Conflict Resolution and Mediation
There will always be hot political or moral topics that will energize campus controversy. There are also ongoing disputes that arise out of the daily interactions between members of any campus community. These conflicts are based on some combination of lack of experience (by newcomers or people changing roles), stress or boredom (or both), miscommunication, destructive patters of interaction, and differing needs and interests of community members. Regardless of the initial source of the dispute, however, the outcomes of conflict (either positive or negative) often hinge on the way the dispute is handled.
When areas of conflict arise between members of our community that do not rise to the level of a possible violation of University policy, our office can provide conflict resolution services in order to reach a mutually agreed upon outcome through mediation.
Tips for Resolving Conflict
- Agree to talk in person. Texts, notes, and social media are not effective ways to deal with conflict. Talk to the person with whom you have a conflict and try not to influence mutual friends to take sides.
- Identify an appropriate space to talk. A private, neutral location is always best.
- Come to the table with the spirit of compromise not competition.
- Agree to the ground rules.
- Be empathetic.
- Take responsibility for your role.
- Be clear in your needs.
- Be flexible in ways to handle the problem.
- Work towards a solution that is agreeable to both parties.
- If you cannot work it out; seek the help of a qualified neutral party. There are many offices on campus that can offer you help in reaching a solution and mediating a conflict. You can seek help from your Community Coordinator, Graduate Community Director, or other member of the Housing staff, The Office of Conflict Resolution and Student Conduct or the University Counseling Center.
Warters, W.C. (2000) Mediation in the campus community. San Francisco, CA: Jossey Bass