Mediation is a process that empowers students to resolve their own disputes. Through mediation, a neutral third party assists students in coming to a peaceful and agreeable solution to their dispute. The university encourages informal mediation whenever practical or appropriate. Students interested in utilizing the peer mediation program to resolve a conflict should contact the Office of Student Conduct. Staff within the Office of Student Conduct may also refer cases to mediation as appropriate. Ultimately, all parties involved must agree to mediation. If one party does not agree to mediation, or if the mediation fails, the Office of Student Conduct may refer a case to arbitration and/or disciplinary resolution. Failure to comply with the results of mediation may be cause to commence the disciplinary process.
A mediator does not take sides, make decisions, or give advice (legal or otherwise). Mediation is an opportunity to resolve differences in a safe and creative environment. Mediation can be used to resolve a wide variety of disputes. Mediation is most effective where there is a relationship at stake.
Some of the types of conflicts that could be resolved through mediation include:
- Roommate conflicts
- Co-worker conflicts
- Dating or romantic partners involved in conflict. This could include strategies for communication or assistance in ending the relationship.
- Conflicts between groups
- Grievances such as neighbor conflicts
- Challenges in communicating with a faculty member or adviser.
- At the discretion of the Office of Student Conduct, some disciplinary actions may be referred for resolution through mediation.