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Understanding the Accountability Process

The Accountability Process, Sexual Misconduct Accountability Process, and Title IX Sexual Harassment Adjudication Process are designed to enforce compliance with university policy and applicable law(s) and to protect the rights of all parties involved. Case Administrators and Board Members must carefully weigh all facts and evidence within a particular context and set of circumstances. As a public institution, James Madison University must comply with both federal anti-discrimination statutes and due process requirements of the U.S. Constitution. Every year, OSARP does a comprehensive, ongoing review of our policies, procedures, training, and support services to ensure that we are doing all we can to reflect recent guidance and evolving best practices.

As an educational institution, the University's policies and procedures are not the same as in a court of law. Individuals can also seek out a criminal justice process if they believe that a crime has been committed. The University cooperates fully with law enforcement in such circumstances.

If you have any questions relating to the processes above or the JMU Student Handbook, please contact us.

Supporting Your Student Through an OSARP Process

As a parent or guardian of a student, your relationship may change when your student goes to college, but you will likely still be a person your student goes to for support or assistance. As a result, you may be one of the first people that your student calls if they receive an email about an alleged policy violation(s). You might also be the voice of reason to remind your student that an OSARP process is the way to hold students accountable to the expectations of the University. Here is some information to support your student through an OSARP process.

  1. While we recognize that your goal is to provide support for your student, OSARP staff ask that you provide this support unconditionally, but not blindly. Be aware that your student may not tell you all of the details of a situation.

  2. Understand that there is a process in place to hear all information regarding the alleged incident and encourage your student to prepare for their case review

  3. When your student receives an email regarding an alleged policy violation and has questions, direct them to contact our office

  4. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) as well as University policies prevent faculty and staff from discussing your student’s academic and university disciplinary record without their written consent.

  5. Practice the “24 Hour Rule.” Your student may contact you becuase they are worried after recieving notification of an alleged policy violation. Try to allow 24 hours for your student to engage with the Accountability Process prior to providing assistance. Encourage your student to explore the OSARP website or contact our office if they have questions about their process. Allowing your student to navigate this on their own is part of the educational journey. 

Resources for Parents & Guardians

OSARP has an open-door policy for any student who wishes to consult about the Accountability Process or discuss options within Restorative Practices. We are happy to discuss our policies or processes if you contact our office, but hope all parents, guardians, and family members encourage their student to do that work themselves. 

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