What is HB1?

Virginia House Bill 1 (HB1) took effect July 1, 2018 as Code of Virginia Section 23.1-405(C). It prohibits a university from disclosing a student's email address, physical address, or telephone number under the exception in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) for directory information unless the student has affirmatively consented in writing to the disclosure. Full text of the law can be found at https://law.lis.virginia.gov/vacode/23.1-405.

Key points regarding this bill:


Student email addresses are available to faculty and staff in the EMU directory when logged into myEMU. Student email addresses will no longer be available in the Google Address List, meaning they will no longer autocomplete as you begin typing the name of a student in the To field of an email you are composing.

When sending an email to multiple recipients, faculty and staff must avoid disclosing students' email addresses to other students. Therefore, when emailing multiple students, you must add the students' email addresses in the blind carbon copy (bcc) field. You may also send messages through Moodle, EAB SSC Campus, or an EMU Broadcast List.

Yes. They can give consent in writing and by email. There is no central database to track whether a student has provided consent. Consent will need to be obtained on a case-by-case basis. The student can sign a form or send an email from their EMU address. The form or email should contain language such as the following:

"I affirmatively consent to the internal, non-public disclosure of my address, telephone number and email address solely for the purposes of 1) internal use within the University community, including facilitating email communications and student directory information and 2) internal use in the University processes. I understand that my contact information will not be publicly available."

Faculty and staff may not distribute lists of group members that includes student email address, phone number, or physical address without written consent from each student whose information is provided. In such cases you may wish to distribute a sign-up sheet with the consent verbiage as noted in the FAQ above, or request that the students reply to an email clearly granting their permission for their contact information to be disclosed to other members of the team, student organization, etc.

Student workers are permitted to access this information as part of their job duties and HB1 does not apply to them in their role as a student worker.  They, like other employees, must be made aware that they may not disclose this information, but no additional action is needed for them to continue to access student contact information.

Yes, Moodle does not reveal student email addresses to other students.

HB1 permits EMU to disclose student information to a third party contractor provided that EMU's relationship with the contractor satisfies FERPA's "school official" exception for FERPA-protected data. EMU must have a contract with the vendor and maintain control over their use of the information.

The legislation prohibits EMU from disclosing a student's contact information to another student without written consent. Therefore, the University cannot directly provide you with another student's contact information. You may obtain a classmate's contact information directly from them.