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Records of Campus Mediation Services

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1903.1/1629

Abstract

Title:
Records of Campus Mediation Services
Author/Creator:
Campus Mediation Services
Collection number:
87-82
Size:
0.50 linear feet
Bulk dates:
1982-1986
Inclusive dates:
1979-1987
Collection Area:
University of Maryland
Repository:
Special Collections, University of Maryland Libraries, Hornbake Library, College Park, MD 20742. Tel: 301-405-9212, Fax: 301-314-2709, Email: askhornbake@umd.edu
Abstract:

Interested faculty, staff, and graduate students founded Campus Mediation Services (CMS) during the fall 1979 semester in response to a perceived increase in tensions at the University of Maryland, College Park. Until CMS ceased operations in 1986, the organization's volunteer mediators helped students, faculty, staff and College Park residents reach mutually satisfactory agreements to resolve interpersonal disputes. The records of Campus Mediation Services cover the period from 1978 to 1987, with the bulk of the records dating from 1982 to 1986. Document types represented in the collection include correspondence, funding proposals, conference schedules and a speech, brochures, a survey report, newspaper clippings and other reading materials, a handbook, and sample forms. Subjects represented in the collection are the discipline of conflict resolution, fundraising, staff development, campus program development, community relations, mediation procedures, and actual disputes brought to CMS for resolution.

Important Information for Users of the Collection

Restrictions:

Yes. One folder restricted due to client confidentiality.

Preferred citation:

Records of Campus Mediation Services, Special Collections, University of Maryland Libraries.

Publication rights:

Photocopies of original materials may be provided for a fee and at the discretion of the curator. Please see our Duplication of Materials policy for more information. Queries regarding publication rights and copyright status of materials within this collection should be directed to the appropriate curator.

Status:

This collection is PROCESSED.

Historical Note

Interested faculty, staff, and graduate students founded Campus Mediation Services (CMS) during the fall 1979 semester in response to a perceived increase in tensions at the University of Maryland, College Park. Spurred on by innovative leadership at the Counseling Center, CMS organizers conducted several surveys of university groups and departments in order to gauge their understanding of the need for conflict resolution service on campus; moreover, CMS volunteers targeted these surveys to groups reported by the Diamondback as experiencing high levels of conflict and tension. In establishing CMS, its founders hoped to address the many interpersonal problems described in these surveys and articles. In support of this purpose, a secondary aim for the organization was to create a pool of certified mediators as a resource for the campus.

From its inception, CMS worked as an independent program, reporting to no campus administrative unit and run entirely by volunteers. The program did, however, receive support and some limited resources from the Counseling Center, where many of the volunteers also worked. Chief contributors Franklin Westbrook (Director), Rebecca Williams (Coordinator of Services), and Arnold Medvene (Mediator) formed the core of CMS, providing it with their leadership, organizational skills, and mediation experience. At its peak in the early to mid-1980s, as many as eight fully certified mediators and eight apprentice mediators staffed CMS. The Friends Suburban Project of Philadelphia provided early training for CMS mediators, while a number of newer mediators received certification in fall 1981 at a training event hosted by the National Center for Collaborative Planning and Community Services of Boston. From the time a description of CMS appeared in a 1983 edition of the University of Massachusetts's Mediation Bulletin, many interested colleagues from other universities corresponded with CMS volunteers to learn more about the program's aims, structure, services, and procedures.

CMS provided conflict resolution workshops, pamphlets, and presentations, as well as third-party intervention and information referral services; campus police, residence hall personnel, and students constituted the CMS's primary clientele for these services. Particularly in cases requiring conflict resolution between students, referrals to CMS came from the Office of Judicial Programs, the Student Legal Aid Office, the University Police Department, the Office of Human Relations Programs, the Office of Resident Life, and campus clergy. Cases brought to CMS ranged from minor roommate disputes to grave academic offenses. The CMS mediation process consisted of a series of voluntary meetings to air the grievances of all parties to a dispute, to establish common ground between disputants, and to define and agree upon a settlement plan. Following the conclusion of mediation in a given case, CMS mediators followed up by checking with participants to ensure that all parties' actions and expectations conformed to the plan.

Despite its brief tenure on campus, CMS met with considerable success. As Dr. Franklin Westbrook recalled in a 2005 interview conducted by the University of Maryland, CMS managed to provide outreach to a broad, diverse set of campus constituents, while employing non-traditional means to reach mutually satisfactory agreements. Thus for many students, CMS constituted a timely and approachable alternative to other, more bureaucratic methods of dispute settlement. Indeed, CMS volunteers reported consistently high levels of satisfaction among past mediation participants and noted an increase in referrals from them.

Even as demand for the program's services continued to expand through the mid-1980s, a lack of funds and full-time staff plagued CMS. The desire of CMS's founders to keep the program independent from the oversight of established campus administrative units and, thus, to confer upon it a neutral, impartial image also meant that it had no official claim on campus resources. The need to solidify its funding and staffing drove CMS volunteers to seek support from the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs, the Counseling Center, the Office of Human Relations Programs, and other, external sources. Ultimately, the lack of a permanent, dedicated staff and budget undermined CMS's ability to meet the demand for its services.

In October 1986, the staff of CMS decided to disband the service and informed referring units that CMS would no longer be able to accept new requests for mediation. The memorandum they issued cited a lack of university funding and support as a factor in the demise of CMS and drew attention to a new mediation program emerging at that time through a partnership between the City of College Park and the Office of Student Affairs. This new initiative arose from a heightened interest among community leaders in establishing a program whose mediators would undergo training and jointly resolve concerns common to campus and community members.

The experience of establishing and administering CMS also paved the way for future services initiated by the Counseling Center. Dr. Westbrook credits the mediation work with aiding in the establishment of a current initiative to identify and aid groups affected by traumatic events, including Campus Police and Counseling Center staff members.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The records of Campus Mediation Services cover the period from 1978 to 1987, with the bulk of the records dating from 1982 to 1986. Document types represented in the collection include correspondence, funding proposals, conference schedules and a speech, brochures, a survey report, newspaper clippings and other reading materials, a handbook, and sample forms. Subjects represented in the collection are the discipline of conflict resolution, fundraising, staff development, campus program development, community relations, mediation procedures, and actual disputes brought to CMS for resolution.

Custodial History and Acquisition Information

Rebecca O. Williams, a psychometrist on the staff of the University of Maryland Counseling Center, transferred the records of Campus Mediation Services to the University of Maryland Libraries in February 1987.

Processing Information

Processed by:

Processed by Kim Braun, April 2005.

Processing note:

All duplicates have been discarded. All paper clips and staples have been removed and replaced by plastic clips. Collection materials have been put into acid-fee folders and boxes. Restricted materials have been removed from the original folder and foldered separately, and placeholders have been inserted instead in the original folder. Newspaper clippings have been photocopied and the originals discarded. Reading materials have been retained when they were referenced by or helped to explain the administrative records of CMS. Reading materials that did not appear to directly bear upon the establishment or functioning of CMS have been discarded or transferred from the collection (See Appendix I for complete list).

Encoded by:

EAD markup created using EAD database in Microsoft Access. Markup completed by Kim Braun, April 2005.

Arrangement of Collection

This collection is divided into two series:

Detailed Description of the Collection

Series 1: Administrative Files, 1979-1987 (3.5 lin. In.)

This series consists of correspondence, funding proposals, conference schedules and a speech, brochures, a survey report, a handbook, and forms. These materials document the day-to-day and strategic operations of Campus Mediation Services from its inception in 1979 until 1987, one year after it ceased operations. The incoming correspondence represented in this series also demonstrates the intense interest the University of Maryland's CMS program generated among like-minded faculty members and administrators at other universities and colleges across the United States. Prominent individuals and programs mentioned in this series are Rebecca Williams, Arnold Medvene, and Franklin Westbrook of the UM Counseling Center; Vice Chancellor William L. Thomas and the UM Office of Student Affairs; The Friends Suburban Project of Philadelphia; and the American College Personnel Association (ACPA). Correspondence received from and sent to many other U. S. universities and colleges also appears in this series, including the University of Kansas, Boston University, Wesleyan College, the University of Texas at Austin, and the University of California at Santa Barbara.

The series is arranged alphabetically by folder title.

DescriptionSeriesBox / ReelFolder / Frame
College and University Correspondence, 1982-1986 and undated series 1box 1folder 1
CMS Correspondence [Correspondence, Form, Proposals and Survey Report], 1979-1982 and undated series 1box 1folder 2
CMS Correspondence (Restricted), 1983-1986 series 1box 1folder 3
CMS Correspondence (Restricted Materials), 1983-1986 [Restricted] series 1box 1folder 4
CMS Forms [Forms, Organizational Documents, and Memorandum], 1985-1986 and undated series 1box 1folder 5
CMS Proposal Jan S. 7/83, 1983-1984 and undated series 1box 1folder 6
Dispute Resolution Programs [CMS and Other Brochures], 1985-1987 and undated series 1box 1folder 7
Mediation and ACPA, 1984 and undated series 1box 1folder 8
Mediator's Handbook, undated series 1box 1folder 9
UMCP Description [Proposals], 1983-1984 series 1box 1folder 10

Series 2: Reading Material, 1978-1986 (1.5 lin. in.)

This series consists of newspaper clippings and reading materials generated by other community and university-sponsored conflict resolution programs, including brochures, published articles, and program manuals. The materials in this series describe developments in the conflict resolution field that contributed to the formation and implementation of the University of Maryland's CMS program. Frequently mentioned individuals and institutions in this series are the University of Massachusetts at Amherst; Bob Helms of the Oklahoma State University; and the Community Board Program, Inc. of San Francisco.

The series is arranged alphabetically by folder title.

DescriptionSeriesBox / ReelFolder / Frame
Community Boards San Francisco [Reading Material], 1982-1983 and undated series 2box 1folder 11
Conflict Resolution - Careers [Reading Material], 1978-1981 and undated series 2box 1folder 12
Education Community Boards San Francisco [Reading Material], 1983 series 2box 1folder 13
Ethics Community Boards San Francisco [Reading Material], 1981 series 2box 1folder 14
[Mediation Newsletters], 1985 and undated series 2box 1folder 15
Oklahoma State University Helms [Reading Material], 1983 series 2box 1folder 16
University of Massachusetts Amherst [Reading Material], 1982-1984 and undated series 2box 1folder 17

Related Material

Materials related to this collection may be found in the Records of the Counseling Center in the University of Maryland. They include the administrative files of the UMCP Counseling Center from the period immediately preceding CMS's inception.

For other related archival and manuscript collections, please see the following subject guides.

Separated Material

The following items were removed from the collection and presented to other Library departments to consider for addition into the general collection.

Books

Manuals / Brochures