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Student Peer Medition Program Proposal for Gavilan College

Approved by the Gavilan District Board of Trustees in April 2005

 

BACKGROUND:

Formal mediation brings conflicting parties face to face in a safe environment, guided by two neutral co-mediators, to problem solve. Since a successful training held on campus in April 2004, a group has formed to bring mediation to the campus. The Gavilan Mediation Program has collaborated with the county Office of Human Relations Office of Dispute Resolution and a Bay-Area mediation-focused Campus Consortium to develop free formal mediation for Gavilan students, thereby reducing strife and fostering a positive culture of cooperation, good communication, and creative problem-solving. The ASB, Faculty Senate, CSEA, GCFA, and the President's Council have all endorsed mediation at Gavilan. A recent survey by the Gavilan Mediation steering group and the Research Office has indicated need at every level of the college for conflict resolution opportunities. Possibilities for future development include collaboration with Santa Clara county as a South County site for community mediation.

 

KEY OBEJCTIVES:

*To provide an accessible, attractive, positive alternative for student conflict resolution that creates win-win situations.

 

*To empower students in conflict to learn how to avoid, handle, and resolve conflicts; to help participants in mediations learn and practice good communication skills.

 

*To foster a campus climate in which conflict leads to positive, creative solutions.

 

*To develop a core of student mediators and trainee-mediators to mediate conflicts at Gavilan and, later, at partner colleges.

 

*To collaborate with a consortium of Santa Clara County colleges and the county Office of Human Relations on a project that will contribute to a sense of belonging to a community at Gavilan and beyond.

 

*To eventually collaborate with other colleges and universities in the county on mediator pools, training, evaluation and assessment, case development, and resource sharing.

 

*To foster a positive campus environment in which differences are honored, strengthening Gavilan as the college of choice.

 

PROPOSAL:

Students trained in April 2004 and January 2005 Basic Mediation trainings will work under county auspices with county mentor mediators until they complete the necessary five mediations to mediate independently. In the future, student mediators will be trained by college faculty in the three-unit class, Political Science 6, Introduction to Conflict Resolution.

 

Gavilan will provide intake services for the student mediations through counselor Leslie Tenney. Efforts will be made to identify a Spanish-speaking back-up person for intake. Mediators will volunteer their time and have use of college facilities for mediation sessions.

 

In conjunction with the Gavilan Mediation Program steering group (consisting of Fran Lozano, Jan Bernstein-Chargin, Dena Kehler, Leah Halper, Bea Lawn, Leslie Tenney, and student representatives Marina Castaneda, Shanna Webb, and Marietta Tipton) the county will provide training, mentor mediators, and information/confidentiality/evaluation forms. Mediators will follow county protocols.

 

Gavilan will continue working with the Campus Consortium, which consists of a dozen colleges, universities, and community colleges in Santa Clara County, to design evaluation and assessment tools, seek grant support for mediation case development, and develop pools of mediators from each college who can mediate at other campuses as appropriate.