MSU Denver

Reframing how we approach conflict on campus.

The Restorative Justice Coalition is dedicated to exploring restorative practices as a response to conflict and harm that occurs at MSU Denver. The Dean of Students Office is working alongside staff, students, faculty, and our MSU Denver community to share their knowledge and experiences to collectively envision restorative justice at MSU Denver.

The Coalition is working to build a restorative and community-centered culture on campus to prevent, address, and resolve harm. The Coalition started meeting in the Fall 2021 with about 18 members and 5 lead facilitators. The first year’s focus was on strengthening our community connectedness, learning about restorative justice, and moving toward action.

Like many other colleges and universities, MSU Denver has a Student Code of Conduct and specific processes to address violations of community standards. Conduct processes have historically been centered in punitive notions of accountability, mirroring the criminal justice system in process and language. The MSU Denver Dean of Students Office recognizes that the current approach to student conduct can lead to inequity like that of the criminal justice system and can also be insufficient in addressing the needs and harms that have resulted from wrongdoing.

Restorative practices offer a different lens in addressing harm and accountability, informed heavily by indigenous peacemaking. Restorative principles of relationship and interconnectedness guide the Coalition will help address the systems that have contributed to what happened for all those involved. It is an opportunity to be more truly community-focused and conflict-positive, while meeting the needs of our students, particularly for Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) and others whose voices have been traditionally marginalized.

Get Involved

As a student, why join the Coalition?

We honor the labor, wisdom and knowledge that students bring to the Coalition. In addition to connecting with others within the MSU Denver community to create change in an environment rooted in restorative justice, you will develop skills in:

  • problem-solving
  • facilitation
  • conflict resolution
  • collaboration
  • communication
  • social justice
  • consensus decision-making

Interested? What to know as a faculty, staff, or community member

Staff and faculty that are part of the Coalition come from across the University. We hope to have a broad representation of MSU Denver.

The Coalition is an excellent way to engage in service, collaborate across departments, and work closely with student leaders.

Community members and alumni are very welcome to take part in the Coalition!

We know that folks have busy schedules and may not be able to participate in every meeting. If you are interested, but concerned about time, please contact us to discuss. There may be other ways to engage and learn about restorative justice even if you are unable to attend the meetings.

Details about the Coalition

Meetings: What to expect

  • Meetings happen two times per month. We have a full-day retreat one time per semester.
  • There are often opportunities to engage in sub-committees on topics like education and recruitment.
  • Meetings are facilitated in a restorative format, following circle practices and use consensus decision-making to help us collaborate and make decisions.
  • Looking through the lens of social justice and anti-racism, the coalition explores how we can build community through conflict at MSU Denver.
  • The Coalition focuses on both responsive and proactive approaches to building trust, repairing harm, strengthening belonging, and creating a culture of care.

Meetings have included dialogue & brainstorming on:

  • Defining accountability and justice
  • Unlearning a punitive mindset
  • Types of restorative justice processes
  • Partners in restorative justice on campus and throughout the community
  • Implementation of restorative justice at MSU Denver (in student conduct, the classroom, departmental meetings, within student organizations, and more)
  • Review & recommend changes in the Student Code of Conduct
  • Educational Workshops tailored for faculty, students and staff
  • How to make the MSU Denver Land Acknowledgement actionable & crafting a Labor Acknowledgement

Member Testimonials

“I love being a member of the Restorative Justice Coalition because it allows me to be part of discussions that I otherwise wouldn’t be involved in. There is nowhere else on campus where a student, a dean, and the chair of a department can openly and comfortably discuss the changes we would all like to see. I leave each meeting having seen our campus from a new perspective and feeling more connected to our campus community. I love that the Coalition provides me with the opportunity to better understand our campus as a whole and values my voice as a student. I am proud to be a part of this group that is working to create a better campus for us.”

– Cae Draper, 4th-year student, Department of Criminal Justice/Criminology

“I love being part of the Restorative Justice (RJ) Coalition because it provides me opportunities to learn, grow, and connect. Every gathering expands my knowledge of RJ principles and practices. I often leave the meetings wanting to look deeper into my own relationships with others, which can be incredibly enlightening. I appreciate getting to know and learn about the campus experiences of a diverse group of students, faculty, and staff. I sincerely enjoy being part of this coalition and contributing to the goal of implementing RJ at MSU Denver to improve the educational experience on our campus.”

– Dr. Elizabeth Ribble, Professor of Statistics, Chair of Mathematics and Statistics

Coalition Norms

The Coalition's Vision, Mission & Values

Contact Us

Have Questions?

Contact Elise Krumholz, Assistant Director, Restorative Justice & Student Conflict Resolution Services

303-605-7018 | [email protected]