures (e.g. rolling eyes, throwing arms in the air, etc.) or audible reactions (e.g. scoffing, speaking under the breath, etc.).
  • For questions about the Rules of Decorum or adjudication procedures, a participant should request a break to consult with the Hearing Panel Chair.


Additional Expectations for Advisor of Choice or Support Persons

In the Hearing Panel, an Advisor of Choice or Support Person may:

  • Not communicate for or speak on behalf of the party; the Complainant and Respondent (if applicable) must present their statements or information themselves.
  • Consult with the party on how to present their statements or information by whispering, providing notes, sending messages via electronic communication, or taking notes as long as it does not disrupt the adjudication of the case.
  • Provide support by taking breaks with or requesting breaks on behalf of the party they are accompanying.


Violation of Expectations & Adjudication Procedures

Determination regarding a participant’s violation of one of these expectations lies with the Hearing Panel Chair. If a participant violates an expectation of the Rules of Decorum or the adjudication procedures outlined in the OEO Hearing Panel Adjudication process, the Hearing Panel Chair will issue a verbal warning, identifying the expectation violated and how it was violated. This notice will be noted.


Should a participant continue to violate these expectations or adjudication procedures, the Hearing Panel Chair will immediately call for a break. During the break, the Board Chair will address the problematic behavior directly. If the participant refuses to comply with the Hearing Panel Chair’s warning or causes additional problems, the Hearing Panel Chair may decide to take one or more of the following actions:

  • Implement other methods to address the problematic behavior, as determined by the Hearing Panel Chair, that allows the case to continue in a fair manner for all participants.
  • Remove the participant from the OEO Hearing Panel Adjudication. If a participant is removed, the case will proceed in their absence and the Hearing Panel Members will make a determination in the case based on all of the available information, including any information shared after the participant’s removal.
  • End the OEO Hearing Panel Adjudication and potentially reconvene at a later date, at the discretion of the OEO or designee.
  • If the removed participant is the Complainant or Respondent (if applicable), participants may receive an alleged policy violation(s) for their behavior if they meet the definition of a JMU student as listed in the Student Handbook.

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