In cases where there is no clear violation of the Student Conduct Code, but there is a conflict between two or more students or student groups, students may choose to go through the mediation process. Mediation is defined as a structured and voluntary intervention in which an impartial and neutral third party helps facilitate a mutually agreeable settlement of a conflict between two students. It is the responsibility of the students involved in the conflict to reach a mutually acceptable agreement. The role of the mediator is to assist students in reaching a mutually acceptable agreement, help identify the issues involved in the conflict and to facilitate a resolution of the conflict. It is important to note that mediation should not be viewed as a means to avoid being charged with a violation of the Student Conduct Code and should not be used in place of the student conduct process. It is simply an alternative strategy used to address student behaviors that may not require formal student conduct actions.
Not all conflicts are appropriate for mediation. Violations of the Georgia Southwestern State University Weathervane may not be subject to mediation. Mediation is not designed to resolve conflicts between students and professional staff or between students and faculty members. The following represents conditions in which mediation may be used. It is, however, not an all inclusive list.
- If it were determined that it would be in the best interest of the students to mediate the conflict.
- If it is clear that students cannot work together because of a conflict.
- If academic performance is negatively impacted because of a conflict.
- If one student complains about another student’s behavior, but does not want to pursue formal student conduct action.
- If a student’s learning experience or personal development is in jeopardy.
The procedures for mediation are:
- Students must meet with the designated Student Affairs official, for an in-take process. At that time, it will be determined if the case is appropriate for the mediation process. In addition to mediation, any information provided that indicates a clear violation of the Student Conduct Code, will result in a student conduct hearing.
- Once the designated Student Life official determines that this case can be mediated, the student(s) choose a mediator from a list of university officials that have been trained in mediation or are assigned an off-campus mediator from the Consortium on Negotiation and Conflict Resolution.
- Both students must agree to participate in mediation.
- The mediator and the students will sign a written contract outlining agreed upon behavior.
- A violation of the contract may result in formal student conduct procedures.