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RA Conflict Mediation

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Deirdre Rocklein

on 5 January 2017

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Transcript of RA Conflict Mediation

2) Go to the Source
3) Mediation Time
Le Moyne College: RA Conflict Mediation
Define conflict and mediation

Understand the importance of roommate agreements

Discuss some causes and dynamics of conflict

Identify some basic tips and guidelines when dealing with conflict

Compose appropriate responses in common conflict scenarios

Watch role play scenarios
What are some causes and sources of conflict?
May be the first time students are exposed to different types of diversity

Never shared a room before

Not accustomed to directly communicating when an issue arises

Let the little things slide, which eventually turn into big things

Students did not take the roommate agreement form seriously
Conflict Resolution: Basic Tips and Guidelines
Other helpful hints during the mediation
Conflict, Mediation, & Roommate Agreements
As the RA you should,
Encourage the residents to address and communicate with their roommates about these issues
Understand the roommates may not be aware of the concerns and frustrations that are being communicated to you
Emphasize to the student the importance of confronting his/her concerns to the appropriate roommates in a calm, non-threatening environment
If the residents have taken the initiative to resolve the conflict on their own and there is still an issue, suggest a room mediation
A room mediation is a formal meeting with all roommates present and the RA/AD (depending on the situation)
Your role within the mediation is to ensure things are being communicated appropriately between all roommates
Encourage everyone to sit in a circular fashion either on the floor or on chairs
Roommate Agreement
What is conflict?

What is mediation?

What type of conflict do you think you will see in the residence halls?

Conflict Scenario 1:
It is a Thursday evening and Scandal is about to start, you, the RA, are coming back to your room after a long day of classes, work, and meetings. You are looking forward to watching the show for an hour before you begin your Calculus homework. As you are entering your room, Andrea comes running down the hall screaming your name. Your first thought is to tell Andrea you're busy (WRONG ANSWER). Andrea wants to speak with you immediately about her roommate issues. Andrea is completely frustrated with her two roommates (she is living in a converted triple). For the next hour you listen to Andrea vent about her roommates; their "inappropriate" behavior with their partners, their lack of respect for her, and the lack of cleanliness in the room.

Gather all details from parties involved, ask for specifics and examples.
Use your judgment on the severity of the conflict. Are residents aggressive towards each other? Do they need to be temporarily separated in order to de-escalate?
Restate. Paraphrase. Summarize.
Emphasize the fact that you are presenting your perception of the problem.
Confirm what the issue is and help identify possible solutions.
Offer constructive ways to help your resident solve their own conflict..
There are many types of conflicts. Depending on the severity of the conflict, another meeting with the AD may be necessary.
Revisit the Roommate Agreement filled out in the beginning of the year.
Remember to follow up after the mediation and throughout the year.

Roommate Agreements:
A great resource and tool is a roommate contract, a document outlining all the rules and expectations that the roommates agree to uphold within the room.
It should be used as a proactive tool that all roommates complete during the first few weeks of school
It should be revisited and utilized during a mediation as a guideline to discussing issues.
Sometimes roommate agreements will need to be changed or amended throughout the year
Roommate Agreement Video
Before you start the mediation, set up these ground rules:
Use "I" statements; take responsibility.
Only one person talks at a time.
Voices should remain calm and low
Maintain eye contact with each other. You may need to develop trust.
People should only speak about relevant facts. No innuendo or character defamation should occur.
Address specific behaviors; do not generalize.
What do you do?
1) Listen
Listen to his/her concerns and issues about the other roommates
Avoid agreeing or commenting about his/her concerns or issues
Stating your opinion on the matter indirectly displays that you are supporting their frustrations and thoughts.
Remain unbiased when speaking to all parties involved in the roommate conflict
4) Setting Ground Rules
A struggle or clash between two opposing forces; battle
The act of process of mediating especially; intervention between conflicting parties to promote reconciliation, settlement, or compromise
Roommate Agreement Discussion Guide
Where are you from? What was it like growing up? What were you involved with in HS? Do you know what your major will be? What are some of your interests and talents? Are you are morning or night person? How do you like to study? Have you ever lived with someone before? What are ways that we can make sure that we communicate as roommates? What will you miss about home? What is the funniest thing that ever happened to you?
Roommate Agreement Discussion Guide
Roommate Agreement Discussion Guide
Room Condition:
How would you like the room kept? What is the best way to organize a cleaning schedule? How often should the room be cleaned?

I like to study between the hours of? What noise level is acceptable while studying is going on in the room? Can the TV or radios be on? Are you an early riser or a late person? Can the lights, TV, or radio be left or turned on while someone is sleeping?

If we want to borrow something, do we have to ask first? Are there possessions that no one can touch but the owner? Would you prefer that the windows are kept open or shut?

Is it okay to have guests/visitors in the room? If yes, then how many at one time? How much notice does everyone need to give in advance of the arrival of a guest? Can significant others spend the night? How are we going to let each other know that it is inconvenient to have a guest/visitor? Can roommates' guest sleep in my bed when I am gone? Are social gatherings allowed in the room or suite?
The Follow-up
After a conflict, always follow up with all involved to see how things are going
Make sure to keep the AD regularly informed of any conflicts occurring in the building

After a year in the residence halls, Jerry and Bryan, best friends, move in together. But the extra space has brought out Bryan’s true living style. Bryan’s clothes are everywhere, he has not done laundry for weeks, and he refuses to take out the trash. Jerry is very neat and is afraid bugs are going to start coming into the room. Jerry and Bryan’s other friends also stopped coming over to their room due to the smell. What do you as the RA do when Jerry comes to you with his concerns?
Conflict Scenario 2:
Conflict Scenario 3:
Lindsay begins her first roommate experience at college and realizes that her roommate, Natalie, is from a different background than her. Lindsay is somewhat concerned, as she does not know anyone from the same background as Natalie and the thought of sharing a living space is somewhat uncomfortable to Lindsay. What do you do as an RA when Lindsay comes to you with her concerns?
Conflict Scenario 4:
You are on an RA staff with Deanna. You were paired to work with Deanna for your collaboration RA program. Last week, Deanna and you were supposed to hang flyers. Deanna showed up a few minutes late. This infuriated you. Now, you are afraid Deanna will not pull enough weight to pull off a great program. Deanna is not really creative and is introverted. Because of this, Deanna has been getting on your nerves all semester. What do you do?

Roommate Conflicts: guests, space, cleanliness, using roommate's items without permission, partners, noise, different styles, lack of communication, etc.

Staff Conflicts: different styles, lack of communication, different expectations, etc.
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