JMU seeks disciplinary action against over 100 students for not following COVID-19 guidelines

JMU seeks disciplinary action against over 100 students for not following COVID-19 guidelines
James Madison University sign (Source: WHSV)

HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - James Madison University has reached more than 1,000 positive COVID-19 cases. As of September 7, 440 positive cases came from the University Health Center, and 563 were self-reported by students, faculty, and staff.

The university reports 332 recovered cases.

Some JMU students could be facing consequences for not following the university’s COVID-19 guidelines. Part of coming back to campus this fall meant students had to sign the COVID-19 Stop the Spread Agreement. This agreement spelled out the university’s expectations and was clear that noncompliance could result in disciplinary action.

With a student population of more than 22,000, university spokesperson Caitlyn Read said this agreement was also created to help students hold themselves accountable, as well as their friends and peers.

On September 7, Read said JMU is investigating 113 pending cases. She said those cases could result in disciplinary probation, suspension, or even expulsion from the university.

These charges could range from students not wearing masks, to not social distancing, to attending or hosting gatherings of 10 or more people, all of which students agreed to not do when they returned to Harrisonburg.

“The institution set up sort of these formal avenues for disciplinary actions, such as the LiveSafe app, where students can anonymously report things that they’re seeing, or we’ve been very transparent with students that we hope they’ll call law enforcement,” Read said. “That they will contact our dean of students.”

Read said the LiveSafe app has been downloaded over 20,000 times in the last month.

Because investigations in the 113 cases are still ongoing, Read could not comment on where or when most incidents occurred.

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