Some Important Functions Provided by a Campus Mediation Service
Conflict must be acknowledged as part of everyday living on a university campus and its surrounding community. Unless people live in virtual isolation, they are bound to experience conflict in their interactions with others. Campus-based mediation services can help enable individuals to make the most of conflict.
Some of the important functions and goals of a Conflict Resolution Service include:
- A university infrastructure prepared to respond to conflict promptly and flexibly, before it escalates toward violence or abuse.
- A forum that promotes taking responsibility for one’s own affairs and which helps participants develop critical life skills by modeling cooperative means of resolving disputes.
- A tool for helping to improve retention rates and improving morale.
- An avenue for building and enhancing town/gown relations with local community members, police, landlords and neighborhood associations.
- A neutral source of moderators or facilitators for public debates or discussions.
- A rare opportunity of close interaction (during training and while co-mediating) between faculty, staff, and students, around a shared project.
- An informal forum for dispute resolution for people who would prefer to privately handle their disputes rather than go public.
- An inexpensive resource for the ongoing training of an increasingly diverse group of community members in conflict resolution skills.
- An increasingly widespread network of trained individuals from all areas of the university structure who are committed to the nonviolent resolution of conflict and are willing to volunteer their time to help it happen.
- An academic and professional training clinic for future dispute resolution experts.
- Public recognition that the home university actively supports community members interested in resolving interpersonal disputes without escalation to violence or intimidation.