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Process Steps

There are several steps in the restorative process, beginning with the referral and ending with a follow-up or exit meeting. This process can range from a few days, to a few weeks, depending upon the number of people involved. 

1. Referral: Students, faculty, staff, or other community members may refer a case to OSARP. This case can be the result of an actual student conduct violation as outlined in the handbook, or can be the result of a conflict or harm created that is not in direct violation of the student conduct code.

Types of Referrals:

      • Self-referral
      • Sanctioned referral
      • Campus or Community referral

2. Intake Meeting: After the referral, all available and relevant participants meet either together or individually with a Restorative Practices Case Coordinator in OSARP. This is a very important step in the process because it allows us to hear everyone’s perspective and story regarding the conflict or situation. The Restorative Practices Case Coordinators holds the right to suspend the process if they feel it is not safe or healthy for any of the participants involved. During this meeting we ask questions, like “What happened? Who was harmed? What were the impacts? What needs to happen to make things right?

3. Assign Restorative Outcomes: Based on the information provided at the pre-conference, a restorative plan of action is developed and the best approach to address the situation is recommended.

4. Facilitate Outcomes: A Restorative Practices Facilitator is assigned to the case, and will conduct the process. This could involve a face-to-face approach, written apology letter, or alternative outcome. See our approaches below for a more detailed understanding of processes.

5. Monitoring the Completion of Outcomes: If applicable, the participants may be required to take action steps to address the situation and/or to repair any harms created. 

6. Evaluation and Feedback: We want to continually improve our programs. Participants will be asked to complete an evaluation to help us best serve our community.

The Adaptable Resolution process does not follow the outline above. For more information about this process, visit the Adaptable Resolution section of the Student Handbook.
Facilitated Practices
Circle Processes

Circle processes involves all parties coming together to share stories and learn more about harms created, effects of harms, and ways to repair the harms. Participants assigned to participate in a circle should plan to be there for about 2 hours—but sometimes the conversation is longer. This practice usually involves larger participant size (4+ individuals). In a circle process, students are encouraged to be open and honest about their perspectives about the conflict, how they have been harmed, how they think others might have been harmed, and to come up with their own solutions on how to fix the harm created. All students sit in a circle and take turns participating and sharing their perspectives. Often, support persons and community members can also be present to provide their input as well. A circle process can be the result of a sanction from the Accountability Process or self-referral.

Facilitated Dialogues & Conferences

Facilitated Dialogues are an approach involving two or more students in a mediation-like setting. If students are unable to work out interpersonal conflict on their own, a facilitated dialogue provides a space where a trained facilitator can help students work through the harm, while also ensuring the students have full say in the process and desired outcomes. Facilitated dialogue is not necessarily designed to produce or work toward a set of agreements, but can serve that purpose.

Conference is a conversation with more than two individuals or with a group of individuals in which a facilitator(s) helps parties overcome communicative barriers and engage in productive conversation regarding issues and concerns. Conferences are typically designed to produce or work toward a set of agreements.

Conflict Coaching & Conversations About Conflict

Conflict Coaching is a one-on-one meeting that allows the student to be empowered and prepared to manage conflict or difficult conversations on their own. A restorative practices facilitator will provide the necessary tools, guidance, and support for students to be able to engage in and productively resolve conflict. Participants may complete a self-assessment with a trained facilitator to better understand their conflict style. Conflict Coaching may be used to:

  • resolve a dispute (past, present)
  • prevent an unnecessary dispute
  • prepare for a conflict conversation
  • generally improve competency in conflict management

Conversations about Conflict is a one session, 2-hour program. It is meant for students to reflect on how they deal with conflict in their relationships with friends, roommates, family members, professors, university staff, strangers, and even themselves.  Through this one-on-one workshop, students will be given the opportunity to assess their own conflict style, discuss how their community is impacted by conflict, and develop skills for future engagement in conflict.  Upon completion of the workshop, students submit a reflection paper. 

Other Approaches

Not every restorative referral will result in a process or face-to-face outcome. The Restorative Practices case coordinator will assess whether or not a referral will occur and whether or not an individual will participate. It is our hope to avoid additional harm through the process.

Apology Letters and Reflection Papers are an approach that may serve as a single approach or an additive to a recommended process. We use the Eight Key Questions to help students understand their actions and reflect on their decision-making.

Shuttle Processes consists of separate, alternating, facilitated meetings between the facilitator(s) and each Party (and potentially other participants) to discuss perspectives in order to identify harms experienced, meet needs, and develop obligations. In a shuttle process, participants would only interact with each other indirectly through the facilitator(s) and would not meet face-to-face for a facilitated conversation unless desired and agreed upon by the parties. This process would conclude with the development of obligations.

Letter and Video Exchanges are a way for participants to communicate their perspective through the restorative pracitces case coordinator. For these processes, the restorative practices case coordinator serves as a third party facilitator, who passes the letters/videos in between parties. 


Details of the restorative process are kept confidential by OSARP staff members and volunteers to the extent permissible by law, except for a brief report from the facilitator to any referring party and the appropriate administrator(s) that an agreement has been signed by the parties. The facilitator will also report to the above parties if an impasse is reached and no agreement is forthcoming. This permits further exploration of other options for resolution of the conflict. However, if a threat to the health, safety or security of any member of the university community becomes a concern to the facilitator, they will inform the parties that appropriate authorities must be notified. 

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