Mediation is a voluntary mutual effort to find a suitable resolution to an existing disagreement or dispute through negotiations that seek to meet the legitimate interests of each party. These negotiations are facilitated by trained, neutral mediators.
Mediation will not preclude other dispute resolution mechanisms such as the disciplinary process.
When to Use Mediation
Mediation is most productive in situations where individuals want to resolve a problem, but just can't seem to get there on their own. Examples might include:
- Roommate disagreements
- Minor disputes among significant others
- Minor harassment issues
- Differences among student leaders
- Minor intercultural misunderstandings
- Personal property and access issues
- Classmate disputes
Mediators are faculty and staff members of the University. They have completed a four-hour training session, and must maintain active participation in mediation sessions or repeat the training on an annual basis to remain certified.
Eligible for Mediation
Any currently enrolled student in the College may take advantage of mediation services.
An enrolled student may request mediation for a dispute with a person outside of the College community. Such requests must be reviewed and approved by the assistant dean of students. Most often, mediation services through a local agency is more appropriate.
Mediation Used to Substitute the Discipline Process
The assistant dean of students can offer mediation as an alternative to adjudication through the disciplinary process when:
- The assistant dean of students believes mediation is viable and appropriate
- Both disputants are willing to use mediation services in the attempt to resolve an issue
Referring Students for Mediation
Others may suggest mediation as an alternative, but mediation is not mandatory. Individuals may consult with any staff member of Residential Life or the Office of the Dean of Students about mediation referrals.
The best way to request mediation is through the online mediation request form. Students can also call or stop by the Office of the Dean of Students to request mediation.
Mediation services are free to all currently enrolled undergraduates.