Move in 2018 - Students and Dr. Miller moving boxes

Dear Students,

Though I’ve been back on campus since June, summertime at JMU just isn’t the same without our students. These past six weeks since you’ve arrived remind me why I love what I do and how proud I am to be a Double Duke!

I have tried to meet as many of you as possible since move-in, and I appreciate the time I’ve spent with you at the various campus dining facilities, out on the Quad and at UREC. I’ve also had the opportunity to get to know some of you during my visits to the libraries and while out walking our dog, Duke, around campus. I’ve had the honor to attend a range of events on campus including Student Org Night, Meet the Greeks, a meeting of the Latino Student Alliance, athletic events, MYMOM, “Intimate Apparel” at Forbes and the NAACP Freedom Fund Banquet. I am continually amazed at the talented and diverse students who make up JMU. I’m grateful for those whom I have met thus far, and I know there are plenty of you whom I have not met yet. Please, don’t hesitate to invite me to your events or activities. I would love to get to know you and better understand your Madison Experience.

I have also met many students through a number of small group meetings that I have hosted to discuss the issue of sexual misconduct on campus. This issue is my top priority, and I have appreciated hearing from so many students already. JMU has continued to develop programs, policies, training and services to create a safe and welcoming environment. It is important to me that I hear from every student that has anything to say about this issue.  If you were not able to attend any of the earlier meetings but would still like to share your perspective, please sign up and we will contact you to find a time that works for your schedule.

October not only marks the traditional beginning of fall, but it is also a busy month in the life of JMU students. Be sure to check out all that is going on this month. I know that everyone has two dates circled on their calendar. Family Weekend is this weekend, while the last weekend of October is Homecoming. There will be a lot going on during the week including Quadfest on Friday, Oct. 26, which will be followed by a major announcement about the future of JMU. Please plan to attend.

I also suspect there may be some Halloween “trick or treating” going on Homecoming weekend. This is a special time for our community and is an important time to be responsible and respectful of those around you, including our Harrisonburg neighbors. Please avail yourselves of how to think safe, be safe and stay safe. Also know that JMU is a popular destination for Halloween revelers from other institutions. So, while we may be used to looking out for our fellow Dukes, others may not be accustomed to our traditions.

Finally, as some of you may know, one of the best ways to get a hold of me is through my Facebook or Twitter accounts. I find that social media is a great way to connect with the JMU community and celebrate the best aspects of our community. Last week, rumors began circulating of women being approached by unknown males at off-campus housing complexes. If you ever find yourself in such a situation, CALL THE POLICE IMMEDIATELY. Fortunately, these reports turned out to be unsubstantiated. While I’m sure that those who shared this on social media were just looking out for their fellow Dukes, it is important that we are careful about sharing unsubstantiated rumors, as this can cause panic and divert law enforcement resources. JMU police enjoy a good working relationship with the Harrisonburg Police Department. Had there been a credible threat, we would have notified the campus through the Madison Alert system.

I hope that your classes are going well and that you have a chance to enjoy the sunshine and beautiful weather. I look forward to seeing you soon and happy Family Weekend!


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Dr. Tim Miller

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