Students and Staff Train in Justice Mediation
A group of 25 students and staff members from a diversity of backgrounds came together for social justice mediation training this January. Staff members from Residence Life, Student Programs and Leadership Development, the Dean of Students Office, Disability and Support Services, and the Graduate School of Education and Allied Professions participated. Students represented groups including Resident Assistants, Peer Mediators, and the Council of Student Organizations.
The week began with a comprehensive look into privileges and injustices that individuals encounter in their everyday lives and within the identities of themselves and others. This week-long training helped participants to recognize the ways in which their identities shape their ability to exercise and experience power. By adopting this social justice lens, participants are better able to critically analyze interpersonal conflicts that they experience as students and staff members at the University. Additionally, they learned the importance of adopting a multipartial (as opposed to neutral) approach in order to connect on a personal level with each disputant. Colleen Wilson, Program Coordinator in Student Programs and Leadership Development, explains that the training has shown her the importance of “creating a space for people to share stories that they otherwise would not feel comfortable sharing”. This week gave all participants insight into their respective roles on campus.
The training is part of a larger conversation set in motion by the Lucy Katz Dialogue and Resolution Program. As a part of this program, Peer Mediators lead mediation sessions and support the Stag Explorers program, which reaches out to first-year students after a first offense of non-serious policy violations. Look out for LKDRP’s new mediation initiatives and other ways to continue the social justice dialogue on campus!
Learn more about the Lucy Katz Dialogue and Resolution Program
Submitted by Dan Jones, Program Coordinator, Student Programs and Leadership Development