Student Mediation Program Procedures

I. Purpose

The Mediation Program allows parties involved in a dispute to rely upon a neutral third party for resolution. The purpose of the program is to promote alternatives to resolution of conflicts and to foster respect for personal differences. The focus of the Mediation Program is to develop an understanding of the needs and concerns of the parties involved and to facilitate consensus about reasonable actions to resolve disputes. However, in accordance with the Sexual Misconduct Policies (1.42 and 4.16), some forms of conflict may include harassment, which may violate the College’s policy against Sexual Misconduct under Title IX. When a report of harassment is received, the Title IX coordinator will be contacted to determine whether it shall proceed under this policy, or under the Sexual Misconduct Policy.

II. General Information

The Mediation Program may be used in the following circumstances:

  • To resolve student grievances prior to the second appeal in the Student Grievance Procedure (Refer to the Grievance Process and Procedure for Students);
  • To resolve alleged incidents of discrimination or harassment;
  • To resolve grade disputes between students and instructors;
  • To resolve nonviolent disputes between students and between students and employees; and
  • In appropriate circumstances, to resolve alleged incidents of sexual misconduct.

A.

Mediation will not be used to resolve disputes or grievances related to violations of Policy 4.08 Student Academic Integrity or violations of the general standards of Policy 4.00 Conduct of Students. Criminal offenses committed on any campus of Central Piedmont Community College will not be resolved through mediation.

B.

Students who choose to participate in the mediation process maintain their right to refer to the Grievance Process and Procedures for Students, to the Discrimination and Harassment Policy and Procedures, the Sexual Misconduct Policies and Procedures, and the Grade Appeals procedure. A student may choose to withdraw from the mediation process at any time and re-enter the formal College procedure designed to address his/her particular concerns.

C.

Participation in the Mediation Program will be on a voluntary basis. All parties participating in mediation should express a willingness to settle their dispute through mediation at the outset. Once the mediation process is complete and all involved parties have agreed in writing to honor the mediated solution, the involved parties are expected to uphold the agreement.

III. Procedures

A. Grievance Process

  1. Students may seek mediation through the Grievance Process and Procedure for Students after they have discussed their grievance with the College employee most closely involved in the dispute and with the employee's immediate administrator.
  2. If the matter is not resolved with the assistance of the immediate administrator, the student may request mediation. A request for mediation must be made prior to presenting the written grievance memorandum to the immediate administrator's supervising administrator as described in the Grievance Process and Procedure for Students.
  3. Requests for mediation should be made in writing within five working days following a decision rendered by the immediate administrator. The original grievance memorandum and any written decisions rendered by the immediate administrator should be attached to the request.
  4. Student requests for mediation and documentation should be submitted to the Dean of Student Life and Service-Learning (Dean). The Dean will forward the request and documentation to the Executive Director of Institutional Equity (Executive Director) for arrangement of the mediation. The Executive Director will notify the disputants of the arrangements within five working days following receipt of the request.
  5. If the matter is not resolved through mediation, the student may continue the grievance process as described in the Grievance Process and Procedure for Students.

B. Disputes Between Students and Between Students and Employees

  1. Disputes between students and between students and employees may be mediated upon request by the disputing parties.
  2. Students may request mediation of disputes after they have discussed the matter to be resolved with the Dean. A statement of the issues to be resolved should be attached to the request. Student requests for mediation of disputes between students and supporting documents should be submitted to the Dean. The Dean of Student Life and Service-Learning will refer the request to the Executive Director of Institutional Equity.
  3. Requests to mediate disputes between students and employees may be submitted to either the Dean or the Executive Director. The Dean will forward the request to the Executive Director for processing.
  4. The Executive Director will arrange for the mediation and notify the disputants of the arrangements within five working days following the request.
  5. If the matter in question is not resolved through mediation, the employee or student may continue to address his/her concerns through the appropriate College procedure.

C. Mediation for Claims of Discrimination and Harassment

  1. Students may participate in the mediation process in situations regarding alleged discrimination or harassment following a waiver of complaint as described in Policy 4.10 Discrimination and Harassment. Students may choose to participate in the mediation process in situations regarding alleged sexual misconduct if the matter is appropriate for mediation in accordance with the Sexual Misconduct Policies, 1.42 and 4.16.
  2. Students may participate in mediation after an initial meeting with the Executive Director. At the meeting the allegations will be discussed, College policy regarding discrimination and harassment will be reviewed, the meaning of waiver of complaint defined, and the option to mediate the alleged harassment will be explored.
  3. Requests to mediate allegations of discrimination, harassment, or sexual misconduct should be submitted to the Executive Director within five working days following the initial meeting to discuss the allegations. The Executive Director will arrange for the mediation and notify the disputants of the arrangements within five working days following the request.
  4. Students who choose to mediate allegations of discrimination, harassment, or sexual misconduct may return to Policy 4.10 Discrimination and Harassment or Sexual Misconduct Policies at any time during or after mediation.

IV. Administrative Procedures

A. Mediation Program Administration

  1. The Executive Director and the Dean will develop, implement, and monitor the Mediation Program.
  2. The Executive Director and the will coordinate training and maintain a list of mediators (both students and employees) for the Mediation Program.
  3. In conjunction with the Dean, the Executive Director will develop and implement a monitoring system to evaluate the Mediation Program.

B. Mediation Process

  1. Once a referral for mediation or a request for mediation is made, the Executive Director will meet with the disputants within five working days to discuss the mediation process and potential mediators. The disputants will be encouraged to mutually agree on the mediator selected.
  2. The Executive Director will retain the mediator within two working days after the disputants have made their selection. The selected mediator will be given 15 working days to conduct the mediation and report the results to the Executive Director. The 15 day period may be extended under appropriate circumstances.
  3. If settlement is reached, the mediator will provide, within two working days, a copy of the Agreement to Mediate, Confidentially Agreement, and Settlement Agreement to the Executive Director. Settlement agreements that include monetary compensation, promotions, schedule adjustment, etc., must be approved by the College President or designee.
  4. If a settlement is reached, the dispute will be considered resolved.
  5. The Executive Director will notify the Dean of Student Life and Service-Learning of the outcome of the mediation.
  6. If no settlement is reached, the Dean will notify the disputants of their additional options.

Related Policies and Procedures