Mediation is a conversation between two parties in conflict, structured and assisted by a neutral third party, the mediator. The structure of a mediation session allows both parties to move beyond their initial positions to discover their own and the other's underlying interests. The parties can then generate options to address their needs. When mediation is successful, the parties review and select the best options, and conclude with a written agreement.

Mediation is typically voluntary, though in some cases conflicting parties can be encouraged by persons with authority. Because the parties do come to the session willingly, the typical rate of successful resolution is extremely high. And, because the parties themselves created the solution, it is typically a long-lasting solution.

Mediation is confidential. Even in cases where two parties may be encouraged to mediation (as in the case of a supervisor referring staff members to mediation to work out a problem, or two students who choose the mediation option within the judicial process of Community's Standards), the only information that is disclosed would be that the parties did indeed attend a mediation session and that they did, or did not, reach agreement.

In short, mediation is:

  • Voluntary.
  • Confidential.
  • A structured, problem-solving conversation.
  • A resolution process in which the parties involved in the conflict make the decisions, not the mediator.
  • Highly successful in solving conflicts of all types.

What kinds of conflicts might benefit from mediation?

For Students:

  • Roommate and other residence hall disputes where resolution has not been achieved by the parties or with the help of an RA.
  • Student clubs/associations intra-group conflict, student-advisor conflict, and inter-group conflict.
  • Intra- and inter- fraternity/sorority conflicts.
  • Student-faculty/staff/administrator conflicts.
  • Campus-Carlisle resident incidents such as noise complaints, parking issues, and landlord conflicts.

For Staff, Administrators or Faculty:

  • Cases where a strained workplace relationship is getting in the way of one or both individuals to work to their full potential or accomplish required tasks.
  • Cases which are covered by formal grievance or other procedures in the Community's Standards, Student Handbook, Employee Handbook, or Faculty Handbook should follow those procedures. Cases may be referred for mediation if appropriate through those procedures.

Who will mediate my case?

Disputes involving students will generally be mediated by Campus Life staff. On occasion, Associate Provost Shalom Staub handles mediations for students.

Disputes involving administration, staff, or faculty will be handled by a member of Dickinson's Workplace Mediation Team--staff, administrators and faculty members who have received extensive training, and supervised by Associate Provost Shalom Staub.

All mediators are bound by mediation procedures and ethics, which include neutrality and confidentiality.

Where will mediation sessions be held?

Mediation sessions will be held in rooms on campus appropriate to maintaining the privacy of the participants.

All mediation sessions are scheduled in advance.

How do I find out if my situation is appropriate for mediation?

To find out if your situation is appropriate for mediation, contact Associate Provost Shalom Staub.