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Office for Student Conflict Resolution

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Mediation

INTRODUCTION

Difficulties are meant to rouse, not discourage. The human spirit is to grow strong by conflict. –William Ellery Channing

Conflict is inevitable and a natural aspect of the lived human experience. However, if left unresolved, conflict may result in strained relationships, misunderstandings, physical altercations, and a host of other avoidable problems. The Office for Student Conflict Resolution offers free and private mediation services to any University of Illinois student who is experiencing conflict with another and wishes to try to manage the conflict with the assistance of a neutral third party. At least one of the parties to the dispute must be a currently enrolled Illinois student.

CONFLICT RESOLUTION SERVICES

Standard Mediation: The Office for Student Conflict Resolution conducts mediations for individuals involved in conflict that is impacting an established relationship, and for registered student organizations experiencing dissension that is impeding the organization’s operations.

Conflict Coaching: Individuals who wish to discuss a conflict situation may arrange a meeting with the Mediation Coordinator. The Mediation Coordinator will discern the nature of the conflict, the conflict styles of the parties involved, and the initiating party(ies)’s desired outcome, and its feasibility. The Mediation Coordinator will discuss with the initiating party(ies) a variety of approaches to addressing and/or resolving the conflict and will test the potential outcome of the various options with the initiating party’s input. Conflict Coaching is appropriate when: (1) the parties to the conflict are not interested in participating in formal mediation, (2) one party is interested in mediation but the other(s) is not, or (3) the conflict is not appropriate for mediation.

Restorative Justice Mediation: The Mediation Coordinator works closely with the Office for Student Conflict Resolution hearing officers to facilitate sanctions involving Restorative Justice Mediations. Restorative Justice Mediation is used as an alternative form of addressing behavior that would generally result in a disciplinary sanction by the University. It is employed when the offending behavior results in damage to property, minor injury to person, and/or loss of income. The process offers both parties the chance to explain their respective side of the offense.

The student whose actions resulted in a violation of the Student Code will have an opportunity to explain what motivated his/her decision-making and the subsequent impact of his actions; and the impacted party will inform the student of how his/her behavior impacted him/her (if an individual) or business operations (if offense involves a business). The ultimate objective of the mediation is for both parties to arrive at a mutual resolution as to how to remedy the outcome of the offense. Such remedies may include, but are not limited to: restitution, community service related to the offense, substance use counseling if alcohol or drugs are involved, or a letter of apology. The Office for Student Conflict Resolution facilitates the terms of the agreement between the parties until all conditions are fully satisfied.

Panhellenic Mediation: The Office for Student Conflict Resolution works with the Illinois Panhellenic Council to facilitate mediations resulting from judicial proceedings involving member organizations.

Team Action Plan (Expected Availability Fall 2009/Spring 2010): The Team Action Plan (TAP) follows a four stage process that enhances group productivity, member interactions, and provides positive conflict resolution strategies. The process is directed by two trained facilitator’s from the Office for Student Conflict Resolution. The facilitators are neutral, and therefore, know nothing about the group dynamics.

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Conflict Resolution Certification Program

The Office for Student Conflict Resolution is offering a program that will be a great opportunity for you to develop your skills in better managing and resolving conflict. Additionally, it can be a great résumé builder and will give you something to talk about during interviews.

Information and Application Form