The information contained in this section of the handbook is only applicable for those participating in the Sexual Misconduct Accountability Process as a result of alleged violation(s) of the Sexual Misconduct policy. For cases not alleging a violation of the Sexual Misconduct policy, see the “Accountability Process or “Title IX Sexual Harassment Adjudication Process section within this Handbook. 

Sexual Misconduct Accountability Process: Participants' Roles, Rights, and Restrictions

 Responding & Reporting Party - Responsibilities and Rights - Sexual Misconduct

Procedural Responsibilities of the Office of Student Accountability and Restorative Practices  

  1. OSARP will provide a fair and impartial process with unbiased decision-makers that presumes the Responding Party not responsible for violating policy.  

  2. OSARP will use a preponderance of the evidence standard to determine if a Responding Party is responsible for violating policy.  

  3. OSARP will notify the Reporting Party of the outcomes of the case related to the alleged violation(s) of the Sexual Misconduct policy 

Rights Granted in the Sexual Misconduct Accountability Process  

Responding Parties and Reporting Parties in the Sexual Misconduct Accountability Process have the following rights:  

  1. The right to receive notification of the alleged violation(s) of the Sexual Misconduct policy and the behavior(s) leading to those alleged policy violation(s) via their official JMU email address . 

  2. The right to be notified of the date, time, and location of the Sexual Misconduct Case Review and Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review, if applicable, at least three days prior to the Sexual Misconduct Case Review and Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review, if applicable.  

  3. The right for a Support Person of their choice to accompany them at any meetings in OSARP, provided that Support Person’s schedule allows them to attend. A Support Person attending a Sexual Misconduct Case Review and Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review, if applicable, may not communicate for or speak on behalf of a party, but may provide support or advice on how to present their case. At the party’s request, OSARP may copy a Support Person on electronic communication pertaining to the party’s case; the Support Person must agree to adhere to guidelines and restrictions related to confidential information as set forth by OSARP. 

  4. The right to request reasonable safety measures be put in place during the Sexual Misconduct Case Review and Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review, if applicable, including but not limited to partitions, teleconferencing, or police presence.  

  5. The right to access all documentation to be used in the adjudication of the case; the right to know and respond to all information, evidence, or witness statements being used in the adjudication of the case.  

  6. The right to participate in the entire Sexual Misconduct Case Review, as outlined in the Sexual Misconduct Accountability Process.  

  7. The right to relate their account of the alleged incident and the right to share information during the Sexual Misconduct Case Review to be used in the adjudication of the case; the right to not answer questions or provide information to be used in the adjudication of the case.  

  8. The right to have witnesses who provided information in the Sexual Misconduct Formal Complaint Investigation Process participate at the Sexual Misconduct Case Review, provided the witness is willing and able to attend.  

  9. The right to question all witnesses who make statements regarding the allegation at the Sexual Misconduct Case Review and Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review, if applicable; parties will be permitted to ask questions of the other party and witnesses called by the other party in the case through the Board Chair.  

  10. The right to exclude questions and evidence about the party's sexual predisposition, current sexual behavior, or prior sexual behavior from discussion during the Sexual Misconduct Case Review and Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review, if applicable, unless such questions and evidence about the party’s prior sexual behavior are offered to prove that someone other than the Responding Party committed the conduct alleged by the Reporting Party, or if the questions and evidence concern specific incidents of the Reporting Party’s prior sexual behavior with respect to the Responding Party and are offered to prove consent. 

  11. If a party has a written closing statement they intend to read, but is unable to do so, the statement may be read aloud for the record by the Board Chair. 

  12. The right for the Responding Party’s previous disciplinary history in OSARP and/or sanctions imposed not be disclosed during the Sexual Misconduct Case Review or deliberation unless the Board finds the Responding Party is responsible for violating policy in order to determine their recommended sanctions. The Responding Party may elect to share previous violations or sanctions with the Board Members as a part of their own statements.  

  13. The right to be notified via email on the third business day after the date of the Sexual Misconduct Case Review with the determination of responsibility and, if applicable, sanctions rendered at the Sexual Misconduct Case Review. This will include the Board Members’ rationale for each finding of responsibility. 

  14. The right to submit a written appeal of the decisions rendered as a result of the Sexual Misconduct Case Review within four days of OSARP sending notification of the Board’s decision on any of the following grounds:  

    • An allegation that OSARP violated procedural standards by failing to adhere to its responsibilities and/or follow the stated process for the adjudication of the allegations.  

    • New evidence that was not available or accessible during the Sexual Misconduct Formal Complaint Investigation Process and only relevant to refute information relevant to the decision of whether or not the Responding Party is responsible for violating policy. 

  15. In Appeal Reviews granted on the grounds of new evidence, the right to attend, present the new evidence or respond to the new evidence. 

  16. The right to have access to a recording of the Sexual Misconduct Case Review solely for the purposes of preparing an appeal or response to an appeal upon request.  

  17. When a Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review is granted, the right to receive final decision or order for a new Sexual Misconduct Case or Appeal Review rendered by the Appeal Board in writing. If the Appeal Board renders finding and sanctions, this notification will be the final decision in the case and will include whether or not the Appeal Board found the Responding Party responsible for the relevant violation(s), the Board’s rationale and, if applicable, the relevant sanction(s). The notification will be sent by OSARP via email on the fourth business day after the date of the Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review. 

 Responding Party

A Responding Party is a student who receives notification of an alleged policy violation(s), including at least one alleged violation of Sexual Misconduct, and is afforded rights and a Sexual Misconduct Accountability Process by OSARP to respond to all of the alleged policy violation(s). Responding Parties participate in the Sexual Misconduct Case Review and Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review, if applicable, as outlined in the Handbook.  The availability of a Responding Party is considered when OSARP schedules a Sexual Misconduct Case Review and Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review, if applicable, as outlined in the Handbook.  OSARP confers the rights outlined in the Responding & Reporting Party - Responsibilities and Right – Sexual Misconduct to those who meet this definition. 

 Reporting Party

A Reporting Party is a person who reports that they experienced alleged behavior committed by a JMU student that is covered by the Sexual Misconduct policy. A Sexual Misconduct Reporting Party presents information regarding alleged policy violation(s) to the Title IX Office in a Formal Complaint, and it is their interaction with a Responding Party that led to an alleged policy violation(s) being placed by OSARP. Reporting Parties participate in the Sexual Misconduct Case Review and Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review, if applicable, as outlined in the Handbook. The availability of a Reporting Party is considered when OSARP schedules a Sexual Misconduct Case Review and Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review, if applicable, as outlined in the Handbook. OSARP confers the rights outlined in the Responding & Reporting Party - Responsibilities and Rights- Sexual Misconduct to those who meet this definition.  

 Administrative Witness

Administrative Witnesses are not called as a witness by a Responding Party or Reporting Party but are determined by OSARP as having relevant information necessary for the adjudication of the case. Administrative Witnesses do not present against a Responding Party, but it is often their interaction with a Responding Party and/or Reporting Party that led to an alleged policy violation(s) being placed by OSARP. The availability of an Administrative Witness is considered when OSARP schedules a Sexual Misconduct Case Review. Administrative Witnesses do not have the right to be accompanied by a Support Person at a Sexual Misconduct Case Review. 

 Reporting Party Witness

A Reporting Party Witness is a person who provides a report, statement, evidence, or other information to the Title IX Office during their Sexual Misconduct Formal Complaint Investigation Process and who is called by a Reporting Party to participate in the OSARP Sexual Misconduct Accountability Process. A Reporting Party Witness may provide their information to the Board Members in accordance with any restrictions as listed in the Student Handbook. During a Sexual Misconduct Case Review and Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review, if applicable, a Reporting Party Witness can provide information relevant to the case, including what they know directly about the alleged incident or behavior and/or what they have been told about the alleged incident or behavior. A Reporting Party Witness may not provide their perspective on what they feel the appropriate decision or sanction in the case should be at any time during the process. The availability of a Reporting Party Witness is not considered when OSARP schedules a Sexual Misconduct Case Review and/or a Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review, if applicable. OSARP confers the rights outlined in the Reporting Party Witness Rights to those serving in this role.  

Reporting Party Witness Rights  

A witness called by a Reporting Party to participate in the OSARP Sexual Misconduct Accountability Process has the following rights:  

  1. The right to be notified of the date, time, and place of the Sexual Misconduct Case Review at least three days prior to the case review via email.  

  2. When a Reporting Party Witness is called to present at a Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review, the right to be notified of the date, time, and place of the Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review at least three days prior to the Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review via email.  

  3. The right to share information relevant to the case, including what they know directly about the alleged incident or behavior and/or what they have been told about the alleged incident or behavior; the right to not answer questions or provide information to be used in the adjudication of the case.  

  4. The right for a Support Person to attend the Sexual Misconduct Case Review and Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review, if applicable, in accordance with the restrictions outlined in the Sexual Misconduct Accountability Process. A Support Person for a Reporting Party Witness may not also serve as a witness in the case.  

 Responding Party Witness

A Responding Party Witness is a person who provides a report, statement, evidence, or other information to the Title IX Office during their Sexual Misconduct Formal Complaint Investigation Process and who is called by a Responding Party to participate in the OSARP Sexual Misconduct Accountability Process. A Responding Party Witness may provide their information to the Board Members in accordance with any restrictions as listed in the Student Handbook. During a Sexual Misconduct Case Review and Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review, if applicable, a Responding Party Witness can provide information relevant to the case, including what they know directly about the alleged incident or behavior and/or what they have been told about the alleged incident or behavior. A Responding Party Witness may not provide their perspective on what they feel the appropriate decision or sanction in the case should be at any time during the process. The availability of a Responding Party Witness is not considered when OSARP schedules a Sexual Misconduct Case Review and/or a Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review, if applicable. OSARP confers the rights outlined in the Responding Party Witness Rights to those serving in this role. 

Responding Party Witness Rights  

A witness called by a Responding Party to participate in the OSARP Sexual Misconduct Accountability Process has the following rights:  

  1. The right to be notified of the date, time, and place of the Sexual Misconduct Case Review at least three days prior to the case via email.  

  2. When a Responding Party Witness is called to present at a Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review, the right to be notified of the date, time, and place of the Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review at least three days prior to the Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review via email.  

  3. The right to share information relevant to the case, including what they know directly about the alleged incident or behavior and/or what they have been told about the alleged incident or behavior; the right to not answer questions or provide information to be used in the adjudication of the case. 

  4. The right for a Support Person to attend the Sexual Misconduct Case Review and Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review, if applicable, in accordance with the restrictions outlined in the Sexual Misconduct Accountability Process. A Support Person for a Responding Party Witness may not also serve as a witness in the case. 

 Support Person

Reporting Parties, Responding Parties, Reporting Party Witnesses, and Responding Party Witnesses participating at a Sexual Misconduct Case Review and/or Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review may be accompanied by a Support Person. In the Sexual Misconduct Accountability Process:   

  1. Participants may bring a Support Person of their choosing to any meeting, the Sexual Misconduct Case Review, and Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review, if applicable. Attorneys may serve as a Support Person, provided they follow the guidelines outlined in the Sexual Misconduct Accountability Process. The University does not provide those participating in the Sexual Misconduct Accountability Process with a Support Person. It is the participant’s responsibility to determine a Support Person and coordinate their participation.   

  2. OSARP does not consider the availability of a Support Person when scheduling meetings, the Sexual Misconduct Case Review, or the Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review, if applicable, nor can OSARP compel a Support Person to attend. It is the participant’s responsibility to coordinate a Support Person’s attendance.  

  3. A Support Person may not also serve as a witness at the Sexual Misconduct Case Review and Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review, if applicable, for the case.   

  4. Prior to a Sexual Misconduct Case Review and Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review, if applicable, a Support Person may help the participant prepare for the case, which may include accompanying the Responding Party or Reporting Party while reviewing the case file in OSARP and communicating with OSARP and/or the University about the case and/or procedures with the permission of the Responding Party or Reporting Party.    

  5. During a Sexual Misconduct Case Review and Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review, if applicable, a Support Person accompanying a participant may not communicate for or speak on behalf of the participant. Responding Parties, Reporting Parties, and witnesses must present their statements or information themselves.     

  6. During a Sexual Misconduct Case Review and Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review, if applicable, a Support Person may consult with the participant on how to present their statements or information by whispering, providing notes, or taking notes as long as it does not disrupt the adjudication of the case.     

  7. During a Sexual Misconduct Case Review and Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review, if applicable, a Support Person may provide support by taking breaks with or requesting breaks on behalf of the participant they are accompanying. 

 OSARP Process Guide

  1. An OSARP Process Guide is a full-time OSARP staff member or designee assigned to a Reporting Party or Responding Party to provide procedural information and respond to questions about the Sexual Misconduct Accountability Process. The OSARP Process Guide solely provides procedural information and does not provide the party with advice on how to present their case.   

  2. This position will be referred to as “OSARP Guide” throughout the Sexual Misconduct Accountability Process. 

Steps in the Sexual Misconduct Accountability Process

 Receipt of Title IX Report, Alleged Policy Violation(s) Notification, and Preparation for the Sexual Misconduct Case Review

The Sexual Misconduct Accountability Process is the process used to adjudicate alleged violations of the Sexual Misconduct policy. Sexual misconduct includes a broad spectrum of behavior. JMU reserves the right to impose any level of sanction, ranging from probation and educational sanctions up to and including suspension or expulsion, for any act of Sexual Misconduct. JMU considers acts of sexual violence to be the most serious and therefore typically imposes the most severe sanctions when a Responding Party is found responsible for such offenses, including suspension or expulsion. However, suspension and expulsion are potential outcomes for any case. 

In cases where a Responding Party is found responsible and suspended or expelled for sexual violence, defined as physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person’s will or against a person incapable of giving consent, a notation will be placed on the Responding Party’s transcript for the duration of the suspension or expulsion. If a Responding Party withdraws while under investigation for an allegation of sexual violence, a notation will be placed on the Responding Party’s transcript until a final decision in the case is rendered. Such notations will read, as applicable:  

  • Expelled for violation of Student Standards of Conduct  

  • Suspended for violation of Student Standards of Conduct  

  • Withdrew while under investigation for violation of Student Standards of Conduct  

Students receiving a transcript notation for a suspension will have it automatically removed by the Office of the Registrar once the suspension period has ended. After a period of three years, students may contact OSARP to request removal of a notation for good cause shown. 

In order for OSARP to adjudicate a case involving student behavior that allegedly violates Sexual Misconduct, the Title IX Office must complete the Sexual Misconduct Formal Complaint Investigation Process and provide the Investigative Report to OSARP. The Sexual Misconduct Formal Complaint Investigation Process conducted by the Title IX Office is the only opportunity for the Reporting Party and Responding Party to submit evidence, information, personal statements, names of witnesses, and witness statements in the Sexual Misconduct Accountability Process. The Investigative Report OSARP receives from the Title IX Office constitutes the information that will be used to adjudicate the case. No additional information may be added to the Case File once it is received by OSARP; no redactions will be made to information contained in the Case File unless necessary to protect rights within the process.

The Investigative Report will indicate the alleged policy violation(s) to be adjudicated in the case. The Sexual Misconduct Accountability Process is initiated to adjudicate all alleged policy violations resulting from the Investigative Report when the Responding Party is a student as defined in the Student Handbook and the Reporting Party meets the criteria required by JMU Policy 1340. During the last three weeks of the semester, the decision to proceed or postpone the Sexual Misconduct Accountability Process will be determined by OSARP. The student’s diploma and/or official transcripts may be withheld pending the conclusion of the Sexual Misconduct Accountability Process and/or the completion of any outstanding sanctions as determined by the Director of OSARP or designee. If a Respondent receives a sanction of an immediate suspension or expulsion, the immediate suspension or expulsion will be deemed effective for the most recent semester the Responding Party attended regardless of the Responding Party’s academic year, 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 or expulsion will be the date of the initial Case Review. The campus ban associated with a decision of immediate suspension or expulsion does not go into effect until the decision in the case is final, unless the Responding Party is under a Title IX Emergency Removal Status that provides for this ban until the final decision in the case.  

In circumstances where the Title IX Coordinator signed the Formal Complaint without the authorization of the Reporting Party, OSARP will initiate the Sexual Misconduct Accountability Process. In these cases, OSARP may alter the Sexual Misconduct Accountability Process and adjudication procedures as necessary to allow for a fair adjudication of the case. In addition, the Sexual Misconduct Accountability Process may be altered to allow for multiple Reporting Parties if OSARP receives a consolidated Formal Complaint Report with multiple Reporting Parties where the allegations of sexual misconduct arise out of the same facts or circumstances.  

Further, if the Investigative Report indicates alleged policy violations other than Sexual Misconduct, OSARP reserves the right to initiate the Accountability Process to adjudicate these violations.

If a Responding Party receives notice of other alleged policy violation(s) in addition to Sexual Misconduct as a result of the Investigative Report and information provided during the Sexual Misconduct Formal Complaint Investigation Process, all alleged policy violations will be adjudicated through the Sexual Misconduct Accountability Process. This Sexual Misconduct Accountability Process is separate and distinct from the Accountability Process.  

If there is evidence included in the Investigative Report regarding the personal consumption of drugs or alcohol, where such disclosure is made in conjunction with a good faith report made to the Title IX Office by the Reporting Party, a Reporting Party Witness, or a Responding Party Witness, OSARP will not initiate the Accountability Process and pursue alleged violations of these policies against these parties. The rights of a Responding Party and Reporting Party participating in the Sexual Misconduct Accountability Process are delineated in the Responding & Reporting Party - Responsibilities and Rights – Sexual Misconduct

OSARP may initiate the Sexual Misconduct Accountability Process in accordance with the procedures listed in the Student Handbook. The Sexual Misconduct Accountability Process may be conducted virtually for reasons including but not limited to health and/or safety concerns, at the discretion of the Director of OSARP or designee. Anticipated timelines, deadlines, restrictions, or procedures listed within the Sexual Misconduct Accountability Process will not be altered except in necessary or extreme circumstances in order to uphold the intent of the process, as determined by the Director of OSARP or designee. If an extension is granted at the request of a party and that impacts the other party, OSARP will communicate the reason for the extension to both parties. OSARP reserves the right, for cause, to postpone the Sexual Misconduct Accountability Process and return the Investigative Report to the Title IX Office for further investigation under the Sexual Misconduct Formal Complaint Investigation Process.    

Both parties will be notified of the beginning of the Sexual Misconduct Accountability Process to adjudicate the alleged policy violations.

In accordance with JMU Policy 1209, proper notification shall consist of an email to the student’s official JMU e-mail address. The notice will be considered received the day after the notice is sent via email. This notification will include the allegation(s), including sufficient details such as date and location of the alleged violation(s), and the contact information of the party’s OSARP Guide. This notice will inform parties that suspension and expulsion are potential outcomes for violations of the Sexual Misconduct policy in circumstances where the Responding Party is found responsible; additionally, rights afforded to parties as a result of the potential for these two outcomes will be included. This notification will also include the date, time, and location of the initial appointment with their OSARP Guide.  

Parties will be notified of No Contact Orders 

When Responding Parties are notified of their alleged policy violation(s), the Responding Party and Reporting Party will also be notified to have no direct or indirect contact with specific members of the university community including but not limited to the other party and the Board Members involved in the case. Prohibited contact includes but is not limited to verbal or non-verbal contact in person, through electronic means, or through a third party.  

A violation of this notice may result in an alleged policy violation for parties that meet the definition of a JMU student as listed in the Student Handbook, of Noncompliance and/or Interference or Retaliation in a University Process, which may result in immediate suspension or expulsion.  

OSARP will not pursue alleged violations of a no contact order issued by the University when the contact occurs through a third party for the purposes of conducting lawful activity during a pending criminal or civil case, or other specific extenuating circumstances as determined by OSARP, unless the contact may have violated policy Interference or Retaliation in a University Process or other policies as listed in the Student Handbook. 

OSARP reserves the right to pursue alleged violations for any reported alleged behavior by the student Reporting Party, the Responding Party, or other students directed at a Reporting Party, Responding Party, Reporting Party Witness, Responding Party Witness, Administrative Witness, or Support Person that may violate Interference or Retaliation in a University Process or other policies as listed in the Student Handbook. OSARP may pursue an alleged violation of Interference or Retaliation in a University Process if it receives information that a student Reporting Party or Responding Party discusses the case before the Sexual Misconduct Case Review with a Board Member(s) involved in the case. 

A Responding Party or Reporting Party in the Sexual Misconduct Accountability Process is not prohibited from discussing their case with a person they are calling as a witness or Support Person; contact is also not prohibited through third parties for purposes of conducting lawful activity during a pending criminal or civil case, or other specific extenuating circumstances as determined by OSARP. 

The No Contact Orders will remain in place until a final decision is rendered as outlined in the Sexual Misconduct Accountability Process. 

OSARP Guides will be assigned, and a Guide appointment will be set for both parties.

  • Both Reporting Parties and Responding Parties will be assigned separate OSARP Guides to explain the Sexual Misconduct Accountability Process, to serve as a point of contact in OSARP, and to help them understand the rights afforded to them. An OSARP Guide does not help either party prepare how to present their case; OSARP Guides are employed and/or designated by OSARP. 

  • OSARP will set the time of the Guide appointment around the academic schedule(s) of the Responding Party and Reporting Party if they are enrolled in classes at JMU.  If the Responding Party and/or Reporting Party are not enrolled in classes at JMU, their availability will be considered, and reasonable efforts will be made to ensure the Guide appointment is at a time they can participate. At the Guide appointment, the Reporting Party and Responding Party will meet individually with their OSARP Guide to ensure that they understand the Sexual Misconduct Accountability Process and the rights afforded to them. Responding Parties and Reporting Parties may have a Support Person of their choice accompany them to this Guide appointment if the Support Person’s schedule permits their attendance.   

Witnesses will be determined by OSARP and/or submitted by either party.

OSARP will determine the Administrative Witnesses to be called in the case; both the Responding Party and Reporting Party will be informed of the Administrative Witnesses being called in the case. Administrative Witnesses may not also serve as a Support Person at the Sexual Misconduct Case Review and Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review, if applicable.   

Both parties will have the ability to submit witnesses they intend to have speak at the Sexual Misconduct Case Review.   

  • The Responding Party or Reporting Party may submit to their OSARP Guide any person they intend to have speak as a witness at the Sexual Misconduct Case Review via formal submission up to seven days prior to the Sexual Misconduct Case Review. Persons are not considered a witness for either party until they are formally submitted to OSARP as a witness; only persons who directly provided information during the Sexual Misconduct Formal Complaint Investigation Process conducted by the Title IX Office are eligible to serve as witnesses in the Sexual Misconduct Accountability Process.  

  • Upon formal submission of a witness by the Reporting Party, the Responding Party will be informed of the witness. Upon formal submission of a witness by the Responding Party, the Reporting Party will be informed of the witness. Witnesses who speak at the Sexual Misconduct Case Review can provide a verbal statement about the alleged incident or behavior. Witnesses who speak at the Sexual Misconduct Case Review may not provide their perspective on what they feel the appropriate decision or sanction in the case should be, or information that violates the rights of either party. Witnesses may not also serve as a Support Person at the Sexual Misconduct Case Review and Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review, if applicable.  

OSARP reserves the right to pursue alleged violations for any reported alleged behavior by the student Reporting Party, the Responding Party, or other students directed at a Reporting Party, Responding Party, Reporting Party Witness, Responding Party Witness, Administrative Witness, or Support Person that may violate Interference or Retaliation in a University Process or other policies as listed in the Student Handbook. OSARP may pursue an alleged violation of Interference or Retaliation in a University Process if it receives information that a student Reporting Party or Responding Party discusses the case before the Sexual Misconduct Case Review with a Board Member(s) involved in the case.

Both parties will have access to the Case File. 

  • The full Case File consists of the version of the Investigative Report to be used in the adjudication of the case, including any redactions done in accordance with this process.

  • The Responding Party and the Reporting Party will be provided a version of the Case File via electronic or hard copy that has the names and identifying information of all persons aside from their own redacted for review outside of OSARP.  

  • The Responding Party and the Reporting Party may schedule an appointment(s) to review the complete version of the Case File without the names and identifying information redacted in OSARP during business hours. OSARP will make this version of the Case File available to the parties at the time of the Sexual Misconduct Case Review or Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review, if applicable. 

  • The party may request their respective Support Person be given access to an electronic version of the Case File. 

OSARP will schedule the Sexual Misconduct Case Review. 

  • Typically, OSARP schedules the Sexual Misconduct Case Review to occur within twenty business days of the Responding Party’s Guide appointment in OSARP. However, the circumstances surrounding the case may make it necessary for the university to shorten or extend that timeline.  

  • OSARP schedules the Sexual Misconduct Case Review around the availability of Board Members, OSARP Staff, and the Administrative Witnesses. If the Sexual Misconduct Case Review is to occur when the Responding Party and/or Reporting Party are enrolled in classes at JMU, the Sexual Misconduct Case Review will be scheduled around their academic schedule(s) to ensure they are able to participate. If the Sexual Misconduct Case Review is to occur when the Responding Party and/or Reporting Party are not enrolled in classes at JMU, their availability will be considered, and reasonable efforts will be made to ensure they are able to participate. The availability or academic schedules of witnesses called by either party or a Support Person for either party will not be considered in scheduling the Sexual Misconduct Case Review.  

  • OSARP has no mechanism to compel any party or witness of any type to attend and/or participate in the Sexual Misconduct Case Review. If a party does not attend, the Sexual Misconduct Case Review will proceed based on the information included in the Case File and information shared at the Sexual Misconduct Case Review by the parties present. It is the responsibility of the Responding Party or Reporting Party to ensure their witnesses and Support Person attend the Sexual Misconduct Case Review.   

  • The decision to postpone a Sexual Misconduct Case Review is solely at the discretion of the Director of OSARP or designee.  

The Sexual Misconduct Accountability Process utilizes a preponderance of evidence standard to determine whether a student is responsible or not responsible for a violation(s).

The definition of preponderance of the evidence used is:  

Preponderance of the evidence means that there is greater than a fifty percent likelihood that the Responding Party violated the policy. 

 Sexual Misconduct Case Review

Responding Parties and Reporting Parties may request that reasonable safety measures be put in place during the Sexual Misconduct Case Review, including but not limited to partitions, teleconferencing, or police presence. Requests for safety measures will be coordinated by their OSARP Guide.  

In Sexual Misconduct Case Reviews, Responding Parties and Reporting Parties have a right to a Support Person of their choice, provided that person is willing and able to attend the scheduled Sexual Misconduct Case Review. A Support Person attending a Sexual Misconduct Case Review may not communicate for or speak on behalf of a party but may provide support or give advice on how to present their party’s case. A person who serves as a Support Person at a Sexual Misconduct Case Review may not also serve as a witness at the Sexual Misconduct Case Review and Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review, if applicable.  

The Sexual Misconduct Case Review will be conducted by a Board of three voting faculty or staff members. One staff member from OSARP will serve as a voting Board Chair and two faculty or staff members of the Accountability Board will serve as voting Board Members. Board Members are to have no conflict of interest or bias for or against Reporting Parties or Responding Parties generally or an individual Reporting Party or Responding Party. If a member of the Board feels that their previous contact with the case or the parties involved will prevent them from rendering a fair decision, the Board Member must request that they not be assigned to the Sexual Misconduct Case Review. Responding Parties and Reporting Parties will be informed of the Board Members assigned to their case. Upon receiving notification of the assigned Board Members, a Responding Party or Reporting Party may request that a Board Member be replaced if the student can show a bias on the part of the Board Member. To make such a request, a Responding Party or Reporting Party must contact the Director of OSARP or designee immediately, setting forth their reasons in writing. The Director of OSARP or designee will review all requests. Any decision to remove a Board Member is at the discretion of the Director of OSARP or designee.   

If a Responding Party, Reporting Party, Responding Party Witness, or Reporting Party Witness fails to participate at a Sexual Misconduct Case Review after being properly notified of its date and time, the Sexual Misconduct Case Review will proceed; the decision of whether or not the Responding Party is responsible for violating policy will be rendered on the basis of the Investigative Report provided to be used for adjudication of the case and the information provided by those in attendance at the Sexual Misconduct Case Review. If an Administrative Witness fails to participate at a Sexual Misconduct Case Review, the Sexual Misconduct Case Review will generally proceed without the Administrative Witness. The decision to postpone a Sexual Misconduct Case Review to accommodate a necessary or extreme circumstance is at the discretion of the Director of OSARP or designee and will be communicated to each party.  

Sexual Misconduct Case Reviews will be audio and/or video recorded; the Board Members’ closed deliberation will not be recorded. No party may make their own recordings of the Sexual Misconduct Case Review. A Sexual Misconduct Case Review will proceed in accordance with the procedures below, however, Board Members may ask additional questions at any time. Any participant, including the Board, may request a break at any point during the Sexual Misconduct Case Review. Additionally, the phrase “through the Board Chair” used throughout the Sexual Misconduct Case Review procedures refers to the Board Chair confirming or denying a Reporting Party, Responding Party, Reporting Party Witness, or Responding Party Witness’ ability to respond to a question; this confirmation or denial may be verbal or non-verbal. The Board Chair has the authority to prohibit information from being shared that violates the rights of a party, is not allowed by the Sexual Misconduct Accountability Process, or bears no relevancy to the adjudication of the case. The Board Chair also has the authority to instruct Board Members to disregard information that violates the rights of a party, is prohibited by the Sexual Misconduct Accountability Process, or bears no relevancy to the adjudication of the case.  

  1. The Board Members and participants are introduced.  

  2. The statement of the alleged policy violation(s) is presented by the Board Chair.  

  3. Procedures for the Sexual Misconduct Case Review are explained; participants state any questions they have concerning rights or procedures.  

  4. The Reporting Party is allotted 3 minutes to make an opening statement that outlines the main points of their allegations which may include information regarding the allegations in this case. 

  5. The Responding Party is allotted 3 minutes to make an opening statement that outlines the main points of their response to the allegations which may include information regarding the allegations in this case. 

  6. Administrative Witnesses will be called individually to share a verbal statement regarding the allegations.  

    • The Board will ask questions they have for each Administrative Witness.  

    • The Reporting Party will be allotted 5 minutes to question each Administrative Witness.  

    • The Responding Party will be allotted 5 minutes to question each Administrative Witness.  

    • The Board may request that an Administrative Witness return at a later point in the Case Review for further clarification.  

  7. A scheduled 5-minute break will occur unless all parties agree to continue without a break.  

  8. The Reporting Party is allotted 20 minutes to share a full verbal statement which may include information regarding the allegations in this case. This is also the Reporting Party’s opportunity to respond to any information or evidence included in the Case File.  

  9. The Responding Party is allotted 20 minutes to share a full verbal statement which may include information regarding the allegations in this case. This is also the Responding Party’s opportunity to respond to any information or evidence included in the Case File.  

  10. A scheduled 10-minute break will occur unless all parties agree to continue without a break.  

  11. The Board Members will ask any questions they have for either the Responding Party or the Reporting Party.  

  12. A scheduled 5-minute break will occur unless all parties agree to continue without a break.  

  13. The Responding Party will be allotted 15 minutes to question the Reporting Party through the Board Chair.  

  14. A scheduled 5-minute break will occur unless all parties agree to continue without a break.  

  15. The Reporting Party will be allotted 15 minutes to question the Responding Party through the Board Chair.  

  16. A scheduled 5-minute break will occur unless all parties agree to continue without a break.  

  17. The Reporting Party will call their witnesses individually.  

    • Each witness called by the Reporting Party will be allotted 5 minutes to make a verbal statement regarding the alleged incident or behavior.  

    • At the conclusion of the statement shared by the Reporting Party’s witness, the Reporting Party will be allotted 5 minutes to question their witness.  

    • At the conclusion of the Reporting Party’s questions for their witness, the Responding Party will be allotted 5 minutes to question the Reporting Party’s witness through the Board Chair.  

    • At the conclusion of the Responding Party’s questions for each witness called by the Reporting Party, the Board will ask any questions they have of the witness.  

    • Witnesses called by the Reporting Party can provide information relevant to the case, including what they know directly about the alleged incident or behavior and/or what they have been told about the alleged incident or behavior. Witnesses called by the Reporting Party may not provide their perspective on what they feel the appropriate decision or sanction in the case should be.   

    • The Board may request that a witness for the Reporting Party return at a later point in the Case Review for further clarification.  

  18. A scheduled 5-minute break will occur unless all parties agree to continue without a break.  

  19. The Responding Party will call their witnesses individually.  

    • Each witness called by the Responding Party will be allotted 5 minutes to make a verbal statement regarding the alleged incident or behavior.  

    • At the conclusion of the statement shared by the Responding Party’s witness, the Responding Party will be allotted 5 minutes to question their witness.  

    • At the conclusion of the Responding Party’s questions for their witness, the Reporting Party will be allotted 5 minutes to question the Responding Party’s witness through the Board Chair.  

    • At the conclusion of the Reporting Party’s questions for each witness called by the Responding Party, the Board will ask any questions they have of the witness.  

    • Witnesses called by the Responding Partycan provide information relevant to the case, including what they know directly about the alleged incident or behavior and/or what they have been told about the alleged incident or behavior. Witnesses called by the Responding Party may not provide their perspective on what they feel the appropriate decision or sanction in the case should be.   

    • The Board may request that a witness for the Responding Party return at a later point in the Case Review for further clarification.  

  20. A scheduled 5-minute break will occur unless all parties agree to continue without a break.  

  21. The Reporting Party will be allotted 10 minutes to make a statement that responds to anything shared by the Responding Party in the Case File or during the Sexual Misconduct Case Review.  

  22. The Responding Party will be allotted 10 minutes to make a statement that responds to anything shared by the Reporting Party in the Case File or during the Sexual Misconduct Case Review.  

  23. A scheduled 5-minute break will occur unless all parties agree to continue without a break. 

  24. The Responding Party will be allotted 5 minutes for final questions of the Reporting Party through the Board Chair.  

  25. The Reporting Party will be allotted 5 minutes for final questions of the Responding Party through the Board Chair.  

  26. A scheduled 5-minute break will occur unless all parties agree to continue without a break. 

  27. The Board will ask any final questions they have for either the Responding Party or the Reporting Party.  

  28. A scheduled 5-minute break will occur unless all parties agree to continue without a break.  

  29. The Reporting Party will be allotted 10 minutes to make a closing statement.  

    • A closing statement is not permitted to introduce new evidence or information but is an opportunity to summarize what the Reporting Party has already shared, their final thoughts, their thoughts moving forward, and any impact on the Reporting Party related to the allegation(s) of Sexual Misconduct.  

    • If the Reporting Party has a written closing statement they intend to read, but is unable to do so, the statement may be read aloud for the record by the Board Chair.  

  30. The Responding Party will be allotted 10 minutes to make a closing statement.  

    • A closing statement is not permitted to introduce new evidence or information but is an opportunity to summarize what the Responding Party has already shared, their final thoughts, their thoughts moving forward, and any impact on the Responding Party related to the allegation(s) of Sexual Misconduct.  

    • If the Responding Party has a written closing statement they intend to read, but is unable to do so, the statement may be read aloud for the record by the Board Chair.  

  31. The Board will enter closed deliberation to determine their decisions. Decisions are based on a preponderance of the evidence and determined by a majority vote.  

    • The Board will first vote to find the Responding Party responsible or not responsible for each alleged policy violation.  

    • If the Board finds the Responding Party responsible for violating the Sexual Misconduct policy, they will determine sanctions to be rendered for the case.  

    • If the Board votes to find the Responding Party not responsible for violating policy, they will not assign any sanctions.   

OSARP will concurrently contact the Responding Party and Reporting Party via email on the third business day after the date of the Sexual Misconduct Case Review with the findings and, if applicable, sanctions rendered at the Sexual Misconduct Case Review. This will include the Board Members’ rationale for each finding on the Sexual Misconduct policy.  

Once the Board has rendered a decision at the conclusion of the Sexual Misconduct Case Review, the Sexual Misconduct Accountability Process will continue through to the conclusion of any appeal process, if applicable, regardless of enrollment status of either party.  

If neither party submits an appeal of the Board’s determination within the timeline set by the procedures listed in the Student Handbook, the Board’s decision in the case will become final. OSARP will communicate that final decision simultaneously to both parties.  

OSARP may initiate the Accountability Process if a student knowingly provides falsified or misleading information at a Sexual Misconduct Case Review for alleged violation of the Interference or Retaliation in a University Process policy. An employee may be charged with misconduct under relevant university policies.  

OSARP may initiate the Accountability Process against a Reporting Party or Responding Party if it receives information that a party discusses the case with a Board Member prior to the Sexual Misconduct Case Review for alleged violation of the Interference or Retaliation in a University Process policy. An employee may be charged with misconduct under the relevant university policies.  

Sexual Misconduct Case Reviews are closed meetings; the University will maintain confidentiality of all information related to the case, unless legally required or allowed by law to disclose the information. The Responding Party and Reporting Party shall receive notice of all rights they are guaranteed through the Sexual Misconduct Accountability Process. In Sexual Misconduct Case Reviews, the technical rules of evidence applicable in civil and criminal cases do not apply. 

 Appealing A Sexual Misconduct Case Review

Responding Parties and Reporting Parties have the right to submit a written appeal of the decision rendered at a Sexual Misconduct Case Review within four days of receiving the decision rendered at the Sexual Misconduct Case Review. Responding Parties and/or Reporting Parties must directly submit their written appeal.  

Once the Board has determined a decision at the conclusion of the Sexual Misconduct Case Review, the Sexual Misconduct Accountability Process will continue through to the conclusion of any appeal process, if applicable, regardless of enrollment status of either party. 

Either party may submit an appeal of the decision made at a Sexual Misconduct Case Review on grounds of alleged violation(s) of procedural standards and/or on grounds of new evidence. Appeals on grounds of alleged violation(s) of procedural standards must outline how the university failed to adhere to its responsibilities and/or follow the stated process for the adjudication of the allegation(s) and how that affected the decision. Appeals on grounds of new evidence must introduce evidence that was not available or accessible during the Sexual Misconduct Formal Complaint Investigation Process and only relevant to refute information relevant to the decision of whether or not the Responding Party is responsible for violating policy. The Associate Dean of Students or designee will evaluate the submitted appeal and determine if a Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review will be granted; appeals that do not meet these grounds will be denied. Typically, this evaluation by the Associate Dean of Students or designee takes place within ten days of the deadline for submission of a written appeal. However, the circumstances surrounding the case may make it necessary for the university to shorten or extend that timeline. The determination made by the Associate Dean of Students or designee to grant or deny an appeal submission is considered final. There is no mechanism for a Responding Party or Reporting Party to appeal the determination made by the Associate Dean of Students or designee to grant or deny an appeal submission. The Sexual Misconduct Accountability Process will proceed as outlined in the process based on the determination made regarding the appeal submission. 

If an appeal is submitted by the Responding Party and/or Reporting Party and neither party is granted a Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review by the Associate Dean of Students or designee, the Board’s decision in the case will become final. OSARP will concurrently notify the Responding Party and the Reporting Party of the final decision and sanctions rendered. 

If a Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review is granted, the Appeal Board makes a decision, including rationale, and provides it to OSARP within three business days of the Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review. OSARP will concurrently notify the Responding Party and Reporting Party via email on the fourth business day after the date of the Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review of the final decision in the case or of the order for a new Sexual Misconduct Case Review.

OSARP reserves the right to redact information from the appeal to be used by the Appeal Board that is prohibited by the Sexual Misconduct Accountability Process, is not relevant to the arguments granted by the Associate Dean of Students or designee, or that violates the rights of either party. The party that submitted the appeal may challenge these redactions to the Director of OSARP or designee within two days of their receipt of the granted appeal to be used by the Appeal Board.  

If the Associate Dean of Students or designee grants a Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review, the other party is provided four days to submit a response to the appeal after all challenges to redactions have been resolved or the deadline to challenge redactions has passed. If there are alleged policy violations other than Sexual Misconduct in a case and a Responding Party does not contest the finding on the Sexual Misconduct policy in their submitted appeal and a Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review is granted, the Reporting Party will not be given the opportunity to provide a written response to the appeal.   

OSARP reserves the right to redact information from the response submitted that is prohibited by the Sexual Misconduct Accountability Process, is not relevant to the arguments granted by the Associate Dean of Students or designee, or that violates the rights of either party. The party that submitted the response may challenge these redactions to the Director of OSARP or designee within two days of their receipt of the submitted response to be used by the Appeal Board Members.  

If a Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review is granted by the Associate Dean of Students or designee as stated in the Sexual Misconduct Accountability Process, OSARP typically schedules the Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review to occur within twenty days of notifying the parties in a case that a Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review has been granted. However, the circumstances surrounding the case may make it necessary for the university to shorten or extend that timeline. OSARP will concurrently notify the Responding Party and Reporting Party of the outcome of the Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review including, if applicable, the Appeal Board’s rationale for each finding on the Sexual Misconduct policy, including any sanctions rendered via email on the fourth business day after the date of the Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review.   

The Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review will be conducted by a Board of three voting faculty or staff members of the Accountability Board. One of the faculty or staff members, in addition to being a voting member, will also serve as the Board Chair. Board Members are not to have a conflict of interest or bias for or against Reporting Parties or Responding Parties generally or an individual Reporting Party or Responding Party. If a member of the Board feels that their previous contact with the case or the parties involved will prevent them from rendering a fair decision, the Board Member must request that they not be assigned to the Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review. Responding Parties and Reporting Parties will be informed of the Board Members assigned to the Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review. Upon receiving notification of the assigned Appeal Board Members, a Responding Party or Reporting Party may request that a Board Member be replaced if the student can show a bias on the part of the Board Member. In order to make such a request, a Responding Party or Reporting Party must contact the Director of OSARP or designee immediately, setting forth their reasons in writing. The Director of OSARP or designee will review all requests. Any decision to remove a Board Member and/or to postpone a Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review is at the discretion of the Director of OSARP or designee.  

Responding Parties and Reporting Parties may request that reasonable safety measures be put in place during the Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review including but not limited to partitions, teleconferencing, or police presence. Requests for safety measures will be coordinated by the OSARP Guide.  

Appeal Boards will review the Case File, a recording of the Sexual Misconduct Case Review, the portions of the appeal granted by the Associate Dean of Students or designee, any responses submitted to the portions of the appeal granted, and, when applicable, the information provided by those in attendance at the Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review.   

The decisions rendered at a Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review are based on a preponderance of the evidence and determined by a majority vote of the Appeal Board Members. Additionally, the phrase “through the Board Chair” used throughout the Appeal Board procedures refers to the Appeal Board Chair confirming or denying a Reporting Party, Responding Party, Reporting Party Witness, or Responding Party Witness’ ability to respond to a question; this confirmation or denial may be verbal or non-verbal. During the Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review the Board Chair has the authority to prohibit information from being shared that violates the rights of a party, is not allowed by the Sexual Misconduct Accountability Process, or bears no relevancy to the granted appeal. The Board Chair also has the authority to instruct Board Members to disregard information that violates the rights of a party, is prohibited by the Sexual Misconduct Accountability Process, or bears no relevancy to the granted appeal.   

In cases where both the Reporting Party and Responding Party are granted a Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review, there will be one Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review to render decisions considering the arguments raised in both appeals. When both parties are granted an appeal on alleged violation(s) of procedural standards, the Appeal Board will review the appeal submissions in the order they were received by OSARP.  

If an appeal is granted by the Associate Dean of Students or designee based on alleged violation(s) of procedural standards, either in its entirety or with appropriate redactions, for one or both parties, the Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review will follow the procedures listed in “Procedures – Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review: Alleged Violation(s) of Procedural Standards.” Neither the Reporting Party nor the Responding Party may participate or attend a Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review granted on the grounds of alleged violation(s) of procedural standards. OSARP reserves the right to alter the procedures as necessary to allow for a fair adjudication of the case.  

If an appeal is granted by the Associate Dean of Students or designee based on new evidence that was not reasonably available at the time the decision of responsibility was made (i.e. Sexual Misconduct Case Review) that could affect the outcome of the case, either in its entirety or with appropriate redactions, for one or both parties, the Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review will follow the procedures listed in “Procedures – Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review: New Evidence.” The party or parties granted an appeal on the grounds of new evidence may choose to present the evidence to the Appeal Board in person; the other party or parties may choose to present their response to the new evidence to the Appeal Board in person.

If an appeal is granted by the Associate Dean of Students or designee based on both grounds of an alleged violation of procedural standards and new evidence, either in its entirety or with appropriate redactions, to one or both parties, one Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review will be held and follow the procedures listed in “Procedures – Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review: New Evidence and Alleged Violation(s) of Procedural Standards.” The party or parties granted an appeal on the grounds of new evidence may choose to present the evidence to the Appeal Board in person; the other party or parties may choose to present their response to the new evidence to the Appeal Board in person. Neither party will present their argument or response regarding alleged violation(s) of procedural standards. OSARP reserves the right to alter the procedures as necessary to allow for a fair adjudication of the case.  

Procedures – Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review: Alleged Violation(s) of Procedural Standards  

Responding Parties and Reporting Parties are not present for and do not participate in Sexual Misconduct Appeal Reviews granted based on alleged violation(s) of procedural standards. If both parties were granted a Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review based on alleged violation(s) of procedural standards, then each appeal submission and its response will be reviewed separately using the following procedures. When both parties are granted an appeal on alleged violation(s) of procedural standards, the Appeal Board will review the appeal submissions in the order they were received by OSARP. The Responding Party and the Reporting Party will be notified of the outcome of the Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review in accordance with the procedures listed in the Sexual Misconduct Accountability Process. 

  1. For the first, or only, granted appeal and response, the Appeal Board will determine whether or not a violation(s) of procedural standards occurred by considering the arguments made in the granted appeal and any response submitted.  

    • If the Appeal Board determines that no violation(s) of procedural standards occurred, the decision rendered at the Sexual Misconduct Case Review will stand.  

    • If the other party in the case was also granted a Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review based on alleged violation(s) of procedural standards, then the Appeal Board will proceed to Step 3.  

  2. If the Appeal Board determines that a violation(s) of procedural standards occurred, the Board will then determine if the violation(s) of procedural standards can reasonably be said to have materially affected the interests of the first, or only, party granted the Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review.    

    • If the Appeal Board determines that the violation of procedural standards cannot reasonably be said to have materially affected the interests of the first party granted the Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review on the basis of the procedural standard(s) that was violated, the decision rendered at the Sexual Misconduct Case Review will stand.    

      • If the other party in the case was also granted a Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review based on alleged violation(s) of procedural standards, then the Appeal Board will proceed to Step 3.  

    • If the Appeal Board determines that the violation of procedural standards can reasonably be said to have materially affected the interests of the first party granted the appeal on the basis of the procedural standard(s) that was violated, the Appeal Board will order that a new Sexual Misconduct Case Review be conducted to render a decision for the case.    

      • If a new Sexual Misconduct Case Review is ordered after review of the first granted appeal in a Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review where a second appeal had been granted to the other party, the Appeal Board will not review the second submission since the case will be re-heard.  

  3. For the second granted appeal and response, the Appeal Board will determine whether or not a violation(s) of procedural standards occurred by considering the arguments made in the granted appeal and any response submitted.  

    • If the Appeal Board determines that no violation(s) of procedural standards occurred, the decision rendered at the Sexual Misconduct Case Review will stand.  

  4. If the Appeal Board determines that a violation(s) of procedural standards occurred, the Board will then determine if the violation(s) of procedural standards can reasonably be said to have materially affected the interests of the second party granted the Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review.    

    • If the Appeal Board determines that the violation of procedural standards cannot reasonably be said to have materially affected the interests of the second party granted the Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review on the basis of the procedural standard(s) that was violated, the decision rendered at the Sexual Misconduct Case Review will stand.  

    • If the Appeal Board determines that the violation of procedural standards can reasonably be said to have materially affected the interests of the second party granted the appeal on the basis of the procedural standard(s) that was violated, the Appeal Board will order that a new Sexual Misconduct Case Review be conducted to render a decision for the case.  

Procedures – Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review: New Evidence  

If the Responding Party and/or Reporting Party are enrolled in classes at JMU, the Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review will be scheduled around their academic schedules to ensure they are able to participate. If the Responding Party and/or Reporting Party are not enrolled in classes at JMU, their availability will be considered, and reasonable efforts will be made to ensure they are able to participate. The availability or academic schedule(s) of support persons or witnesses called by either party will not be considered in scheduling the Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review.  

Responding Parties and Reporting Parties have a right to be accompanied at the Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review by a Support Person of their choice provided that person is willing and able to attend the scheduled Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review. A Support Person attending a Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review may not communicate for or speak on behalf of a party but may give advice on how to present their case.  

If a Responding Party, Reporting Party, Responding Party Witness, or Reporting Party Witness fails to appear at a Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review after being properly notified of its date and time, the Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review will proceed; the Appeal Board’s evaluation of the arguments raised in the appeal will be rendered on the basis of the Case File, the granted appeal(s), any responses, and the information provided by those in attendance at the Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review. The decision to postpone a Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review to accommodate a necessary or extreme circumstance is at the discretion of the Director of OSARP or designee and will be communicated to each party.  

Sexual Misconduct Appeal Reviews granted on the grounds of new evidence will be audio and/or video recorded; the Board Members’ closed deliberation will not be recorded. No participant may make their own recordings of the Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review.  

A Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review will proceed in accordance with the procedures below. Any participant may request a break at any point during the Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review. However, Board Members may ask additional questions at any time. The Appeal Board Chair has the authority to prohibit information from being shared that violates the rights of a party, is not allowed by the Sexual Misconduct Accountability Process, or bears no relevancy to the adjudication of the case. The Appeal Board Chair also has the authority to instruct Board Members to disregard information that violates the rights of a party, is prohibited by the Sexual Misconduct Accountability Process, or bears no relevancy to the adjudication of the case. 

If only the Responding Party was granted a Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review based on new evidence, then Steps 6-9 will be eliminated in the procedures below.  If only the Reporting Party was granted a Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review based on new evidence, then Steps 2-5 will be eliminated in the procedures below. If both parties were granted a Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review based on new evidence, then each appeal submission and its response will be reviewed separately using the entirety of following procedures.  Additionally, the phrase “through the Board Chair” used throughout the following procedures refers to the Appeal Board Chair confirming or denying a participant’s ability to respond to a question; this confirmation or denial may be verbal or non-verbal. The Responding Party and the Reporting Party will be notified of the outcome of the Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review in accordance with the procedures listed in the Sexual Misconduct Accountability Process. 

  1. The Board Members and participants are introduced.  

  2. Information is presented by the Responding Party solely about the new evidence presented in their appeal.   

    • The Board Members may ask questions about the new evidence presented in the Responding Party’s appeal.   

    • The Reporting Party, through the Board Chair, may question the Responding Party about the new evidence presented in the Responding Party’s appeal.  

  3. If applicable, the Responding Party will call their witnesses individually.   

    • Each witness called will individually share a verbal statement on the new evidence presented in the Responding Party’s appeal and be questioned by the Responding Party. Witnesses may only provide information relevant to the new evidence presented in the Responding Party’s appeal; witnesses may not provide their perspective on what they feel the appropriate decision or sanction in the case should be.    

    • The Board Members may ask questions.   

    • The Reporting Party, through the Board Chair, may question the witness about the new evidence presented in the Responding Party’s appeal.  

    • At the conclusion of the statement and questions for each witness, the witness will leave.  

    • The Appeal Board may request witnesses to return for further clarification.  

  4. Information is presented by the Reporting Party solely about their response to the new evidence presented by the Responding Party’s appeal.  

    • The Board Members may question the Reporting Party about their response to the new evidence presented by the Responding Party’s appeal.   

    • The Responding Party, through the Board Chair, may ask questions about the Reporting Party’s response to the new evidence.  

  5. If applicable, the Reporting Party will call their witnesses individually.   

    • Each witness called will individually share a verbal statement on their response to the new evidence presented by the Responding Party’s appeal and be questioned by the Reporting Party. Witnesses may only provide information relevant to the new evidence presented by the Responding Party’s appeal; witnesses may not provide their perspective on what they feel the appropriate decision or sanction in the case should be.  

    • The Responding Party, through the Board Chair, may question each witness about their response to the new evidence.  

    • The Board Members may ask questions.   

    • At the conclusion of the statement and questions for each witness, the witness will leave.  

    • The Appeal Board may request witnesses to return for further clarification.  

  6. Information is presented by the Reporting Party solely about the new evidence presented in their appeal.   

    • The Board Members may ask questions about the new evidence presented in the Reporting Party’s appeal.   

    • The Responding Party, through the Board Chair, may question the Reporting Party about the new evidence presented in the Reporting Party’s appeal.  

  7. If applicable, the Reporting Party will call their witnesses individually.   

    • Each witness called will individually share a verbal statement on the new evidence presented in the Reporting Party’s appeal and be questioned by the Reporting Party. Witnesses may only provide information relevant to the new evidence presented in the Reporting Party’s appeal; witnesses may not provide their perspective on what they feel the appropriate decision or sanction in the case should be.   

    • The Board Members may ask questions.   

    • The Responding Party, through the Board Chair, may question the witness about the new evidence presented in the Reporting Party’s appeal.  

    • At the conclusion of the statement and questions for each witness, the witness will leave.  

    • The Appeal Board may request witnesses to return for further clarification.  

  8. Information is presented by the Responding Party solely about their response to the new evidence presented by the Reporting Party’s appeal.  

    • The Board Members may question the Responding Party about their response to the new evidence presented by the Reporting Party’s appeal.   

    • The Reporting Party, through the Board Chair, may ask questions about the Responding Party’s response to the new evidence.  

  9. If applicable, the Responding Party will call their witnesses individually.   

    • Each witness called will individually share a verbal statement on their response to the new evidence presented by the Reporting Party’s appeal and be questioned by the Responding Party. Witnesses may only provide information relevant to the new evidence presented by the Reporting Party’s appeal; witnesses may not provide their perspective on what they feel the appropriate decision or sanction in the case should be.  

    • The Reporting Party, through the Board Chair, may question each witness about their response to the new evidence.  

    • The Board Members may ask questions.   

    • At the conclusion of the statement and questions for each witness, the witness will leave.  

    • The Appeal Board may request witnesses to return for further clarification.  

  10. The Board Members may ask final questions of the Responding Party and/or Reporting Party.  

  11. The Responding Party, Reporting Party, and Support Persons will leave; the Appeal Board will enter closed deliberation.  

  12. The Appeal Board will vote to determine if the new evidence and any response(s) presented by both parties as a part of the appeal is significant enough to alter the decisions made at the Sexual Misconduct Case Review, considering the totality of the evidence.  

    • If the Appeal Board determines that the totality of the evidence, including the new evidence and response(s) presented by both parties, is not significant enough to alter the decision made at the Sexual Misconduct Case Review, the decision rendered at the Sexual Misconduct Case Review will stand.  

    • If the Appeal Board determines that the totality of the evidence, including the new evidence and response(s) presented, is significant enough to alter the decision made at the Sexual Misconduct Case Review, the Appeal Board will render their decisions of whether or not the Responding Party is responsible for violating policy and proceed to step 13.A or 13.B.  

    1. If the Appeal Board finds the Responding Party not responsible for violating all policies, they will proceed to Step 15.  

    2. If the Appeal Board finds the Responding Party responsible for violating the Sexual Misconduct policy, they will proceed to step 14.  

  13. The Appeal Board will render sanctions for the case. If only a Responding Party was granted a Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review, the Appeal Board may not assign more severe sanctions than those assigned at the Sexual Misconduct Case Review.  

  14. The Responding Party and the Reporting Party will be notified of the outcome of the Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review in accordance with the procedures listed in the Sexual Misconduct Accountability Process.

Procedures – Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review: New Evidence and Alleged Violation(s) of Procedural Standards  

The portions of the appeal(s) granted on alleged violation(s) procedural standards will be considered first.  Responding Parties and Reporting Parties are not present for and do not participate in the portions of the Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review granted based on alleged violation(s) of procedural standards. If both parties were granted a Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review based on alleged violation(s) of procedural standards, then each appeal submission and its response will be reviewed separately using the following procedures. When both parties are granted an appeal on alleged violation(s) of procedural standards, the Appeal Board will review the appeal submissions in the order they were received by OSARP. 

To ensure the ability for both the Responding Party and Reporting Party to participate in the new evidence portion of the Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review, if applicable, the case will be scheduled around academic schedules and availability as outlined. If the Responding Party and/or Reporting Party are enrolled in classes at JMU, the Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review will be scheduled around their academic schedules to ensure they are able to participate. If the Responding Party and/or Reporting Party are not enrolled in classes at JMU, their availability will be considered, and reasonable efforts will be made to ensure they are able to participate. The availability or academic schedule(s) of support persons or witnesses called by either party will not be considered in scheduling the Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review.  

Responding Parties and Reporting Parties have a right to be accompanied at the Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review by a Support Person of their choice provided that person is willing and able to attend the scheduled Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review. A Support Person attending a Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review may not communicate for or speak on behalf of a party but may give advice on how to present their case.  

If a Responding Party, Reporting Party, Responding Party Witness, or Reporting Party Witness fails to appear at a Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review after being properly notified of its date and time, the Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review will proceed; the Appeal Board’s evaluation of the arguments raised in the appeal will be rendered on the basis of the Case File, the granted appeal(s), any responses, and the information provided by those in attendance at the Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review. The decision to postpone a Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review to accommodate a necessary or extreme circumstance is at the discretion of the Director of OSARP or designee and will be communicated to each party.  

When an appeal is granted to either or both parties on both the grounds of new evidence and alleged violation(s) of procedural standards, the portions of the Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review related to the arguments relevant to new evidence will be audio and/or video recorded; the Board Members’ closed deliberation will not be recorded. No participant may make their own recordings of the Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review.   

A Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review will proceed in accordance with the procedures below. If only the Responding Party was granted a Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review based on new evidence, then Steps 10-13 will be eliminated in the procedures below.  If only the Reporting Party was granted a Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review based on new evidence, then Steps 6-9 will be eliminated in the procedures below.  If both parties were granted a Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review based on new evidence, then each appeal submission and its response will be reviewed separately using all of Steps 6-13 to review the New Evidence submitted.

Responding Parties and Reporting Parties are not present for and do not participate in the part of the Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review granted based on alleged violation(s) of procedural standards. If both parties were granted a Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review based on alleged violation(s) of procedural standards, then each appeal submission and its response will be reviewed separately using the procedures provided. When both parties are granted an appeal on alleged violation(s) of procedural standards, the Appeal Board will review the appeal submissions in the order they were received by OSARP. 

A Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review granted to either or both parties on both grounds of new evidence and alleged violation(s) of procedural standards will proceed in accordance with the procedures below. Any participant may request a break at any point during the Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review. However, Board Members may ask additional questions at any time. The Appeal Board Chair has the authority to prohibit information from being shared that violates the rights of a party, is not allowed by the Sexual Misconduct Accountability Process, or bears no relevancy to the adjudication of the case. The Appeal Board Chair also has the authority to instruct Board Members to disregard information that violates the rights of a party, is prohibited by the Sexual Misconduct Accountability Process, or bears no relevancy to the adjudication of the case. Additionally, the phrase “through the Board Chair” used during the new evidence review portion of these procedures refers to the Appeal Board Chair confirming or denying a student’s ability to respond to a question; this confirmation or denial may be verbal or non-verbal. The Responding Party and the Reporting Party will be notified of the outcome of the Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review in accordance with the procedures listed in the Sexual Misconduct Accountability Process. 

  1. The Board Members and participants are introduced.  

  2. For the first, or only, granted appeal and response, the Appeal Board will determine whether or not a violation(s) of procedural standards occurred by considering the arguments made in the granted appeal and any response submitted.  

    • If the Appeal Board determines that a violation(s) of procedural standards occurred, then the Appeal Board will proceed to Step 3.  

    • If the Appeal Board determines that no violation(s) of procedural standards occurred, and the other party in the case was also granted a Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review based on alleged violation(s) of procedural standards, then the Appeal Board will proceed to Step 4.  

    • If the Appeal Board determines that no violation(s) of procedural standards occurred, and the other party in the case was not granted a Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review based on alleged violation(s) of procedural standards, then the Appeal Board will proceed to Step 6.  

  3. Based on their determination that a violation(s) of procedural standards occurred, the Appeal Board will then determine if the violation(s) of procedural standards can reasonably be said to have materially affected the interests of the first, or only, party granted the Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review.    

    • If the Appeal Board determines that the violation of procedural standards cannot reasonably be said to have materially affected the interests of the first party granted the Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review on the basis of the procedural standard(s) that was violated, the Appeal Board will proceed in one of the following ways:  

      • If the other party in the case was also granted a Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review based on alleged violation(s) of procedural standards, then the Appeal Board will proceed to Step 4.  

      • If the other party in the case was not granted a Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review based on alleged violation(s) of procedural standards, then the Appeal Board will proceed to Step 6.  

    • If the Appeal Board determines that the violation of procedural standards can reasonably be said to have materially affected the interests of the first party granted the appeal on the basis of the procedural standard(s) that was violated, the Appeal Board will order that a new Sexual Misconduct Case Review be conducted to render a decision for the case.    

      • If a new Sexual Misconduct Case Review is ordered after review of the first granted appeal in a Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review where a second appeal had been granted to the other party, the Appeal Board will not review the second submission since the case will be re-heard. In addition, the Appeal Board will not review any submissions on New Evidence since the case will be re-heard. Any new evidence that was granted on appeal and any response(s) to it will be added the Case File to be used in the new Sexual Misconduct Case Review.  The Responding Party, Reporting Party, Responding Party Witnesses, Reporting Party Witnesses, and Support Persons will leave and wait to be notified about the new Sexual Misconduct Case Review. The Responding Party and the Reporting Party will be formally notified of the outcome of the Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review in accordance with the procedures listed in the Sexual Misconduct Accountability Process. 

  4. For the second granted appeal and response, the Appeal Board will determine whether or not a violation(s) of procedural standards occurred by considering the arguments made in the granted appeal and any response submitted.  

    • If the Appeal Board determines that a violation(s) of procedural standards occurred, then the Appeal Board will proceed to Step 5.  

    • If the Appeal Board determines that no violation(s) of procedural standards occurred, then the Appeal Board will proceed to Step 6.  

  5. If the Appeal Board determines that a violation(s) of procedural standards occurred, the Board will then determine if the violation(s) of procedural standards can reasonably be said to have materially affected the interests of the second party granted the Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review.    

    • If the Appeal Board determines that the violation of procedural standards cannot reasonably be said to have materially affected the interests of the second party granted the Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review on the basis of the procedural standard(s) that was violated, then the Appeal Board will proceed to Step 6.  

    • If the Appeal Board determines that the violation of procedural standards can reasonably be said to have materially affected the interests of the second party granted the appeal on the basis of the procedural standard(s) that was violated, the Appeal Board will order that a new Sexual Misconduct Case Review be conducted to render a decision for the case.  

      • If a new Sexual Misconduct Case Review is ordered after review of the second granted appeal in a Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review, the Appeal Board will not review any submissions on New Evidence since the case will be re-heard.  Any new evidence that was granted on appeal and any response(s) to it will be added the Case File to be used in the new Sexual Misconduct Case Review.  The Responding Party, Reporting Party, Responding Party Witnesses, Reporting Party Witnesses, and Support Persons will leave and wait to be notified about the new Sexual Misconduct Case Review. The Responding Party and the Reporting Party will be formally notified of the outcome of the Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review in accordance with the procedures listed in the Sexual Misconduct Accountability Process. 

  6. Information is presented by the Responding Party solely about the new evidence presented in their appeal.   

    • The Board Members may ask questions about the new evidence presented in the Responding Party’s appeal.   

    • The Reporting Party, through the Board Chair, may question the Responding Party about the new evidence presented in the Responding Party’s appeal.  

  7. If applicable, the Responding Party will call their witnesses individually.   

    • Each witness called will individually share a verbal statement on the new evidence presented in the Responding Party’s appeal and be questioned by the Responding Party. Witnesses may only provide information relevant to the new evidence presented in the Responding Party’s appeal; witnesses may not provide their perspective on what they feel the appropriate decision or sanction in the case should be.   

    • The Board Members may ask questions.   

    • The Reporting Party, through the Board Chair, may question the witness about the new evidence presented in the Responding Party’s appeal.  

    • At the conclusion of the statement and questions for each witness, the witness will leave.  

    • The Appeal Board may request witnesses to return for further clarification.  

  8. Information is presented by the Reporting Party solely about their response to the new evidence presented by the Responding Party’s appeal.  

    • The Board Members may question the Reporting Party about their response to the new evidence presented by the Responding Party’s appeal.   

    • The Responding Party, through the Board Chair, may ask questions about the Reporting Party’s response to the new evidence.  

  9. If applicable, the Reporting Party will call their witnesses individually.   

    • Each witness called will individually share a verbal statement on their response to the new evidence presented by the Responding Party’s appeal and be questioned by the Reporting Party. Witnesses may only provide information relevant to the new evidence presented by the Responding Party’s appeal; witnesses may not provide their perspective on what they feel the appropriate decision or sanction in the case should be.  

    • The Responding Party, through the Board Chair, may question each witness about their response to the new evidence.  

    • The Board Members may ask questions.   

    • At the conclusion of the statement and questions for each witness, the witness will leave.  

    • The Appeal Board may request witnesses to return for further clarification.  

  10. Information is presented by the Reporting Party solely about the new evidence presented in their appeal.   

    • The Board Members may ask questions about the new evidence presented in the Reporting Party’s appeal.   

    • The Responding Party, through the Board Chair, may question the Reporting Party about the new evidence presented in the Reporting Party’s appeal.  

  11. If applicable, the Reporting Party will call their witnesses individually.   

    • Each witness called will individually share a verbal statement on the new evidence presented in the Reporting Party’s appeal and be questioned by the Reporting Party. Witnesses may only provide information relevant to the new evidence presented in the Reporting Party’s appeal; witnesses may not provide their perspective on what they feel the appropriate decision or sanction in the case should be.   

    • The Board Members may ask questions.   

    • The Responding Party, through the Board Chair, may question the witness about the new evidence presented in the Reporting Party’s appeal.  

    • At the conclusion of the statement and questions for each witness, the witness will leave.  

    • The Appeal Board may request witnesses to return for further clarification.  

  12. Information is presented by the Responding Party solely about their response to the new evidence presented by the Reporting Party’s appeal.  

    • The Board Members may question the Responding Party about their response to the new evidence presented by the Reporting Party’s appeal.   

    • The Reporting Party, through the Board Chair, may ask questions about the Responding Party’s response to the new evidence.  

  13. If applicable, the Responding Party will call their witnesses individually.   

    • Each witness called will individually share a verbal statement on their response to the new evidence presented by the Reporting Party’s appeal and be questioned by the Responding Party. Witnesses may only provide information relevant to the new evidence presented by the Reporting Party’s appeal; witnesses may not provide their perspective on what they feel the appropriate decision or sanction in the case should be.  

    • The Reporting Party, through the Board Chair, may question each witness about their response to the new evidence.  

    • The Board Members may ask questions.   

    • At the conclusion of the statement and questions for each witness, the witness will leave.  

    • The Appeal Board may request witnesses to return for further clarification.  

  14. The Board Members may ask final questions of the Responding Party and/or Reporting Party.  

  15. The Responding Party, Reporting Party, and Support Persons will leave; the Appeal Board will enter closed deliberation and complete steps 16-19, as applicable.  

  16. The Appeal Board will vote to determine if the new evidence and any response(s) presented by both parties as a part of the appeal are significant enough to alter the decisions made at the Sexual Misconduct Case Review, considering the totality of the evidence.  

    • If the Appeal Board determines that the totality of the evidence, including the new evidence and response(s) presented by both parties, is not significant enough to alter the decision made at the Sexual Misconduct Case Review, the decision rendered at the Sexual Misconduct Case Review will stand.  

    • If the Appeal Board determines that the totality of the evidence, including the new evidence and response(s) presented, is significant enough to alter the decision made at the Sexual Misconduct Case Review, the Appeal Board will render their decisions of whether or not the Responding Party is responsible for violating policy and proceed to step 17.A. or 17.B.  

    1. If the Appeal Board finds the Responding Party not responsible for violating all policies, they will proceed to Step 19.  

    2. If the Appeal Board finds the Responding Party responsible for violating the Sexual Misconduct policy, they will proceed to step 18.  

  17. The Appeal Board will render their sanctions for the case. If only a Responding Party was granted a Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review, the Appeal Board may not assign more severe sanctions than those assigned at the Sexual Misconduct Case Review.  

  18. The Responding Party and the Reporting Party will be notified of the outcome of the Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review in accordance with the procedures listed in the Sexual Misconduct Accountability Process.

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