The Office of Student Conduct & Conflict Resolution supports students in assuming self and social responsibility in times of conflict. Conflict is an inevitable aspect of college life and mediation is a process rooted in the belief that people can resolve their own disputes peacefully. Trained mediators provide a setting where it is possible for individuals to:
- Share their concerns
- Be heard
- Come to a workable solution that you choose
How can mediation help?
Mediation may be helpful in a variety of situations. When all parties are willing and capable of participating, want resolution, and positive action is possible, mediation is a great option. Particularly college students are often faced with the following conflicts, among others, that may benefit from mediation:
- Roommates/Housemates (Off Campus*)
- Student Groups/Teams
- Group Projects
*Roommates living on campus should instead work with staff from Housing & Residence Life for assistance
What does mediation look like?
- Mediation is a confidential and voluntary process available to UMD students.
- Each person has uninterrupted time to share what happened and what they hope to accomplish in the mediation.
- A mediator facilitates the dialogue based on the topics identified as important by the participants.
- If an agreement is reached, the mediator drafts a document that is signed by all parties.
What should I expect from the mediator?
The mediator will not side with a person, an issue, a proposed solution or declare an outcome as right or wrong, better or worse. Instead, the mediator will ask questions and guide people through the process. Then they help them write up their decisions and agreements.
Mediators are UMD Student Life staff. They have received necessary training and meet the requirements for a Qualified Neutral under Minnesota Supreme Court Rule 114 and take continuing education each year to remain active as a mediator with UMD
How is this different from conflict meetings with Housing and Residence Life?
Housing and Residence Life is a great initial resource for conflict experienced by students who live in the residence halls. Mediation offered in the OSCCR is open to all students and uses a specific process designed to help participants identify and communicate their needs and interests in the hope of reaching a mutually satisfactory agreement. This mediation will likely be structured differently than conversations facilitated by Housing and Residence Life staff.