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Roommate Conflict & Mediation

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by

Jovita Vereen

on 21 November 2013

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Transcript of Roommate Conflict & Mediation

Notes
Roommate Mediations
How to Set-up Mediations
Setting the Ground Rules
Roommate Conflict & Mediation
How You Will Benefit
Define mediation and its usefulness as a problem solving technique
Assess sources of conflict and select a conflict management style appropriate for resolution of conflict
Use essential mediation skills of listening, speaking, and inventing options
Initiate appropriate responses in common mediation scenarios, by dealing with issues of feelings, anger, power, and impasse
What You Will Learn
Causes and dynamics of conflict
How to serve as a mediator
Steps to the mediation process
Draft a written roommate agreement
Definitions
Conflict: a struggle or clash between two opposing forces; battle
Mediation: the act or process of mediating; especially: intervention between conflicting parties to promote reconciliation, settlement, or compromise
The Mediation
After ground rules have been established, begin the mediation process. Each person should make a brief opening statement to define the issues as he or she understands them. Define the issues that need further discussion and negotiation. Each person should be reminded to speak specifics.
Roommate Conflicts: Confrontation, Communication, and Mediation
Living with roommates isn't always easy. Sharing a living space may be stressful, and conflicts may arise. Sometimes situations that work at the beginning of the year become more difficult as the year goes on; remember that roommates will be constantly growing and changing during their time at UNC Pembroke. It is perfectly normal to have roommate conflicts, some may argue inevitable. In fact, there is a great deal to be learned from handling a difficult situation maturely, respectfully, and creatively.
The Residence Life plays an integral part in helping to facilitate the conversation that lead to the mediations that help resolve roommate conflict.
Roommate Mediation Clip:
In difficult discussions, such as roommate conflicts, it is very helpful to have an unbiased third party to help mediate the discussion. Resident Advisors should be trained mediators, with good experience helping roommates come up with the solutions to their conflicts. If residents are having difficulty resolving conflicts, they will be encouraged to approach their RA to arrange mediation.
RA will be contacted, either by email or in person, to explain the situation and to request a mediation.
RA should ensure that a formal Request for Mediation has been submitted at www.uncp.edu/housing and pre-mediation handout is completed prior to scheduled mediation.
RA should contact all roommates to find a time that works best for everyone. It is very important that you allow enough time for each person to express themselves and to come up with a solution.
RA, have a responsibility to the well-being of all their residents, not just the one who contact them to initiate the mediation. Give each person a chance to be heard, and they will encourage a solution that is beneficial to all parties.
Remember, although the RA is a trained mediator, you're not a magician. Some roommate conflicts require a number of mediations before they find a solution. In other cases, you may find that the situation is not working even after an honest attempt at mediation is made. In those cases, and only in those cases, a room change may be the best answer.
Below are the steps that the Residence Life Staff will use when assisting residents in a discussion regarding roommate compromises and expectations during the Roommate Mediation. http://www.uncp.edu/housing/reslife/mediation/
Despite the tensions that may be present, it is never too late to sit down with all roommates and discuss concerns. Nearly all roommate issues are because of poor communication and poorly conveyed expectations. Assist residents in setting up a time when all roommates can be present, and discuss the things that are causing tension. 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.
The Roommate Agreement
The final step of the process will be developing a Roommate Agreement. This agreement should detail the specific responsibilities of all parties in writing and should also include the following:
It should provide a framework for carrying out the plan.
It should define how to ensure that all parties are following through.
It should provide alternative ways of handling the dispute if it should continue.
The final plan should be acceptable and agreed upon by all parties. If so, it should be signed, and distributed.
The Office of Housing and Residence Life firmly believes that if these steps are taken and adhered to, the majority of roommate relationships can be repaired and blossom further. However, it is important to establish a follow-up date to check-in with the parties to determine the effectiveness of the mediation. In the case that these attempts do not alleviate the situation, roommates should be instructed to re-inform their R.A. about the situation. The R.A. and Community Director will decide what further steps to take.
Room Change Process
If your attempt to reconcile your differences is not successful, then advise resident of the following step to obtain a room change.
1. Contact the Community Director for a Room Change Request form and to check for available spaces.
2. Contact potential roommate(s) to find out whether you might be a good match. Once you have found an acceptable roommate(s), complete the room change request form.
3. Collect signatures of all affected parties and submit the completed Room Change Request form to the Office of Housing and Residence Life located in the UC Annex 2nd floor Suite 207.
4. The Housing Coordinator will issue you a key to your "new" room assignment for you to begin the move.
5. Once move is complete, check out your "old" room. Contact your RA or Community Director to set up a check-out appointment.
You will have 48 hours from the time the room change process is initiated to complete the move
Turn in your "old room key" and check-out form into the Housing Office
A lock change fee will be charged for keys not returned within 48 hours of moving
6. Check-in to your "new" room. Contact R.A. in your "new" hall/floor to complete this process

The Follow-up
Full transcript