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Are you looking for an opportunity to give back to the JMU community? The Office of Student Accountability & Restorative Practices provides the unique opportunity for JMU faculty, staff, and students to give back in a variety of volunteer positions. If you are interested in becoming a member of the Accountability Board (for faculty, staff, graduate students, and undergraduate students) or a Mentor (for faculty, staff, and graduate students), please contact our office.

Accountability Board (for faculty, staff, graduate students, and undergraduate students)

Members of the Accountability Board act as the original decision making body for cases in which a student is charged with minor, major, or flexible policy violations as classified by the Office of Student Accountability and Restorative Practices. These panels evaluate evidence, apply policy, and weigh the perspective of the Responding Party and witnesses to determine if the Responding Party is responsible or not responsible for violating policy and, if necessary, assign sanctions for the case.

Benefits of Involvement

Being a member of the Accountability Board is a rewarding way to uphold our values and expectations at JMU. It is service to our university and our community and a way to use your voice as a member of our campus. You will interact with students in a very different role and have the opportunity to support and challenge students for their current and future success.

OSARP is more than willing to provide verification of service to the university for a Board Member; many professors applying for tenure have included their Board Membership as “service to the university.” Additionally, Accountability Board involvement can be a valuable resume-builder for students as they gain these transferable skills:

  • Listening and communication
  • Critical Thinking
  • Applying Policy
  • Weighing Evidence
  • Questioning
  • Building Consensus
Expectations & Training

Undergraduate or graduate students, exclusive of student government executive officers, are eligible to serve as a member of the Accountability Board. All students must remain in good standing with the University; students are unable to serve as Accountability Board members while on probation through OSARP.

Faculty or staff members – full-time or part-time – can become a member of the Accountability Board; faculty or staff members of the Accountability Board must not hold a position higher than head of a department or academic unit.

Anyone interested in becoming a member of the Accountability Board should consider the following expectations:

  • Open to difference, including a sensitivity and respect for others and the university community.
  • Ability to work with others and willingness to have productive conversations to build consensus.
  • Critical thinking skills and the ability to fairly evaluate conflicting facts, perspectives, and evidence.
  • Maintain strict confidentiality of all case information and student records.
  • Respect and adherence to local ordinances, state laws, federal laws, and university policies
  • Willingness to take part in assessment projects conducted by OSARP.

Failure to meet eligibility requirements or expectations listed above by a member of the Accountability Board will result in removal from the role.

New board members will complete required training prior to their first case. Training topics include:

  • The Accountability Process, Policies, and Procedures
  • Listening Skills
  • Effective Questioning
  • Evaluating and Weighing Evidence
  • Decision Making and the Preponderance of the Evidence
  • Sanctioning

This training is typically a full day and happens once a semester. New members will be informed of each opportunity.

Additional training and in-services are held during the year to continue to develop and improve skills and knowledge to help in effectively serving as a member of the Accountability Board.

Faculty and staff interested in serving on cases alleging violations of J34-100 Sexual Misconduct as part of the Sexual Misconduct Accountability Process must first be trained and serve as Accountability Board members and complete additional, annual training.

Time Commitment

Members serve on Accountability Board Case Reviews as their schedules permit; cases range in length of time depending on the amount of witnesses, the complexity of the evidence, and/or the severity of the case. While this is a flexible service opportunity, OSARP requests that Board Members provide availability to serve when they are able.

Mentor Experience (for faculty, staff, and graduate students)

The Mentor Experience program offers a unique opportunity to faculty, staff, and graduate students to work one-on-one as mentors to undergraduate students. It provides students the opportunity to develop a relationship of mutual respect and trust with their mentor. Students meet weekly with their mentor and are free to discuss any number of topics including, but not limited to:

  • Personal values
  • Life at JMU
  • Common interests
  • Time management
  • Academic and career endeavors
  • Opportunities for involvement at JMU

Students will also work with their mentor to create a personal mission statement. The mentoring pair will then identify short and long-term goals and strategies for achievement that can be implemented during the relationship as well as after the mentoring experience has concluded.

Benefits of Involvement

Most volunteers enjoy mentoring for several reasons: 

  • Helping a student receive education for breaking the code of conduct.
  • Adding mentoring to your resume.
  • It's flexible—you can serve as a mentor most of the time but take a semester break if needed.
  • Representing the university in response to student behavior.
  • Chance to see a student really grow as a person.
  • Build a relationship with a student that may continue to benefit both of you long after the completion of the program.
Training

Training as a mentor requires one full day or two half days and typically occurs once a semester. New mentors will be informed of each opportunity. Once you have completed these trainings, you are ready to be a mentor. Program updates are provided through newsletters, ongoing communication with the program coordinators, and the OSARP website.

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