Office of the Ombudsperson


Misunderstanding, miscommunication, and conflict among people are inevitable. Anger and mistrust, however, don't have to be.

When you're caught in a conflict, it sometimes can be useful to involve a neutral party who can present options, devise strategies, and help find solutions.

Oberlin's ombudsperson is a multipartial and independent administrator who helps individuals—students, faculty and staff—resolve conflicts, solve problems, and communicate more effectively with others.

A Note from Oberlin's Ombuds Office

Dear Oberlin campus members and friends:

Thank you for visiting our website.

The Office of the Ombudsperson has recently trained approximately 30 new Yeworkwha Belachew Center for Dialogue (YBCD) members thanks to your nominations and support. They were trained as mediators and given excellent skills for facilitation.

Please feel free to call on us for contentious discussions, and any conflicts that would need third-party assistance and intervention.

Thanks for all your support to keep this program strong. We will be seeking your nominations again as we add new YBCD members to our rolls in spring 2016.

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Honoring Yeworkwha Belachew

Oberlin College and Conservatory have benefited from the extraordinary service of so many faculty and staff members through the years. One of the greatest is Yeworkwha Belachew, or YB, as she is known to Oberlin’s students, faculty, staff, and residents. For the past 35 years, YB has been a pillar of this community in a variety of posts, most recently as ombudsperson.

YB has retired, and we officially celebrated her service as ombudsperson in early October with a ceremony at the Lewis House.


Conflict transformation through the Yeworkwha Belachew Center for Dialogue

The YBCD offers confidential mediation and facilitation, as well as education workshops on conflict transformation.


The Social Justice Institute

A two-day workshop for new students, the Social Justice Institute explores multicultural issues at Oberlin and in the larger social community.


Participants in the 2008 Social Justice Institute