GSU’s Mock Mediation creates international bonds

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Casey Cargle

Students from opposite ends of the world rarely have connections with each other, but one student from Sri Lanka brought his love of debate with him to Georgia Southern University while still connecting with his home country.

Georgia Southern University’s Mock Mediation team will be training the Sri Lanka Mock Mediation team for a world championship tournament held in Chicago the first week of March.

The GSU Mock Mediation team’s connection to the Sri Lanka team comes from president of the club and transfer student from Sri Lanka Dylan John. John is here on the Georgia Rotary Student Program Scholarship, which brings 50 international students to Georgia every year on a full scholarship to a school in Georgia.

“We are their training partner, that is not commonly done but we are trying it out, to see how best we can support a foreign team,” Dylan John, junior construction management major, said.

The team was started last year with the help of GSU’s International Studies program, which helped with funding and creating the club. They were the most active in helping create the team, John said.

Mediation is a way of solving problems, resolving conflicts and negotiating solutions to problems between two parties.

“Through my work with criminal justice and criminology, mediation and restorative justice practices are becoming increasingly common,” Laura Agnich, criminal justice and criminology professor and advisor for the team, said.

The GSU Mock Mediation team recently competed in a tournament in Gainesville where they placed third and moved onto the semifinals for the national tournament where they were seeded number one.

The team won eighth place out of 40 teams and were one of three teams awarded the peacemaker award, which is given to the team who strikes a perfect balance of the two types of mediation.

The two types of mediation are evaluative and transformative. Evaluative is when the mediator intervenes in the mediation by making recommendations or providing opinions, while transformative tries to empower each of the parties and encourage each party to recognize the other party’s point of view.

The GSU Mock Mediation team will not be competing in any tournaments this semester to focus on prepping and practicing for next semesters tournaments. They will also use this time to help the Sri Lanka mediation team prepare for the international tournament.