NOTE: The information contained in this section of the handbook is only applicable for those participating in the Sexual Misconduct Accountability Process. For cases not alleging Sexual Misconduct, see the “Accountability Process” section within this Handbook.


Responding Party

Reporting Party

Responsibilities and Rights- Sexual Misconduct

Administrative Witness

Reporting Party Witness

Responding Party Witness

Support Person


Responding Party

A Responding Party is a student who receives notification of an alleged policy violation(s), including at least one alleged violation of J34-100 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 JMU policy J34-100 Sexual Misconduct. A Sexual Misconduct Reporting Party presents information regarding alleged policy violation(s) to Title IX 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.


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 that presumes the Responding Party not responsible for violating policy.

  2. OSARP will ensure the use of 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 J34-100 Sexual Misconduct or J43-100 Physical Force or Attempted Physical Force.

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 relevant policy or policies allegedly violated; the right to know the alleged behavior leading to the allegation(s).

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

  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 or Appeal Review may not communicate for or speak on behalf of a party, but may provide support or advice on how to present their case.

  4. The right to request reasonable safety measures be put in place during the Sexual Misconduct Case Review or Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review, 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 submit character statements to OSARP to be considered by Board Members only when determining sanctions in accordance with the deadlines, guidelines, and restrictions listed in these processes.

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

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

  9. 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.

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

  11. The right to question all witnesses who make statements regarding the allegation at the Sexual Misconduct Case Review or Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review; 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.

  12. The right to have their current or past intimate relationships and/or sexual history with other people excluded as a part of the case unless it relates directly to the adjudication of the case or, unless a party brings up their own current or past intimate relationships and/or sexual history.

  13. The right to read a closing statement at the Sexual Misconduct Case Review or have one read for the record by the Board Chair.

  14. The right for the Responding Party’s previous 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.

  15. The right to be notified in writing of the recommendations rendered as a result of the Sexual Misconduct Case Review including whether or not the Responding Party was found responsible for the relevant violation(s), the Board’s rationale and, if applicable, the relevant recommended sanction(s).

  16. The right to submit a written appeal of the recommendations rendered as a result of the Sexual Misconduct Case Review within four days of OSARP sending notification of the Board’s recommendation 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 and Investigation Process or only relevant to refute information shared for the first time at the Sexual Misconduct Case Review.

  17. 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.

  18. When a Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review is granted, the right to receive the recommendation or order for a new Sexual Misconduct Case or Appeal Review rendered by the Appeal Board in writing. If the Appeal Board renders a recommended finding and recommended sanctions, this notification 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 recommended sanction(s).

  19. The right to be notified in writing of the relevant final decision in the case within ten business days of when the Dean of Students or designee completes their final review of the case, including whether or not the Responding Party is found responsible for the relevant violation(s), the Dean of Students or designee’s rationale and, if applicable, the relevant sanction(s).


Administrative Witness 

An Administrative Witness is a university faculty member, staff member, student, or other employee or volunteer that provides a report, statement, evidence, or other information to be used in the placing or adjudication of an alleged policy violation(s) in OSARP. 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 include, but are not limited to, Residence Life Staff, Professors reporting violations, University Staff, Police Officers, and Title IX Coordinator or designees. 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 Title IX during their Sexual Misconduct Formal Complaint and 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. A Reporting Party Witness can provide information relevant to the case, including what they know about the alleged incident or what the Reporting Party has shared with them about the alleged incident. A Reporting Party Witness may not provide their perspective on the character of either the Reporting Party or the Responding Party or 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 for a Support Person to attend the Sexual Misconduct Case Review or Appeal Review 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 Title IX during their Sexual Misconduct Formal Complaint and 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. A Responding Party Witness can provide information relevant to the case, including what they know about the alleged incident or what the Responding Party has shared with them about the alleged incident. A Responding Party Witness may not provide their perspective on the character of either the Reporting Party or the Responding Party or 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 for a Support Person to attend the Sexual Misconduct Case Review or Appeal Review 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 or, if applicable, Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review for the case. 

  4. Prior to a Sexual Misconduct Case Review or Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review, 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 or Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review, 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 or Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review, 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 or Sexual Misconduct Appeal Review, a Support Person may provide emotional support by taking breaks with or requesting breaks on behalf of the participant they are accompanying.

Back to Top