If you need help resolving a conflict, want to raise a concern, or are just exploring your options, the Ombuds Office can help.
The ombudsperson can listen, offer information about Oberlin's policies and procedures, accept suggestions from people who seek confidential channels for raising responsible concerns, and work for orderly and responsible change in systems.
In helping to resolve conflicts, the ombudsperson may serve as a go-between or as a mediator, and may see that problems are brought to the attention of appropriate people at the college.
In addition, the Ombuds Office offers a number of services through the Yeworkwha Belachew Center for Dialogue at Oberlin College, including mediation and facilitation, as well as educational forums and workshops.
How the Ombudsperson Can Help
The ombudsperson employs a number of strategies to help resolve conflicts. Depending on the situation, the ombudsperson will:
- Listen and discuss questions, concerns, and complaints
- Answer questions or help find others who can
- Help clarify and resolve conflicts
- Help individuals develop and evaluate options or courses of action, and assist in pursuing them
- Be responsive to campus health, safety, and ethical concerns
- Mediate disputes by bringing the parties involved together to reach win-win resolutions
- Assign mediators to assist disputants through the Yeworkwha Belachew Center for Dialogue at Oberlin College
- Advise individuals about formal and administrative options
- Point out patterns of problems or complaints to administrators
- Promote fair and equitable treatment for Oberlin College and for all members of the Oberlin community
Issues Commonly Brought to the Ombudsperson
The ombudsperson assists with a wide range of concerns, including:
- Interpersonal/cultural conflicts
- Housing and dining issues
- Financial concerns
- Roommate concerns
- Faculty/staff/student misunderstandings
- Unethical behavior
- Fear of retaliation
- Interpersonal miscommunication
- Unfair treatment
- Supervisor/employee issues