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Elise Krumholz | Coordinator for Student Conflict Resolution Services | 303-605-7018 | [email protected]
Conflict is a normal part of life. It can be stressful, frustrating, and bring uncertainty. In fact, many see conflict as a negative. However, conflict can result in stronger relationships, encouraging growth, and building understanding.
There are ways to engage in conflict through the discomfort and challenges it may bring. Student Conflict Resolution Services (SCRS) provides a variety of programs and services to support students experiencing conflict in both individual and group settings and through skill-building and facilitation support.
SCRS recognizes that individuals have differing needs and interests when approaching conflicts. SCRS also acknowledges that our personal experiences and social identities are fundamental to how we do and see conflict, and therefore we cannot ignore, undervalue, or avoid talking about identity when we are in conflict. As mentioned, conflict can bring discomfort and it can leave us feeling vulnerable. SCRS helps students navigate these situations in a way that works for them.
SCRC works with students in many different scenarios, including:
Conflict coaching sessions are one-on-one meetings or mini-trainings on conflict. If you feel like you need a sounding board, to strategize on how you would like to approach a conflict situation and grow your conflict management skills, then you may find conflict coaching helpful.
Conflict coaching is individualized and student-led. In other words, the student determines what they would like to get out of conflict coaching. Conflict coaching is not therapy and the conflict resolution professional will not tell the student what to do or give advice. Rather, the session will frame the conflict and/or the situation around what the student is interested in and what they need.
About restorative justice.
Restorative processes address conflicts or wrongdoing that have resulted in harm. Restorative practices actively engage all parties (the responsible party, impacted party(ies), and the community) to collaboratively address what happened, the needs of the parties, and how those needs can be addressed.
Restorative justice values the voice of the participants and allows parties to share their stories. Restorative justice also focuses on how the parties were impacted and repairing the harm caused. Lastly, restorative justice elevates active accountability, meaning that the responsible party must not only recognize and take responsibility for the harm caused but must be willing to repair the harms caused.
About a restorative justice process.
Student Conflict Resolution Services uses a variety of restorative approaches. All restorative processes are guided by facilitators and require prep meetings before coming together. All restorative processes are completely voluntary. To move forward, the impacted parties must be interested in participating in the process and/or be ok with the process moving forward in a way that works best for them.
The main steps of a restorative process are:
SCRS may receive referrals from anywhere in the campus community, including referrals from the Student Conduct Process.
SCRS offers a number of conflict management workshops. Each workshop offers content about conflict resolution practices and approaches, while also inviting discussion and giving space to skill-building. While training can be tailored to what a specific group needs, here are a few workshops that are available by contacting SCRS:
A facilitated conversation is guided by a 3rd party facilitator and is voluntary for all participants. Every facilitated conversation starts with norms and follows a particular flow that helps parties clear the air and determine how to move forward successfully. All participants must meet with the Coordinator for Student Conflict Resolution Services for individual meetings prior to the conversation to prepare. A facilitated conversation is an opportunity for individuals to:
The main steps of a facilitated conversation include:
Coming together in circle and dialogue allows groups to build community, explore conflict, brainstorm, and make decisions. Community-building circles are guided by a facilitator and encourages groups to engage in a deep and meaningful process that promotes effective listening and invites group members to share their voices.
Community-building circles can be tailored to what the group needs, including:
Community-building can occur in many different formats, including:
Community: SCRS is committed to serving the MSU Denver community by being responsive, collaborative, and supportive of community-building efforts across campus, which encourage dialogue and problem-solving across differences.
Inclusion & Equity: SCRS values conflict resolution practices that are aligned with social justice, equity, and inclusion, by offering students conflict resolution options to the MSU Denver community that are culturally responsive and challenge normative views of conflict resolution.
Voice & Self-Determination: All SCRS services and programs are voluntary, builds spaces that honors and empowers the voices of those involved, and in which all outcomes of any process are in the power of those involved, not the facilitator.
Multipartiality: In any conflict resolution process, a facilitator or mediator’s role must be clear. Honesty and trust are fundamental for any relationship with individuals seeking support from SCRS. To support a peaceful and just resolution, SCRS promotes multipartiality, which upholds each sides’ voice while also understanding that many conflicts are asymmetric, where one side may have more power than another. In addition, the facilitator is clear with all involved about their own affiliations and biases.