Mediation: Frequently Asked Questions

What is mediation?
Mediation is nothing like court or arbitration. A volunteer mediator acts as an impartial third party to help you talk with someone you are in conflict with. The goal is to come to an understanding with the other person so you can form an agreement about the disputed issue. A mediator can make suggestions or help brainstorm but it is your job as a party to come up with a decision on what you and the other party want to do.
Why should I participate in mediation?
Mediation is nearly always a better form of dispute resolution than litigation or arbitration. Most conflicts result from communication problems, and mediation is an opportunity to communicate better: to be fully heard, to understand another's story and underlying interests, and search for solutions that work for both sides. Mediation produces more innovative solutions, which are decided upon by you, not an arbitrator or judge. You maintain decision power! Typically mediation leads to more satisfactory results and better compliance with a decision than litigation.
How does mediation go?
After filling out and submitting a Request for Mediation form, a caseworker from the Center of Conflict Resolution will contact you and the other party to better understand the problem, present each side's views of the conflict to the other, help answer questions and concerns, and schedule a mediation conference. At the mediation conference, one or two mediators will run the meeting. They may speak to both parties together, in private, or both. You will have a chance to express your views to the other party. At any time during the mediation process, you can consult with legal cousel or others; however, those directly involved in the dispute are expected to participate in the mediation. Where someone lives out of the region, the mediation conference can be conducted by telephone. The mediators will help you discuss your disagreement with the other party and reach a settlement that works for everyone involved. However, it's ultimately your decision to determine what you will do to move forward from the conflict. While some conflicts settle quickly, others take time, depending on schedules, circumstances, and coorperation of parties. Please plan for at least two hours for your mediation.
Who can attend mediation?
If you are a party to the conflict, i.e. you signed a contract that the dispute is about or are centrally involved in the disagreement, you need to be present at the mediation. You have a legal right to bring someone to represent you or to be a support to you during the meeting. If you want to bring more than one other person into the meeting with you, you will need the other party's permission. However, if you want to have someone wait outside of the meeting, you are welcome to.
Where do I go for mediation?
Mediations are usually located in the Center for Conflict Resolution at 4412 Wilkinson Student Center. See our About Us page for directions.
What is an agreement?
An agreement is a written statement that you and the other party agree to. This works as a legally binding contract. An agreement also works the same way as an arbitration award through the CCR, eliminating the need and option of arbitrating the issue. The agreement is enforced through BYU's Off-Campus Housing. 

Contact us

Center for Conflict Resolution
4412 WSC
Brigham Young University
Provo, UT 84602

Open Monday-Friday, 8am-5pm
Closed Tuesday 10:45am-12:15pm
for campus devotionals


Phone: 801-422-5068
Fax: 801-422-0992