Diversity and Social Justice

Ombuds and Dialogue Center

Ombuds and Dialogue Center

When you’re caught in a conflict—perhaps an interpersonal dispute with a professor or roommate, or a housing and dining issue—it’s sometimes useful to involve a neutral party who is able to present options, devise strategies, and help find solutions.

Oberlin's ombudsperson is an impartial, independent, and confidential administrator whose central role is to help improve the quality of discourse on campus by providing individuals with the tools to resolve conflicts, solve problems, and  communicate more effectively with others. The ombudsperson is available to help you begin the process toward resolution.

The ombudsperson listens, offers information about the college’s policies and procedures, and works for orderly and responsible change in systems. The ombudsperson also is a good source of support for those who may want to examine their options for dealing with a particular concern or who may wish to learn how to resolve problems on their own.

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A key service of the Office of the Ombudsperson is the Yeworkwha Belachew Center for Dialogue at Oberlin College or YBCD. The center has specially trained students, faculty, and staff members who represent a cross-section of the campus. The YBCD promotes social change and community building through conflict transformation, mediation, educational workshops, and facilitated dialogue. The ombudsperson tailors the center’s services for residence hall groups, student organizations, staff and administrative offices, faculty groups, and others.

Additionally, the ombudsperson and the YBCD help individuals and the college community to confront and resolve sources of community tension, particularly those that stem from racism, prejudice, and misunderstanding.

To learn more or to see how you might get involved in the work of the YBCD, stop by the Lewis House, 68 S. Professor St., or send e-mail to the ombudsperson.