Mediation can be described as a facilitated negotiation in which a neutral third party assists individuals in conflict to resolve their differences. Unlike more formal procedures, mediation is informal and relies on the willingness of the disputing parties to resolve a problem. Mediation is confidential and information obtained during a mediation will not be acknowledged to anyone outside the Ombuds Office. Those individuals interested in mediating are informed that the mediator cannot be subpoenaed and any records made during the mediation cannot be used during legal proceedings.
During a mediation each individual is given an opportunity to tell their side of the story, raise any concerns, and suggest possible resolutions. The mediator's role is to assist in the discussions, identify the main problems, and offer various types of solutions. If the parties are able to reach a resolution, the mediator will often times write out an agreement, have each party sign and date it, and make copies for the parties to keep for their records. Future mediation amongst the parties is available if problems continue and/or additional concerns arise. Learn more about what to expect in mediation: Preparing For Mediation