Diversity and Social Justice

Workshops and Mediation

Workshops and Mediation

Lewis House

Oberlin's ombudsperson multipartial, independent 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.

Mediation is an opportunity for individuals to meet, discuss, and mutually resolve disputes. The Ombuds Office provides trained mediators from its Oberlin College Dialogue Center to work with participants to explore their options and to achieve an outcome that meets their needs. The diverse mediation team for the center includes students, faculty, and staff who facilitate conflict mediation and resolution. The team also sponsors educational forums, workshops, and mediation training for student groups, administrative offices, and faculty groups.

How does mediation work?
  • The mediation process is confidential; an exception is made only in the case of a threat to someone's life.
  • Mediation is a voluntary process for all participants. It occurs outside all formal judicial processes, and the parties own the outcome of the resolution.
  • The goal of mediation is to reach a win-win resolution. Participants formulate the agreements, and the follow-through rate is very high.

Educational Forums, Workshops and Mediation Training

We are able to tailor programs for residence hall groups, student organizations, staff in administrative offices, and faculty groups, among others. Our programs and services include:

  • Facilitation and conflict resolution
  • Educational workshops
  • Social Justice Institute
  • Conflict resolution symposiums
  • Leadership training
  • Private readings

Oberlin was on the vanguard of the mediation movement, and at the OCDC's inception in 2000, was one of only six institutions using a cutting-edge theory of mediation that incorporates the philosophy and theory of social justice. Based on the idea of personal narrative, or storytelling, this model was developed over the last decade by Leah Wing '84.

Additional Options

If you choose to participate in mediation, you still have the right to pursue any other channel of dispute resolution now or in the future. You always have the option to use the college’s formal grievance process or seek to court action. Remember that mediation is free, confidential, and leaves the decision-making in your hands.

If you are interested in scheduling a workshop, seeking mediation, or would like to refer a case, call the Office of the Ombudsperson at 440-775-6728 or send an e-mail ombuds@oberlin.edu to make arrangements.