Volunteer Mediators

Reporting to the Human Rights Officer and serving both Fredericton and Saint John campuses, the Volunteer Mediators are responsible for providing mediation and conflict resolution services for students of UNB who are facing disputes. The Volunteer Mediator position is established in fulfillment of the function of the Human Rights Office as a promoter of human rights and positive environment. The specific duties can vary, depending on each case, but may include mediation, facilitation of discussion or decision making of groups, and conciliation talks, or workshops and information sessions on conflict resolution strategies.

The Volunteer Mediators will provide the service when needed for resolving problems and conflicts in order to strengthen a positive working, learning and living environment. The Volunteer Mediators work at the request of departments including but not limited to Renaissance College; Residence Life, Campus and Conference Services (RLCCS); Student Affairs and Services (SAS): Student Counseling, International Student Advisor, and the Accessibility Centre, by referral through the Human Rights Officer or by being contacted directly by a person with a concern. Direct requests are vetted by the Human Rights Officer prior to engagement in any consultation or mediation process.

A Mediator facilitates communication, negotiation and settlement between disputing parties by providing and leading a confidential process which fosters mutual respect, a positive environment and encourages the parties to take responsibility to work together and find creative ways to reach a mutually acceptable solution. Leading this process means acting as a neutral third party without influencing the content, but providing a supportive atmosphere where the parties are responsible for the solution instead of having a decision-making body that imposes a solution.

Benefits of working with a Volunteer Mediator include access to a confidential, neutral party to explore an approach to conflict; experience with dignified, respectful communication through the conflict; and a resolution designed and implemented by the parties involved, not an outsider. Typical concerns that Volunteer Mediators might address could include roommate, floormate or housemate disputes, clubs or other groups in conflict, or groups needing facilitation to arrive at a direction or plan.

The Volunteer Mediators are trained as Third Party Neutrals through the Canadian Institute for Conflict Resolution and UNB/CEL program.  They report back to and will be supervised by the Human Rights Officer, who also keeps information confidential. Confidentiality also requires that the parties decide whether and to what extent they will share the content of the process and the solution with others, especially the referring departments.

For information or to book an appointment, please contact  humanrights@unb.ca, or by phone at 506-458-7889 (Fredericton) or 506-648-5511 (Saint John).