2, Number 2, Feb 2002
Mediation Roleplay #6 (continued)
first you were interested in having David in class.
He is very bright, engages in class discussions and
has a reputation for being an aggressive debater. As
a campus leader, David has made important contributions
to the community. As a student, he is widely viewed
by the faculty as having a brilliant mind and strong
analytical skills. Too often students in your seminars
have offered only superficial polemic in place of thoughtful
and analysis and debate. You hoped that with David in
the class, other students would be encouraged to participate
actively in class discussions. And yet when you engaged
him in debates, the situation seemed to take on a decidedly
hostile tone. Instead of being a catalyst that energized
others in the class, David became a provocateur, challenging
your ideas and engaging you in arguments that distracted
the class from what you had planned to teach. You've
had students who've played "devil's advocate"
before, but with David, the game had another dimension-a
When he approached you last week about an extension
for the final paper, he acted as though he were entitled
to the extension and he was asking only as a matter
of form. When you questioned the need for an extension,
he became angry, and accused you of being out to get
him since the beginning of the quarter. You replied
that he was out of line. He started to come around the
desk and you got up to meet him, putting your hands
lightly on his chest to stop his progress and saying
"Just back down, David." He pushed your hands
away, saying "Get your fucking hands off me."
Staggering backwards, you shouted at him, "Get
A promising opportunity has gone more sour than you
could have imagined. Initially you thought David would
be a candidate for a prestigious graduate fellowship
in international politics at Oxford (a fellowship you
once received). You were prepared to sponsor him, endorse
his application, and help him with the process. Now,
all that you had hoped for him vanished, and in its
place are feelings of anger, disappointment, and frustration.
project of Campus Conflict Resolution
Supported by a FIPSE grant from the US Department of Education
and seed money from the Hewlett Foundation-funded CRInfo
to CMHE Report
(Attn: Bill Warters)
Campus Conflict Resolution Resources Project
Department of Communication
585 Manoogian Hall
Wayne State University
Detroit, MI 48201.
send comments, bug reports, etc. to the Editor.
© 2000-2005 William C. Warters & WSU,
All rights reserved.