New Student Conflict Resolution Center looks to be a “first step” for students in need
Are you looking for help with resolving conflicts? There’s a new program on campus dedicated to just that.
The Student Conflict and Resolution Center (SCRC) is a new program at the University of Oregon. It “serves to facilitate positive change by transforming conflict into opportunity,” according to its mission statement.
The SCRC is a service available to all university incidental fee-payers starting in February, although an official open house is being planned for early March. The program provides a space for mediation, facilitation, coaching, training and workshops, restorative practices, and neutral observation.
Conflicts can include things like problems with roommates, neighbors, or landlords, arguments with friends or partners, difficulties with a supervisor, co-worker, student employee, or coach, and conflicts with a professor or advisor.
Mason Atkin, SCRC Program Coordinator, said that once they have a bigger staff, drop-in hours will be available but until then they will have a place online to schedule appointments.
The program is funded through incidental fees and is located on Agate Street and 17th Avenue, behind the Eugene Fire Department.
The SCRC is an “informal student-driven” program that serves as a first step for students in need of conflict resolution, Atkin explained. “We like to look at ourselves as resource experts,” said Atkin.
While the program offers case-by-case exceptions, the general policy is to only serve university incidental fee-payers. Exceptions include things like off-campus housing conflicts where one party is an incidental-fee payer.
“The policy is context dependent because our main purpose is to serve students, but we are somewhat flexible,” said Atkin.
The center is separate from the Conflict and Resolution Master’s Program at the UO, however, it will be staffed by interns from this master’s program. In the future, the SCRC hopes to include undergraduates as interns too, according to Atkin.
Atkin is a master’s student herself and is working with the new director of the SCRC, Jennifer Hudson, to get the program up and running for students. Hudson has worked with the Ombuds Program at UO since 2014 as an assistant ombudsperson.
The Ombuds Program and the SCRC are both conflict management services, and their offices are located next to each other. They differ in that the Ombuds Program is a confidential service and the SCRC is a private service.
Being a confidential service means that the Ombuds Program keeps very little records, which can’t be asked for by police or the university, and will never be shared, according to Atkin.
Since the SCRC is a private service, that means that they also keep very little records, which are destroyed after the case is closed but can only be shared through a legal or university service, if they demand it. “We do our best to mitigate [sharing records] by keeping as little records as possible,” said Atkin.
According to Atkin, the SCRC is “definitely a need,” and their success depends on how well they performed outreach to students, but they “expect to be well utilized.”
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