Commonly asked questions

1. Who is the Mediation Program designed for?
Mediation is offered to all university students both on and off campus. Disputes involving non-university community members such as landlords, merchants, and residents of close-by neighborhoods will be referred to other resources currently in place.

2. Can I be forced to go to mediation?
No. Both parties must voluntarily agree to participate in order for mediation to occur.

3. Who are the mediators?
The mediator is not a judge and does not make any decisions for the two parties involved. The mediators are NIU College of Law students who have completed course work in Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) or Mediation Theory and Practice. All mediators volunteer their time for the good of the community.

4. How long does a mediation session last?
It usually lasts from one to four hours, depending upon the complexity of the issue(s).

5. How much does it cost?
The program is FREE for NIU students.

6. Where do the mediation session(s) take place?
The mediation session(s) will take place at the Mediation Office, in a private setting.

7. What if mediation doesn't work?
At any point in the process, either party can decide to terminate the mediation. When this occurs, the Mediation Office will provide other options that are available to assist in resolving the conflict.

8. Where can I get more information about the Mediation Program?
Call the Mediation Hotline at 753-1571.

9. Who can make referrals to the Mediation Program?
Referral sources include: Office of Community Standards & Student Conduct, Residence Hall Staff, Student Involvement and Leadership Development, Security and University Police, Office of the Ombudsman, Fraternity and Sorority Councils, Counseling and Student Development Center, Students' Legal Assistance, Student Government groups such as Student Association and Residence Hall Association, other Student Organizations, and self referrals.

10. How can I request a mediation session?
By calling the Mediation Hotline at 753-1571 or getting a referral from one of the sources listed above.

11. What type of conflicts are not processed through the Mediation Program?
Matters regarding conflicts between student and faculty, co-worker disputes among university students, family disputes, off-campus landlord/tenant cases, and policy disputes are not processed through the Mediation Program, but are currently handled through various departments such as the Office of the Ombudsman, Students' Legal Services, Human Resources, and the Family Counseling Center.