Guidelines for Assigning Sanctions

 Sanctioning Guidelines

Range of Sanctions

Taking into consideration the totality of the circumstances surrounding the case and all evidence provided at the time of the Case Review or Appeal Review, the Office of Student Accountability and Restorative Practices, the Accountability Board, Sexual Misconduct Board, Appeal Board, or the University Case Administrator may assign any sanction listed in the Types of Sanctions section of the Student Handbook. Suspension or expulsion from the university may only be assigned if the case was deemed eligible for that potential outcome when the Responding Party received the email notification of the alleged violation(s).

Guidelines for Assigning Sanctions

To maintain fairness and consistency in the assignment of sanctions for policy violation(s), policy violation(s) have been classified as either major, minor, or flexible. Depending on the severity of the incident, a flexible violation can be classified as major or minor. Typically, major violations will carry more severe sanctions than solely a minor violation. A student’s violation(s) will be classified as either major, flexible, or minor by OSARP.

To balance consistency and fairness in sanctioning, guidelines have been developed as a starting point for Case Administrators, Board Members, and University Case Administrators to consider when determining sanctioning for a student found responsible for a first time violation. However, the totality of the evidence, the severity of the incident, previous case history, and the perspectives of the students involved may result in the severity of the sanction being higher or lower than the guidelines listed below. Case Administrators, Board Members, or University Case Administrators have the ability to increase or decrease the severity of the sanction when making a decision in a case; however, suspension or expulsion from the university may only be assigned if the case was deemed eligible for that potential outcome when the notification of alleged policy violation(s) was sent to the Responding Party.

  • Sanctions resulting from first time minor policy violations typically include disciplinary probation and educational programs

  • Sanctions resulting from first time major policy violations can include probation, educational programs, fines, special assignments, special restrictions, and removal from housing. Suspension or expulsion from the university may be an outcome of first-time major policy violations if the case was deemed eligible for that potential outcome when the notification of alleged policy violation(s) was sent to the Responding Party.

  • Sanctions resulting from first time flexible policy violations when classified as minor typically include disciplinary probation and educational programs.

  • Sanctions resulting from first time flexible policy violations when classified as major can include probation, educational programs, fines, special assignments, special restrictions, and removal from housing. Suspension or expulsion from the university may be an outcome of first-time flexible policy violations when classified as major if the case was deemed eligible for that potential outcome when the notification of alleged policy violation(s) was sent to the Responding Party.

  • Sanctions resulting from cases not representing a first-time minor, major, or flexible policy violation(s) can include probation, educational programs, fines, special assignments, special restrictions, and removal from housing. Suspension or expulsion from the university may be an outcome of cases not representing a first-time minor, major, or flexible policy violation(s) if the case was deemed eligible for that potential outcome when the notification of alleged policy violation(s) was sent to the Responding Party. 

  • When applicable, disciplinary decisions made by the University Honor Council and a Case Administrator, Board Members, or University Case Administrators will occur concurrently.

Assigning Sanctions for Minor, Major, and Flexible Policy Violations

Refer to the Guidelines for Assignment of Sanctions section to see if a violation is classified major, minor or flexible.

Additionally, cases may be considered major violations when they include any of the following circumstances:

  • Repeated violations of any policies

  • Prosecution in criminal courts that affect the university’s pursuit of its educational mission

  • Multiple violations of policies in one incident

  • An incident involving both alcohol and drugs

  • Hospitalization due to alcohol/drug use/abuse

  • Severity of the impact on the individual and/or community

  • Sexual misconduct 

  • Title IX sexual harassment

 Minor Policy Violations

  • Alcohol - Underage Possession or Consumption

  • Alcohol - Drunk in Public

  • Alcohol - Open Container

  • Drugs - Misdemeanor Possession of Drugs

  • Drugs – Possession of Marijuana without intent to sell, give or distribute 

  • Littering

  • Smoking, Vaping, Tobacco, and/or Nicotine

 Major Policy Violations

  • Alcohol - Providing Alcohol to Underage

  • Alcohol - Driving Under the Influence

  • Alcohol - Hospitalization due to Alcohol

  • Alcohol and Drugs in the same incident

  • Criminal Conduct

  • 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

  • Harassment, Bullying, and/or Stalking

  • Hazing

  • Interference or Retaliation in a University Process

  • Sexual Misconduct

  • Physical Force or Attempted Physical Force

  • Title IX Sexual Harassment

  • Weapons

 Flexible Policy Violations

  • Alcohol

  • Camping or Shelter Construction

  • Campus Election Rules

  • Dangerous Practices

  • Damage, Attempted Damage, or Vandalism of Property

  • Disorderly Conduct

  • Drugs - Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

  • Failure to Comply with a Disciplinary Decision

  • Falsification of Information

  • Fire Safety

  • Gambling

  • Noncompliance 

  • Misuse of Technology

  • Obscene Conduct

  • Responsibility for Guests

  • Soliciting, Petitioning, Selling, Surveying, & Publicizing

  • Theft or Possession of Stolen Property

  • Trespassing

  • Unauthorized Use or Transfer of Property or Documents

 

Types of Sanctions

 Overview Statement

Any student found responsible for violating any of the regulations or policies of JMU may be subject to one or more of the following sanctions.

NOTE: University departments may also consider a student's case history in OSARP, if they receive permission for access from the student, for the purpose of university employment or for admission into experiences including but not limited to certain academic programs, supplemental learning opportunities, or studies abroad.

 Completion of Sanctions Required by the Courts

A sanction indicating that OSARP expects that the student meet or complete any and all requirements assigned as the result of decisions made in the criminal or civil court process. Failure to meet any such requirements may be grounds for additional alleged policy violation(s) in OSARP.

 Disciplinary Probation

The university reserves the right to impose a more severe sanction if the student is found responsible for violating an additional university policy while on disciplinary probation. 

 Educational Programs

Education provided by OSARP on a specific topic relevant to the student and/or case. Educational programs may include, but are not limited to:

Mentor Experience

This program is used for students who have violated university policy and lack a personal understanding of their mission, values, and goals. Through participation in one-on-one meetings with a faculty, staff, or graduate student mentor, students develop a relationship of mutual respect and trust. The Mentor Experience includes attendance at 8, 10, 12, or 15 hour mentor meetings and submission of a final reflection paper.

Values in Action

This 3 hour program encourages participants to explore their personal values, act with integrity, and practice ethical decision-making.  In addition, students are challenged to set personal goals for increased positive community engagement.  This program was designed for students whose actions in a particular incident may not have been in line with their personal values or the values of the institution. A $50 fee will be due upon completion of the program and receipt of invoice.

 Substance Education Programs

By the Numbers

This two-hour program examines the reason for the establishment of community standards. An overview of VA laws and university policies is given. Students discuss personal values, community resources, and risk-reduction strategies for avoiding negative consequences of alcohol use. This short course was designed for minor alcohol violations. A $50 fee will be due upon completion of the program and receipt of invoice.

Calling the Shots

This three-week, 6 hour, program guides students towards making future decisions more consistent with their values and in compliance with the law. Harrisonburg and/or JMU police participate in this program to answer students' questions and address risk-reduction strategies. This program was designed for students who violated alcohol policy. A $50 fee will be due upon completion of the program and receipt of invoice.

Reflections Alcohol Intervention Program

The University Health Center, “The Well”, coordinates Reflections. This program is designed to help students explore their expectations around alcohol as well as the potential risks. Reflections is comprised of two 50-minute sessions with a specialized program facilitator. During the first session, students take an alcohol self-evaluation that presents the student with a comprehensive feedback report that is provided during the second session. Reflections is an empathic, confidential, and non-judgmental program open to all JMU students. Reflections is not an addiction treatment program. Referral to appropriate community resources is available. Failure to attend a scheduled appointment with the University Health Center for Reflections will result in a $25 fine.

Reflections Cannabis Intervention Program

The University Health Center, “The Well”, coordinates Reflections. This program is designed to help students explore their expectations around cannabis as well as the potential risks. Reflections is comprised of two 50-minute sessions with a specialized program facilitator. During the first session, students take a cannabis self-evaluation that presents the student with a comprehensive feedback report that is provided during the second session. Reflections is an empathic, confidential, and non-judgmental program open to all JMU students. Reflections is not an addiction treatment program. Referral to appropriate community resources is available. Failure to attend a scheduled appointment with the University Health Center for Reflections will result in a $25 fine.

University Health Center (UHC) Consultation

The University Health Center, “The Well”, facilitates the UHC Consultations. A consultation session may be mandated for students who have been found responsible for violating JMU drug policy in an incident involving a substance other than alcohol or marijuana. A consultation session is no longer than 50 minutes. Students will explore their expectations around substances as well as the potential risks. Referral to appropriate community resources will be provided. A consultation is an empathic, confidential, and non-judgmental session available to all JMU students. This is not an addiction treatment program. Failure to attend a scheduled appointment with the University Health Center for a consultation will result in a $25 fine.

 Restorative Practices

Conversations about Conflict

Conversations about Conflict is a one session, 2-hour program. It is meant for students to reflect on how they deal with conflict in their relationships with friends, roommates, family members, professors, university staff, strangers, and even themselves.  Through this one-on-one workshop, students will be given the opportunity to assess their own conflict style, discuss how their community is impacted by conflict, and develop skills for future engagement in conflict.  Upon completion of the workshop, students submit a reflection paper.  

Restorative Circle 

OSARP may sanction directly to a Restorative Circle that is focused on a specific topic for students who have been found responsible for similar types of policy violations (e.g. DUI circle). This specific Restorative Circle involves all parties coming together to share their perspective and learn more about harms created, effects of harms, and ways to repair the harms on the specified topic. Participants assigned to participate in a circle should plan to be there for about 2 hours and will participate with 4 or more other individuals. Additionally, an intake appointment prior to the circle process is a requirement for a restorative circle. In a circle process, participants are encouraged to be open and honest about their perspectives about the conflict, how they have been harmed, how they think others might have been harmed, and to come up with their own solutions on how to fix the harm created. These solutions may result in a written formal agreement which the Responding Party agrees to complete as a result of the Restorative Circle sanction. Often, support persons and community members can also be present to provide their input as well.   

Restorative Intake and Outcomes 

When a situation creates harms experienced by others and there is a need for the Responding Party to repair the harms created by their conduct, they may be required to complete an intake meeting with staff members in OSARP. This intake meeting will explore the means by which the harms will be addressed based on the needs of the community and the harmed party, as well as the willingness of the harmed party to participate. The Responding Party will be expected to follow through on any outcomes stemming from the intake with the staff member including, but not limited to a facilitated dialogue, restorative conference, or a restorative circle. If the situation is not appropriate for a face-to-face process, OSARP staff may facilitate an alternative approach such as an apology letter or reflection paper.  

 Restitution

Required reimbursement by the student to the university to cover the cost of damage or loss of property. OSARP may recommend restitution to members of the university community or other appropriate parties.

 Fines

Fines shall be no less than $15 and no greater than $100, depending on the severity of the infraction. All payments are to be made to the University Business Office upon receipt of invoice.

 Removal from University Housing

The student loses the privilege of living in or visiting anyone in university housing for a specified length of time or permanently. If the student is not permanently removed from university housing, the student may reapply for university housing, provided there is space available. If the student enters a residence hall during their removal period, they will be subject to arrest for trespassing and additional alleged policy violation(s) in OSARP.

 Special Assignments/Restrictions

In certain cases, special assignments or restrictions may be imposed as a sanction.  These may include, but are not limited to:

  • Removal or restriction of a student’s parking privileges.

  • Removal or restriction of a student’s privilege of attending athletic events.

  • Removal or restriction of a student’s ability to use specific campus facilities or other student privileges.

  • Removal or restriction of eligibility for extracurricular activities

  • Requiring a student to have no direct or indirect contact with the Reporting Party of the violation(s) a Responding Party is found responsible for, including but not limited to verbal or nonverbal contact in person, through electronic means, or through a third party. Failure to comply or noncompliance with this restriction can result in additional violations and immediate suspension.

  • No trespassing on the JMU Campus for a defined period of time. Failure to comply with this restriction can result in additional violations and criminal trespassing charges.

 Suspension

The student is dismissed from JMU for a specified length of time, after which they are allowed to return to the university. During their suspension, a suspended student may not attend classes, enter or live in residence halls, or enter property owned or leased by James Madison University without permission from Director of OSARP or designee. If a student withdraws from JMU prior to the conclusion of the Accountability Process but after a Case Administrator or University Case Administrator has informed the student of their decision to suspend the student, the terms of the suspension remain in place and the student may not attend classes, enter or live in residence halls, or enter property owned or leased by James Madison University without permission from Director of OSARP or designee. If the student does come to the campus during their suspension, they will be subject to arrest for trespassing and additional alleged policy violation(s) in OSARP. Suspended students may not serve as volunteers for or be employed by JMU, may not function as a member of, leader of, or volunteer for a Club or Organization recognized by JMU, nor attend sponsored events of a Club or Organization recognized by JMU while suspended, even if the involvement occurs off campus. If a student is suspended due to violation(s) of Physical Force or Attempted Physical Force or Sexual Misconduct, the Reporting Party in the case will be informed when the Responding Party re-enrolls at JMU if the Reporting Party is enrolled at that time.  

For any student who receives an immediate suspension or expulsion, regardless of academic year, the immediate suspension or expulsion will be deemed effective for the most recent semester the student attended, which may mean a loss of academic credits for that semester. Further, after a final decision in the case has been rendered, the effective date of an immediate suspension will be the date of the initial Case Review. The campus ban associated with a decision of immediate suspension does not go into effect until the decision in the case is final, unless the Responding Party is under an Interim Suspension Status or Sexual Misconduct Interim Suspension Status that provides for this ban until the final decision in the case.

Students seeking to return to JMU following a suspension must submit Undergraduate re-entry forms to the Office of the Registrar. The deadlines for submission of these forms are typically several months before the start of the semester in which the student is planning to return. For information relevant to re-entry, suspended students are encouraged to refer to the Academic Student Services website at jmu.edu/acstudserv/reentry.shtml.  

  • Absence from JMU for less than 2 years: Degree-seeking undergraduate students who have at least one graded semester (including withdrawals), left JMU with a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher, and less than two years have passed since the last graded semester (including withdrawals) must complete an Intent to Enroll Form (available from the Office of the Registrar jmu.edu/registrar). Communication will come from the Office of the Registrar regarding re-entry. If the students’ cumulative GPA is lower than 2.0 and less than two years have passed since the last graded semester (including withdrawals), complete the Intent to Enroll Form and attach a personal statement prior to submission. Communication will come from Academic Student Services regarding re-entry.   

  • Absence from JMU for 2 years or greater: Degree-seeking undergraduate students who have at least one graded semester (including withdrawals) and have been absent from JMU for at least two years/24 months since the last graded semester (including withdrawals) must complete the Undergraduate Re-Entry Form to return to JMU. 

 Expulsion

The student is permanently separated from the university. A student who is expelled may never attend classes, enter or live in residence halls, or enter property owned or leased by James Madison University, or be employed to work on campus without permission from Director of OSARP or designee. If a student withdraws from JMU prior to the conclusion of the Accountability Process but after a Case Administrator or University Case Administrator has informed the student of their decision to expel the student, the terms of the expulsion remain in place and the student may not attend classes, enter or live in residence halls, or enter property owned or leased by James Madison University without permission from Director of OSARP or designee. If the student does come to the campus, they will be subject to arrest for trespassing.

For any student who receives an immediate suspension or expulsion, regardless of academic year, the immediate suspension or expulsion will be deemed effective for the most recent semester the student attended, which may mean a loss of academic credits for that semester. Further, after a final decision in the case has been rendered, the effective date of an immediate expulsion will be the date of the initial Case Review. The campus ban associated with a decision of immediate expulsion does not go into effect until the decision in the case is final, unless the Responding Party is under an Interim Suspension Status or Sexual Misconduct Interim Suspension Status that provides for this ban until the final decision in the case.

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