Resolving Conflicts and Concerns
SAIC is a diverse community of artists and scholars that celebrates both individual freedom and a strong sense of shared community values and responsibility.
A strong community depends on respect for the rights of others, considerate behavior, and good judgment. We are committed to contributing to students’ overall growth and development by offering a variety of options to help maintain shared community expectations.
Navigating Community Conflicts
Differences of opinion can occur in a diverse academic and artistic community. SAIC offers a variety of tools for conflict resolution to help students take responsibility for managing their conflicts early and respectfully. We also have staff ready to assist should students want support.
Below you can find information about the different ways that you can resolve conflicts based on your personal comfort and the nature of the situation. For more serious situations or if you are uncomfortable navigating a situation on their own, we encourage you to reach out for help and discuss your options.
If you’re looking for help navigating a conflict:
- For residence hall roommate conflicts, contact your RA or Hall Director
- For all other conflicts, contact email@example.com
Other offices are here to help too! For additional support, use the following links if your conflict involves one of these areas.
Approaches to Conflict Resolution
The first step in managing many conflicts is for students to attempt to resolve their issues directly. This can help students resolve a situation without escalating it. It works best when students feel comfortable navigating the conflict on their own and the conflict isn't about a more serious issue like a potential policy violation or safety concern. Some basic ideas for resolving conflict on your own include:
- Be Direct. Clearly communicate your concerns.
- Speak in Person. Talk it out; don’t just send a text or email.
- Talk About the Behavior, Not the Person. Talk about your concerns with the issue; don’t just criticize the other person.
- Assume the Best. Give the other person the benefit of the doubt and assume there may be an explanation for the problem.
Students often want to resolve conflicts on their own, but want advice and feedback from someone who isn’t involved in the conflict. Students may meet with a staff member to help them talk through the conflict and navigate it independently. Staff can work with students to identify strategies for having difficult conversations.
Students may want more direct assistance in navigating a conflict. Staff members may facilitate a communication process between students. This approach works best when students want to have a dialogue about the conflict, but may not feel comfortable doing so on their own.
The Student Conduct Process
When we are resolving a potential policy violation, we aim to uphold the following values:
- Educational: We seek to help students think critically about their decision-making and their role in a community.
- Fair: We hope students feel that our processes are equitable, respectful, and that the outcomes are appropriate to the circumstances.
- Timely: We work to resolve these processes as quickly as possible.
This page provides a brief overview of the process. For more details, refer to the Student Conduct Procedures section of the Student Handbook.
Report of a Policy Violation
A report refers to any information provided to SAIC about a student violating our policies. Any individual may make a report to either the Office of Student Affairs, Campus Security, or the Title IX Office. For a list of SAIC’s policies, refer to the Rules of Conduct, Residence Hall Rules of Conduct, and Additional Policies and Guidelines sections of the Student Handbook.
How this Works
There are a few steps we take when we receive a report that a student may have violated a policy:
SAIC may conduct an investigation to gather more information regarding the report. This may include speaking with community members who have information relevant to the report, reviewing documentation, materials available electronically, or requesting written statements from any individual with information regarding the incident.
SAIC offers four different resolution options for reports of alleged misconduct. The appropriateness of each resolution option depends on the circumstances of the case including the severity, complexity, and timing of the alleged violation:
- Informal Resolution: an informal approach can be useful in resolving conflicts between students or reports that may not be sufficient to state a violation of policy
- Voluntary Resolution: when SAIC receives a report, a student may accept a finding of responsibility and an appropriate sanction for the behavior.
- Formal Resolution: for most other reports of alleged misconduct, SAIC staff members will review the information available to them to make a determination regarding if the student violated SAIC policy and, if so, what the sanctions will be.
- Pre-Attendance Resolution: to address a report of alleged misconduct that occurred prior to a student first beginning classes, SAIC has the discretion to follow the Pre-Attendance Resolution procedures.
A Student Conduct Meeting refers to the meeting at the end of the Formal Resolution process where staff members determine whether a student violated SAIC policy. Student Conduct Meetings can be facilitated in several ways. Students may meet with one or two staff members (such as a Residence Life professional staff member, a Dean on Call, or the Dean of Student Life). Students may also meet with a board consisting of representatives from SAIC’s administration, faculty, and student body.
Before the meeting, you’ll receive a Notice of Alleged Misconduct (Notice) that will identify the policies under review, and state the date, time, place, and format of the meeting to resolve the report.
Yes. You can have one advisor with you. You may consult with your advisor throughout the process, but are always responsible for presenting information yourself. If you intend to bring an advisor, you must provide advance written notification to the staff member with whom you are meeting.
The purpose is to give you an opportunity to present information about the incident and for staff members to ask you questions to clarify information in the report. The meeting may also be an opportunity for you to reflect on the situation and share how it may impact your future decision-making.