The Office of Student Rights & Responsibilities is exploring new ways to help student navigate the student experience at Lewis & Clark College. While we are primarily known for managing conflict in conduct meetings that arises from policy violations on campus, SRR is working to expand our services and offer other options for conflict resolution.
One way SRR is looking to do this is in exploring the Spectrum Model (Shrage & Thompson, 2009) out of the University of Michigan. In this model and its framework of inclusive excellence, SRR would like to create multiple pathways of resolution that range from informal and minimal involvement to formal and highly involved pathways. This idea centers around the idea that students, their needs, and their conflicts need to be addressed in ways that meet their individual and situational needs. This may include pursuing one of these options in place of a traditional adjudication if designated appropriate by SRR staff.
While we are currently not equipped to offer all of these options, here are some of the resolution methods we can currently offer to students:
- Dialogue - Teaching students to engage in independent, direct conversations with one another to gain understanding & build community.
- Facilitated Dialogue - SRR can facilitate conversations between 2+ individuals to help them overcome communication barriers and engage in conversations around mutual interests and concerns. This differs from a mediation, because this conversation will seek understanding rather than to produce agreements.
- Mediation - SRR can facilitate a conciliatory intervention between individuals or groups to develop shared & mutually acceptable solutions to their conflict.
- Restorative Justice - Based on indigenous practices of peacemaking, RJ focuses on inclusive decision-marking, active accountability, repairing harm, and rebuilding trust. While SRR uses this framework for some of its methods, such as our new student conduct boards, this is still an area is looking to expand on. Some great efforts to bring full RJ practices are underway through the work of the Prison Abolition LC student organization at Lewis & Clark, and SRR will continue to support the exploration of ways RJ can be incorporated into the work we do.
- Shuttle Diplomacy - For deeply divided parties, SRR can help manage conflict and create solutions without parties needing to address each other directly.
- Adjudication (Informal) - As we always have, SRR will continue to offer informal adjudication options to students that do not result in a disciplinary file being created. This is currently accomplished in our Agreed Resolution Process.
- Adjudication (Formal) - SRR maintains formal adjudication processes through our Administrative Hearings outlined in the Code of Conduct.
In the future, SRR hopes to add more Restorative Justice practices, including circle processes, and is also looking to expand our offerings to Conflict Coaching. We also hope to be able to offer training processes to individual students, student organizations, or departments interested in bringing these skills to your groups.
If you are interested in exploring these options or scheduling an appointment to speak with someone from our office about any conflict or any of these resolution pathways, please send an email to SRR@lclark.edu.
If you are seeking assistance with a conflict that may involve sexual misconduct or a violation of the Student Code of Conduct, you may consider submitting a report here.