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Law school students to assist in conflict mediation

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Posted: Thursday, March 3, 2011 11:00 pm | Updated: 8:36 pm, Thu Mar 17, 2011.

The question of how to deal with an annoying roommate has finally been answered.

The most common conflicts brought to the Dean of Students Office are roommate disputes in the dorms, said Chris Loschiavo, assistant dean of students.

The Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution has paired with the Levin College of Law to create a new way of resolving disputes on campus.

Loschiavo started a program in which some students are sent to mediation meetings with law students instead of conduct hearings.

In mediation, the law students help find an acceptable compromise.

While a majority of the cases are conduct cases, Loschiavo said, some can be resolved by simply speaking with a third party.

Members of Gators for Alternative Dispute Resolution, a student organization based out of the law school, has members who are certified in mediation every semester.

Zane Altman, publications chair of the group and a third-year law student who helped start the conflict resolution initiative, said that she and the other members of the GADR board jumped at the chance to be a part of Loschiavo’s initiative.

Two conflicts have already been resolved through mediation at UF, Loschiavo said.

“These cases have come to great resolutions,” Loschiavo said. “And typically, we would expect a 75 percent success rate of all conflicts this office sees.”

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