Mediation is an important service provided by the Ombuds Office. It is free of charge and available to students, staff, and faculty on request.
Mediation is a voluntary process in which one or more impartial person(s), the mediator(s), facilitate communication between parties in conflict. Mediators do not make decisions on the substance of the matter, only the parties do.
Why use mediation?
Because it works. Parties entering mediation in good faith are successful 80 percent of the time in finding an agreement they can live with. In many cases, the process serves to mend relationships that have been damaged by a conflict. Mediation is a fast, informal and confidential way of solving "people problems".
How does mediation work?
Contact the Ombuds Office to discuss the situation and to determine if mediation is the most appropriate and desirable approach to the situation.
If you would like to discuss your concerns and explore the idea of mediation, please e-mail the Ombuds Office (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call 609.258.1775 to make an appointment.
If the visitor chooses to proceed, the Ombuds Office will contact the other party and explain mediation to them. Participation in mediation is voluntary and the Ombuds Office always respects an individual's decision not to participate in the process. If both parties want to give it a try, the Ombuds Office will send a preparatory document with the name(s) of the mediator(s) assigned to the case or a list of mediators to be chosen by the parties.
Once the mediator(s) has been selected, the Ombuds Office staff will schedule the mediation. In some cases, the mediator(s) may want to meet individually with the parties before the mediation.
During the mediation the parties have the opportunity to explain the problem from their perspective. The mediator assists the parties in framing and clarifying the issues in dispute, exploring options, and developing an agreement. The mediator does not impose the solution. The solution is generated by the parties and is one that both parties are willing to accept and abide by. In mediation, it is understood that the agreement is binding on the individuals who comply with it.