The University aims to create a culture that supports and utilizes restorative justice practices to address and repair harm in the community, restore wellness, and promote communication, engagement, and cooperation. The Office of Student Conduct offers several practices to resolve issues outside of the disciplinary process. Any University community member or group may contact the Office of Student Conduct to learn about available resolution options, and/or to initiate a resolution process.
Circles/Conferences bring together members of the community that have been impacted by an event or incident. They allow both victims and respondents to have honest dialogue in a space where all members may speak and ask questions. It is a non-threatening way to rebuild trust, community, and relationships. Circles/conferences focus on gaining understanding and reaching a mutually desired outcome or resolution.
Conflict negotiation involves bringing in a third party to encourage communication.
Once the negotiator has a full understanding of the motives and needs of each person, they can begin to look for ways for them to compromise. The negotiator creates a contract or agreement by incorporating the agreed-upon compromises.
Panels provide an opportunity for indirect encounter when either the victim or respondent is unwilling or unable to meet the other in person. A panel is comprised of unrelated victims and respondents linked only by a similar type of violation. The panel may help bring closure to the victims and to expose respondents to the harms that they have caused by providing an opportunity for the parties to speak about their experiences.
Mediation is a dispute resolution process. Co-mediators will guide the people involved toward their own resolution. Through joint sessions and separate caucuses with each person, the mediators help both sides define the issues, understand the other’s position, and move closer toward their own resolution.