Georgia Southern University’s Mock Mediation club recently helped a Sri Lankan team train for the World Championship competition by using a newly developed training program created by the vice president of Training and Competitions, Jonathan Quintyne.
“They didn’t come to Georgia Southern,” Quintyne said. “They contacted us looking for someone to help them get ready for this competition in Chicago. They weren’t able to come to us and we weren’t able to go to them so what we did was get my training and we decided to do it completely online.”
The Sri Lankan team ranked seventh out of 156 teams at the World Championship, and was also recognized as “Outstanding New Mediation Program.”
“We’re usually a competition-oriented team,” Dylan John, president of Georgia Southern’s Mock Mediation Club, said. “But as a purpose of our club we expanded on the idea of also promoting mediation among students.”
Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution method and is becoming extremely popular in the business world, John said.
“Mediation is not popular in Sri Lanka and a tournament is an alien concept,” Chapa Perera, Sri Lankan team member, said. “We did not have any training or guidance in mediation. We were able to do such a good job that even Case Ellis, the Chairman of INADR (International Academy of Dispute Resolution) came and personally congratulated us on our performance.”
INADR was founded in the spring of 2002 in order to further awareness of mediation as a means of peaceful resolution, according to the INADR webpage.
Because the two teams were so far apart, Quintyne’s program was an integral part in helping train the Sri Lankan members.
“We would get our team together in a room and they would get their team together in a room and we would just discuss,” Quintyne said. “So it was really cool that we were able to help out a team literally on the other side of the world get ready for a competition right here from Georgia Southern. We’re really proud of how well they were able to do using our training program and our methods.”
GSU’s Mock Mediation club is open to students of all interests and majors.
“We’re a very new club on campus,” John said. “We’re less than a year old and we’re third in the southeast region and we’re eighth in the country. We were open to help outreach to other teams, especially foreign teams who don’t have mediation in their country.”
Having started with only four members, the Mock Mediation Club now has approximately 20 members and is currently looking to reach out to more students interested in mediation.
“This semester we wanted to expand,” Quintyne said. “So I had to think about how I could spread these skills and I decided the best way to do that was a formal training program. Everyone definitely learned new skills and we’re really excited to start competing again next semester.”