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, Case Administrators, Board Members, 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/Respondent received 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 participants 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 email notification of alleged policy violation(s) was sent to the Responding Party/Respondent.

  • 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 email notification of alleged policy violation(s) was sent to the Responding Party/Respondent.

  • 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 email notification of alleged policy violation(s) was sent to the Responding Party/Respondent.

  • 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 email notification of alleged policy violation(s) was sent to the Responding Party/Respondent.

  • When applicable, disciplinary decisions made by the University Honor Council, University Policy 1324 process, 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

  • Conduct that is prohibited by local, state, or federal law that affects the university’s pursuit of its educational mission

  • Multiple violations of policies in one incident

  • Multiple prohibited substances in the same incident

  • A hospital visit due to alcohol and/or drug use

  • 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 - 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 – Refusing transport to the hospital if deemed necessary by a Law Enforcement Officer and/or Medical Personnel

  • Multiple prohibited substances in the same incident

  • Drugs - Driving Under the Influence

  • Drugs - Refusing transport to the hospital if deemed necessary by a Law Enforcement Officer and/or Medical Personnel

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

  • Drugs - Felony Possession of Marijuana or other Drugs

  • Harassment

  • Hazing

  • Interference or Retaliation in a University Process

  • Sexual Misconduct

  • Physical Force or Attempted Physical Force

  • Prohibited Conduct

  • Title IX Sexual Harassment

  • Weapons

 Flexible Policy Violations

  • Alcohol

  • Alcohol – Intoxication in Public

  • Alcohol – Hospital visit relating to alcohol consumption

  • Camping or Shelter Construction

  • Campus Election Rules

  • Dangerous Practices

  • Damage, Attempted Damage, or Vandalism of Property

  • Disorderly Conduct

  • Drugs – Hospital visit relating to drug consumption

  • 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, Attempted Theft, or Possession of Stolen Items

  • Trespassing

  • Unauthorized Use, Possession, or Transfer of Item(s)

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.

 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. A $50 fine may be assigned for failing to attend or complete the requirements of this program, which will be due upon receipt of invoice. See the “Fines” section for more detail.

Moving Forward

Moving Forward is designed for students who have violated the university Sexual Misconduct and/or Title IX Sexual Harassment policies, who are not suspended from the university, or who have been suspended and complete the program upon return. This is a 15 hour process involving regular meetings with a faculty/staff facilitator for in-depth discussions and reflection activities guided by a workbook. The student will also be required to submit a two-page reflection paper. A $50 fine may be assigned for failing to attend or complete the requirements of this program, which will be due upon receipt of invoice. See the “Fines” section for more detail.

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 fine may be assigned for failing to attend or complete the requirements of this program, which will be due upon receipt of invoice. See the “Fines” section for more detail.

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 fine may be assigned for failing to attend or complete the requirements of this program, which will be due upon receipt of invoice. See the “Fines” section for more detail.

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 fine may be assigned for failing to attend or complete the requirements of this program, which will be due upon receipt of invoice. See the “Fines” section for more detail.

Wellness Coaching – Substance Misuse

University Recreation “UREC” coordinates Wellness Coaching with a focus on substance misuse. This program is designed to help students explore their expectations around alcohol, cannabis and/or other substances as well as the potential risks. Wellness Coaching with a focus on substance misuse is comprised of up to two 50-minute sessions with a specialized program facilitator. During these sessions, students may take a self-evaluation that provides the comprehensive feedback and an opportunity to discuss and process. Wellness Coaching is an empathic, confidential, and non-judgmental service open to all JMU students. Wellness Coaching with a focus on substance misuse is not an addiction treatment program. Referral to appropriate community resources is available. 

 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. A $50 fine may be assigned for failing to attend or complete the requirements of this program, which will be due upon receipt of invoice. See the “Fines” section for more detail.

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. A $50 fine may be assigned for failing to attend or complete the requirements of this program, which will be due upon receipt of invoice. See the “Fines” section for more detail.

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. A $50 fine may be assigned for failing to attend or complete the requirements of this program, which will be due upon receipt of invoice. See the “Fines” section for more detail.

 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 $25 and no greater than $100. To evaluate the amount of a fine, OSARP will consider a variety of factors, including but not limited to: the severity of the infraction; the student’s previous history and sanctions in OSARP; whether the student failed to complete previously assigned sanctions. Typically, if a student is found responsible for Failure to Comply with a Disciplinary Decision after failing to complete a sanctioned program in OSARP, a $50 fine will be sanctioned. More than one $50 fine can be sanctioned if the student failed to complete multiple sanctioned programs in OSARP. 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.

 Conditional Sanctions

Conditional sanctions are statements provided by OSARP to students about what may or what will occur if they are found responsible for a particular policy violation(s) in the future. For example, a student who has already received two strikes for minor violations may have a conditional sanction provided by OSARP that states the following: “Outcomes may include suspension or expulsion from JMU if you are found responsible, in a future case, for another violation of the Alcohol or Drug policy.” 

 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 period, a suspended student may not be enrolled in JMU classes, enter or live in JMU residence halls, or enter property owned or leased by JMU 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 until the Accountability Process is concluded. 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 JMU and may not 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, Sexual Misconduct, or Title IX Sexual Harassment the Reporting Party/Complainant in the case will be informed when the Responding Party/Respondent re-enrolls at JMU if the Reporting Party/Complainant 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 in which the student was enrolled, 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

Returning to Campus after a Suspension:

Expelled students are not permitted to re-enroll at JMU or return to campus. Suspended students can return to campus provided their suspension period has been completed. In order to return, students will need to follow and complete the Re-entry process found here:  https://www.jmu.edu/registrar/students/Reentry.shtml 

 Expulsion

The student is permanently separated from the university. A student who is expelled may never be enrolled in JMU classes, enter or live in JMU residence halls, or enter property owned or leased by JMU 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 until the Accountability Process is concluded. 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.

Other Case Outcomes

 Comments

OSARP Case Administrators or Boards may provide comments as a part of the case outcome to provide recommendations or other information to the student. For example, a comment may read, “Student completed court requirements of ASAP and 50 service hours related to this case”. 

 Reminders

OSARP Case Administrators or Boards may provide reminders as a part of the case outcome to provide emphasize a task to the student. For example, a reminder may read, “Reminder to complete the Values in Action program from a previous case.” 

 Remedies

For Title IX Sexual Harassment cases, OSARP may provide remedies as part of a case outcome. Remedies are measures implemented after a finding of responsibility that are designed to restore or preserve equal access to the university's education program or activity for the Complainant and may include the same individualized services described as supportive measures. 

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