Mediation & Restorative Justice Fellows
Meet the MRJ Fellows
Hi, I’m Robert Ibarra, a psychology major from Los Angeles, California of the graduating class of 2017. My interest in Restorative Justice and mediation stems from seeing my hometown community, school system, and culture nudge my two brothers and community members away from school and eventually into the judicial system. Restorative Justice allows an exchange of history and perception, uncovering the complexities and fullness of an event for multiple parties. We live life with our own perceptions so often that we forget that others have circumstances and lives as real as ours.
I’m from Ewing, New Jersey which is between Princeton and Trenton. In addition to being a MRJ fellow, I am a diver on the Bates Swimming and Diving team and on Bates EMS. My favorite food in Commons is probably a rice cake with peanut butter and honey, the pineapple in the fruit salad at the vegan bar, or tacos. I am a self-designed interdisciplinary major in Peace and Conflict Studies.
I think tensions and conflict primarily result from not understanding one another’s feelings, needs, and intentions. What I love about Mediation and Restorative Justice practice is that, at their core, they are ways to facilitate that understanding. I use mediation and RJ techniques to approach my own difficult conversations and I think they can make the difference between ending at an impasse and coming to a mutual sense of empathy and understanding. I think that mediation and RJ practices can be really valuable to a lot of people, in problems both big and small, and I am excited about being a part of the effort to share them with the Bates community.
My name is Camilla and I am a member of the class of 2017. I am a psychology major, with minors in education and philosophy. After taking a short term class on Restorative Justice and Mediation, I became inspired by how powerful these alternative methods to conflict resolution can be. I’m interested in doing this work because I believe the Bates community could benefit from these practices, and I feel this is a unique way to change Bates for the better!
Mediation & Restorative Justice (MRJ) Fellows will serve a resource on campus to students and student groups in the areas of mediation and restorative practices. MRJ Fellows will proactively provide education and outreach to the Bates community, seeking to engage students, faculty, and staff in meaningful conversations that will strive to build community and establish mutual respect. These educational programs will have the overarching goal of helping individuals and communities develop the capacity to communicate effectively and work through conflict on their own. MRJ Fellows will also serve as resources to students and student groups who may be experiencing conflict of some kind. MRJ Fellows will facilitate mediations and restorative circles and conferences for student conflicts. MRJ Fellows report to the Associate Dean of Students for Student Support and Community Standards, who will provide ongoing mentorship and support for the Fellows.
Education & Outreach (50%)
- Each MRJ Fellow will be responsible for working with certain student groups and organizations on campus (e.g. student clubs, athletic teams, residence halls, etc.). Each Fellow will establish connections with faculty, staff, and student leaders in their area, and will meet regularly to discuss ongoing needs and programmatic initiatives.
- MRJ Fellows will be responsible for approximately one program per month during the academic year. One program per semester may be a passive program. All programs must have an established target audience and clear goals.
- MRJ Fellows will assess their programs on an ongoing basis, and will consult with leaders in their area of responsibility and with the Associate Dean to ensure programs are addressing the needs of their area of responsibility.
- MRJ Fellows will develop and implement a comprehensive marketing plan to the Bates community designed to educate students, faculty, and staff on the principles of mediation and restorative justice, and to advertise the facilitation services offered.
- MRJ Fellows will be available to facilitate mediations and restorative circles or conferences as needed throughout the year.
- MRJ Fellows will typically serve as co-mediators or co-facilitators for all mediations or circles. Selection of facilitators for a given situation will depend on the nature of the concern, the preferences of the parties involved, and the workload of the Fellows.
- MRJ Fellows will occasionally be called upon to co-mediate or co-facilitate with the Associate Dean, Professor Georgia Nigro, or others members of the staff and faculty.
- MRJ Fellows will serve as role models on campus and must maintain appropriate boundaries with other students given the nature of their role.
- MRJ Fellows will serve as a general resource to students on campus and will be able to direct them to appropriate resources when called upon.
- MRJ Fellows will meet together bi-weekly with the Associate Dean, and individually with the Associate Dean, monthly.
MRJ Fellows must have experience and or training in both mediation and the principles and practices of restorative justice. The college will periodically offer a Short Term course that will cover these areas. Students who are unable to take the Short Term course, but have prior training or experience will be considered.
MRJ Fellows will typically be hired for the full academic year and will be compensated via a stipend of $2400 per academic year. Half-year appointments may be considered depending on the pool of candidates. Students wishing to continue in the position for the following academic year must reapply and be reappointed.