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Volume 1, Number 4,  Nov/Dec 2000

Resource Reviews
and Announcements

A Guide from The Community Relations Service

In this report, the Community Relations Service (CRS) Director notes that "there is no place where hate crimes are occurring with increasing frequency, more visibility and hostility, than in institutions of higher education."

The CRS, an arm of the U.S. Department of Justice, was formed as part of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Their ongoing mandate is to help resolve and prevent racial and ethnic conflict using conciliation, mediation, crisis management and violence reduction techniques.

In response to campus concerns, the CRS has produced a new guide that is available on the web at It is also available formatted for download. The guide, approximately 12 pages in length, is designed to support campus members who may respond to hate-motivated incidents or work toward their prevention.

Three distinct types of hate incidents are described in some detail. These types, based on offender motivations, include reactive, impulsive, and premeditated incidents. Case examples and sample best practice policy guidelines are provided, as well as information on recommended case investigation, reporting and prevention best practices.

While not widely known, the Community Relations Service has considerable experience providing Campus Mediation Services upon request by school officials, faculty, students and law enforcement. Once alerted to potential tensions arising from racial, ethnic or national origin conflicts on a campus, the CRS conducts an assessment to determine if it can provide assistance to resolve the issues in the school community. They are committed to a 24 hour response time in crisis situations, and to a 3-day turn-around in non-crisis situations. They are required by law to conduct their activities in confidence, without publicity, and are prohibited from disclosing confidential information.

For more information on the CRS and your nearest regional office, visit the CRS website or call (202) 305-2935.

Note: Readers concerned about this topic may also be interested in the recent article Hate Goes to School from the Southern Poverty Law Center. Also relevant are two online articles from the 1995 HEES Review: Prejudice and Discrimination on the College Campus by Thomas Pettigrew and Prejudice and Ethnoviolence on Campus by Howard J. Ehrlich.


Puzzled About Teams: AˇStudent Handbook Written by Students is a nicely designed, concise and informative guide for student groups needing to work collaboratively. The online handbook was designed and developed by Penn State students Tracy Gill, Kara Heermans, and Roshani Herath. Topic areas covered include:

  • Collaborative Examples
  • Teambuilding
  • Working as an Effective Team
  • Goal Setting
  • Brainstorming
  • Group Communication
  • Group Development
  • Group Problems
  • Conflict
  • Studying as a Group
  • Extending Beyond the Classroom
  • Resources

The handbook is a project of the Schreyer Institute for Innovation in Learning at Pennsylvania State University. The Institute's mission is to promote a partnership between students and faculty to design, conduct and engage in problem-focused, problem-framing learning experiences that foster inquiry, initiative and team work.

Another nice resource available at the Institute's website is the Learning Teams Handbook for Faculty that includes various downloadable sample forms such as:

  • Brief outline of the stages of team growth
  • Sample handout of tips on conducting a meeting
  • Sample handout of tips for managing team conflict
  • Sample handout of tips for dealing with difficult members

Finally, readers of the REPORT may be interested in the available materials on developing case studies. The Case Writing Guidelines were prepared for faculty members who are thinking about using cases as part of their courses.

  • Guidelines for Writing Cases
  • General Tool for Evaluating Cases
  • Evaluation Rubric for Cases
  • Additional Evaluation Rubric for Cases
  • Sample Peer Evaluation Form

For more information on the Schreyer Institute for Innovation in Learning call (814) 865-8681 or email


Nurturing and managing diversity of college and university campuses requires creativity, courage, and careful planning. A free CD-ROM documenting over 300 initiatives designed to enhance diversity on college campuses is now available to help people working on this pressing concern. The CD was developed by Bob Steele and Juan Carlos Pena with funding from the Ford Foundation. The Windows and Mac compatible disc, labeled the DiverseCD, has three major components.

Diversity Breadth and Depth - Includes finely detailed examinations of what three states and 17 campuses are doing to enhance diversity by building deeper understandings and more inclusive practices. Along with information on how this being done, are included program and department descriptions, course syllabi, and interviews with students, faculty, and administrators about how these diversity efforts have affected their campuses and them.

Diversity Connections 2.0 - Includes the Diversity Connections 1.0 collection with its profiles of the multicultural initiatives sponsored by three foundations at over 200 campuses, its In-Depth looks at the activites of over 50 schools, its Diversity Search and Match feature and its nearly 200 syllabi. In addition, it now contains over 75 new syllabi on topics including race/ethnicity/nationality, gender/sexuality/sexual orientation, class, religion, ability, and age in a multitude of social, cultural, and historical contexts viewed from a variety of perspectives; and updates, drawn from DiversityWeb, of the profiles of 47 schools who were originally featured in Diversity Connections 1.0; and new profiles of the efforts of 53 colleges and universities.

Diversity Links - An annotated directory to 750+ web-sites featuring educational, business, and governmental efforts to foster diversity and intercultural communication.

Note: For more related information, check out the extensive collection of information found at DiversityWeb hosted by the University of Maryland.


As noted in our first issue, the University of Colorado at Boulder has developed a program using principles of restorative justice as an alternative to their Student Judicial Affairs process. It is a collaborative project involving the Ombuds Office, Office of Judicial Affairs, the University Police Department, Housing, the Office of Victim Assistance, and the Student Conflict Resolution Service. They use this approach when students who violate the Student Code of Conduct admit wrongdoing. Offenders, harmed parties, supporters of offenders, supporters of harmed parties, and affected community members are brought together to have a discussion (called a "conference" or "circle"). All parties present (including the offender) develop and sign a contract involving specific actions the offender will take to repair the harm done to relationships and to the community by her/his actions. So far, this appears to be a very successful program.

With financial assistance from a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grant, the staff has produced a high quality videotape about the restorative justice program. The videotape is now available for $50. If you are interested in exploring the possibility of establishing such a program on your campus, this videotape will give you a good introduction to what is involved.

If you are interested in buying the tape, use the attached order form.


For most students, the college years are a pivotal time of re-examining beliefs and values and forming new commitments. Higher Education's role in promoting ethics and morals is receiving increased attention. A new online publication known as the Journal of College and Character takes this topic as it's central focus. In a regular feature of the publication hosted by, college students from around the country share their reflections on moral conflicts in college and the experiences and learning which have helped them to develop ethically during their college years. Students are invited to contribute to the essay collection, which is regularly updated.


The CUNY Dispute Resolution Consortium is pleased to announce the publication of its first compendium of reports on research that it has funded. Since its inception, the CUNY DRC has been supporting a wide range of research undertaken by CUNY faculty and graduate students. The volume, which was edited by former CUNY DRC Co-Convener Professor Louis Guinta, includes fourteen reports. Each of the reports included in the volume are also available as an individual working paper. The compendium's contents are divided into four sections: Cultural Diversity, School Based Settings, the Workplace, and Public Policy. Included are a number of higher education conflict resolution related works. The collection costs $14.95 which include shipping and handling. Please contact the CUNY DRC for purchasing instructions or for more information.

Compendium items that may be of particular interest to readers of the REPORT include the following:

Italian American Students at CUNY: An Exploratory Study of Interpersonal Conflict and Student Development
by Nancy L. Ziehler & Maria Grace LaRusso

Italian American students represent the single largest European ancestral group attending The City University of New York. While a small body of research literature has profiled their demographic characteristics (Blumberg & Lavin, 1985; Castiglione, 1982; Krase, 1982) and psychoeducational concerns (Perrone, 1986), little is known about the nature of their interpersonal conflicts and possible adverse effects on the quality of their educational experience. The primary purpose of this project, therefore, is to explore and document perceptions of interpersonal conflict, self-reported by Italian American students, that impede educational adjustments and general satisfaction at CUNY. Based upon an interactionist perspective, which recognizes the influence of contextual factors on human development (Lerner, 1989), 15-25 student volunteers will be recruited to participate in semi-structured, in-depth interviews designed to identify and assess interpersonal conflicts. Interpersonal conflicts will be examined within the context of several key categories related to college life. These categories will include, but not be limited to: student-to-student, student-to-faculty, student-to-administrators, student-to-campus organizations, and student-to-institution. Data will be coded and analyzed according to qualitative methodological standards (Ely, 1993). Conflict coping strategies will be addressed in subsequent focus groups targeting specific issues that have emerged as a result of the data analysis.

An Investigation of Conflicts Involving Asian and Asian American College Students
by Nancy Duke S. Lay & Elvira Tarr

The conflicts among Asian students and those between non-Asian and Asians are the subject of this study. An investigation into the sources of the problems will be identified by the distribution of a questionnaire which will provide information for research by a selected group of students. A handbook will then be prepared, based on the findings, which can be used by students as the basis for understanding the causes of conflict and will also provide material for discussion groups.

Reflections on Mediation in the African American Community: Cultural Diversity and the Need for an Alternative Model
by Lynn Hurdle-Price

This study focuses on the responses of African American to the current community and school mediation models used in New York State. It presents as a hypothesis that the model is based on European American values that do not always take into account the cultural values and norms of African Americans.

Editor's Note: Other relevant small grant projects that have been funded by the CUNY DRC but not yet reported on include the following

Study of a College-Community Collaboration of Dispute Resolution for Adolescents
Jacqueline W. Ray

This study will examine the impact of participation as a mentor in a community based mediation program on career choices, and on personal and professional relationships. Since 1980, York College has collaborated with Community Mediation Services, a nonprofit agency, in developing and providing education and training to college students who serve as mentors for delinquent, PINS and at-risk youth. Assessments of the program's educational and training approaches will be conducted. Findings from this study will be used to revise the curriculum and share findings with others in academic and dispute resolution settings who are interested in alternative models.

Dispute Resolution Teams vs. Individual Negotiators
Patricia Orsatti Evanoski, Queensborough Community College

This study is designed to investigate whether a dispute resolution team consisting of a student and a faculty/staff member is more successful in resolving disputes than a student or faculty/staff negotiator alone.

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Page last updated 11/27/2005

A project of Campus Conflict Resolution Resources.
Supported by a FIPSE grant from the US Department of Education
and seed money from the Hewlett Foundation-funded CRInfo project.

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Campus Conflict Resolution Resources Project
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