Conflict Resolution Network
What is conflict resolution?
Everyone experiences conflict. All parties should feel respected during disagreement. When conflict becomes unhealthy or unsafe, such as raised voices or inappropriate words, it may be helpful to walk away. However, in the event of an emergency or when conflict turns physically violent, dial 911.
Conflict resolution can be helpful to work through conflict. A trained conflict resolution facilitator or mediator works with both parties to resolve conflict and develop a formal resolution depending on the circumstances.
Are confidential resources available?
Conflict Assistance Requests
Who is notified when I request conflict assistance?
When a request for conflict assistance is submitted, the conflict resolution team receives the form.
What happens when I request conflict assistance?
A member from the conflict resolution team will contact the reporting party and request a meeting to discuss the incident(s) or conflict and determine how the reporting party would like to move forward if possible.
Is the request for conflict assistance confidential?
Requests for conflict assistance are kept as private as possible and only those who need to know are notified. Click here for confidential resources.
About the Ombuds Office
Is the Ombuds Office Confidential?
The names of persons consulting with the Ombuds Office are kept confidential. The office does not divulge the names of persons seeking or who have sought ombuds services, nor does it discuss cases with other persons without the expressed permission of the person(s) seeking services. The only exception to this policy is when the ombuds officer feels that he/she has been made aware of situations, conditions, or events that might result in harm to a person or persons.
The office keeps no formal written records and does not "accept notice” of problems for the University. Consulting the Ombuds Office does not, therefore, constitute making formal notification to the University of alleged violations of policy, procedures, or laws.
Faculty, staff, and students seeking to formally notify the University of a concern or a complaint must
- make notice to another unit or office charged with receiving formal notice of complaints or concern, or
- request and grant written permission that the Ombuds Office make the appropriate University office or unit aware of the complaint or concern being raised. The Ombuds Office does not participate in any succeeding formal grievance procedures.
What services does the Ombuds Office provide?
Ombuds is available to:
- listen to you and discuss your concerns, issues, and questions;
- help you evaluate various options available to address your concerns;
- answer University-related questions or help you to find others who can;
- help you to understand the reasons behind University policies and procedures;
- facilitate communication between members of the Michigan Tech academic community;
- advise you about steps that you might take to resolve problems informally;
- advise you about formal and administrative options for resolving disputes;
- mediate disputes between willing members of the campus community to seek a win-win resolution of problems; and
- make appropriate referrals when informal options don't work.
What is restorative justice?
Michigan Tech seeks to use restorative justice and restorative practices whenever possible and to resolve conflicts peacefully among all parties involved. Restorative justice separates the "deed from the doer."
The use of restorative practices helps to reduce crime, violence and bullying; improve human behavior; strengthen civil society; provide effective leadership; restore relationships; and repair harm.
Restorative Practices are the practical applications of the theory of restorative justice. Restorative Practices consider the importance of the harms created during a conflict or conduct violation, the needs of those impacted, the obligations of the person responsible for creating the harm, and the engagement from the community members who might be directly or indirectly affected by the harm that was created. The two primary restorative practices are restorative group conferences and circles.
When are restorative practices appropriate?
A restorative group conference may be appropriate when:
- A violation of the Student Code of Community Conduct has been committed that has a direct negative impact on others.
- The person who committed the violation takes responsibility, expresses remorse for their actions, and wishes to try to repair harm caused.
- The impacted parties are interested in participating in the process.
What are the benefits of participating?
Participating in a restorative group conference gives individuals an opportunity to have a voice in the conduct process. Everyone present has the opportunity to share their perspective on the incident that happened, how the incident had an impact on them, ask questions, and advocate for what they want/need moving forward. The participants come to a formal agreement on what exactly will be done to repair harm caused. People who have participated in the process agreed the discussion helped to repair the harm caused by the incident.
Is the conference confidential?
The expectation for the participants is “what is said in the circle should stay in the circle.” All student conduct records are kept confidential in the Office of Academic and Community Conduct.
Is participation required?
No. Participation is always voluntary for all individuals.
What happens if individuals choose not to participate?
The Office of Academic and Community Conduct may appoint a surrogate if the impacted parties choose not to participate. Typically members of the University Conduct Board are appointed as the surrogates. In some cases the restorative group conference may not be able to be held because of individuals choosing not to participate. In these situations, the case will be referred back to the Office of Academic and Community Conduct so formal sanctions can be imposed.
How long does a restorative group conference take?
Generally, a two hour block of time is scheduled for a conference. However, most conferences take anywhere from an hour to an hour and a half to complete.
What will the formal agreement include?
Agreements look differently for different students and situations. Agreements are tailored to fit harm caused and utilize student’s skills and talents to give back to the community. Students play an active role in deciding what they would like to see in their agreement.
I think restorative practices might be beneficial to my situation. How do I get started?
Contact the Office of Academic and Community Conduct and make an appointment.
How can I learn more about conflict resolution?
Michigan Tech offers a course on Restorative Practices.
PSY 2900 - Intro to Restorative Practices
Restorative justice practices allow those who have been most affected by an incident to share their feelings, describe how they have been affected and develop a plan to repair the harm done and prevent recurrence. The process is useful for K-12 schools, criminal justice, higher education and workplaces.
Semesters Offered: On Demand