Georgia Southern hosts Mock Mediation Club

 The Mock Mediation Club at GS helps students learn mediation and conflict resolution skills.

Christina McKinley

The College of Behavioral and Social Sciences, formerly of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, hosts a Mock Mediation Club, a student organization with the intent of helping students learn mediation and conflict resolution skills.

According the the American Bar Association, mediation is the process of using a neutral third party to resolve a conflict, addressing every party’s needs without the use of a judge.

Mediation encourages direct communication, promoting cooperation, healthy expression of emotions and arguments and creative problem solving.

Laura E. Agnich, Ph.D., assistant professor of the criminal justice and criminology department and advisor to the Mock Mediation Club, talked about the club’s benefit to GS.

“The club benefits Georgia Southern students in a myriad of ways,” Agnich said. “At its core, mediation is about resolving disputes so that that all parties involved are satisfied with the outcome. This involves active listening and dialogue skills that translate to all areas of life.”

Skills from mock mediation are especially helpful to those pursuing law and criminology as mediation is a growing form of Alternative Dispute Resolution used in resolving criminal, corporate, and other civil disputes. It can also be used in communication skills for studies such as psychology and business, as well as for professional or everyday disputes.

In addition to teaching conflict resolution skills, the club also offers opportunities for students to network and do community outreach.

“Organization members have organized a forum for Georgia Southern students to engage in constructive dialogue about race and racism,” Agnich said. “Participated in the Beloved Community, a local organization that brings together law enforcement, university students and faculty, and Bulloch County community members to engage in dialogue to improve our community and the club annually contributes to and volunteers for the Walk a Mile in Her Shoes fundraiser for Teal House/Statesboro Regional Sexual Assault Center that we hold on campus each spring.”

The Mock Mediation Club strives to pass mediation and conflict resolution skills onto its members through case simulations, regional and national competitions, as well as introducing them to guest speakers and trainers who are practicing mediators.

To date, the club has received over 30 regional, national and international awards, including Small Student Organization of the Year.

For more information, contact Agnich at [email protected] or go to the club’s My Involvement page.

Christina McKinley, The George-Anne News Candidate, [email protected]