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Dean of Student Affairs: Travis Imel
Contact: Jennifer Little
Ely Center 102(202) 250-2385 (videophone)(202) 651-5064 (voice)(202) 651-5572 (fax)
As part of the University’s Living, Well-Being, and Belonging initiative,
Student Accountability and Restorative Practices (SARP) is committed to
cultivating our campus community by building connections, fostering
empathy, and facilitating meaningful conversations grounded in restorative
justice principles to promote accountability, learning, healing, and
SARP utilizes restorative practices that come from the larger theoretical
framework of restorative justice. The core philosophy behind restorative
justice considers the importance of harms created or caused during a
conflict or violation, the needs of those impacted by the conflict or
violation, the obligations of the individual who created the harm, and
engaging community members who might be directly or indirectly affected by
the harm. By utilizing restorative practices, we hope to encourage and
support students to take active accountability for their actions, to
address the harms created, and work within our campus community to repair
and heal any harm created by misconduct.
Restorative processes can be requested by students, student organizations,
or community members as one of the resolution options. Typically, before
parties come together for a restorative process, an intake meeting will be
held in which a SARP staff will determine whether the conflict, harms, and
the participant(s), are a good fit for a restorative process and if so, the
most appropriate method of response. However, the facilitator(s), in
consultation with the Director of SARP or designee, reserve the right to
alter this procedure in order to uphold the intent of the restorative
If it is determined a restorative process will be pursued, the following
applies to the restorative practice process:
● In cases where there was, or may have been, a policy violation, a
restorative process is not intended to replace the criminal, civil, or SARP
disciplinary processes. A restorative process at times can happen before,
after, concurrently, or as an alternative to the disciplinary process for
the resolution of student violations.
● If a restorative process is to be utilized in lieu of formal resolution
of charges, all parties must agree to the process as an option for
addressing their concerns.
● All parties will have an opportunity to help develop expectations and
agreements for the process.
● Restorative Practices processes where participants meet face-to-face will
include time for all parties to collaborate in order to determine what the
Respondent needs to do to address the harms and restore the needs of those
involved, to the best extent possible. This results in a formal written
agreement between all parties of the Respondent’s obligations. If the
parties cannot come to an agreement regarding outcomes and obligations, the
complainant may pursue their complaint through the SARP disciplinary
process if alleged policy violations existed prior to the restorative
● Participants have the right to withdraw their participation in a
restorative practices process at any time prior to a written formal
agreement being signed by all parties.
● Complainants maintain the right to withdraw their participation in a
restorative practices process and pursue alleged policy violation(s)
through the SARP disciplinary process at any time prior to a formal written
agreement being signed, if potential policy violation(s) existed prior to
the start of the restorative practices process.
● Upon signing the formal written agreement regarding the outcomes and
obligations required by the respondent, the complainant may not pursue
alleged policy violations through the disciplinary process unless the
respondent does not fulfill the outcome(s) and obligation(s) stated in the
formal written agreement. The formal written agreement outcomes and
obligations, once signed, are final, and are not appealable.
● All parties taking part in a process may request to have other
individuals participate in the process. The request will be reviewed by the
SARP staff and will be denied or approved based on the needs of the process
and potential for harm to be created.
There are numerous options of restorative processes that can engage all
stakeholders, including but not limited to, apology letters, conflict
coaching, restorative conversations, shuttle negotiation, restorative
conferences or restorative circles. The context and the needs of those
involved will be taken into consideration when determining how best to
repair and address the harms caused by a given conflict.
There are several steps in the restorative process, beginning with the
referral and ending with a debrief or exit meeting. This process can
range from a few days, to a few weeks, depending upon the number of
people involved. The context and the needs of those involved will be
taken into consideration when determining how best to repair and
address the harms caused by a given conflict.
1. Referral: Students, faculty, staff, or other community members may
refer a case to SARP. 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 code of conduct.
Types of Referrals:
■ Sanctioned referral
■ Campus referral
2. Intake Meeting: After the referral, the individuals will meet with a
SARP staff and a co-facilitator. This type of pre-work 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 SARP
staff holds the right to pause or 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. Determine Restorative Plan of Action: Based on the information
provided at the pre-conference, a restorative plan of action is
developed and the best approach to address the situation and harm(s) is
4. Facilitate Outcomes: 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.
Restorative circle processes involve all parties coming together to
share stories and learn more about harms created, impacts 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 process 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 Student Code of
Conduct resolution process or self-referral.
Restorative conversations usually involve two or more students in a
facilitated-like setting. If students are unable to work out
interpersonal conflict on their own, a facilitated conversation
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.
A restorative conference is a facilitated conversation with more than
two individuals or with a group of individuals in which a
facilitator(s) holds a space for the parties to engage in productive
conversation regarding issues and harms. Conferences are typically
designed to produce or work toward a set of agreements.
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 SARP staff or a trained facilitator will provide the
necessary tools, guidance, and support for students to be able to
engage in and productively resolve conflict. Conflict coaching may be
● resolve a dispute (past, present)
● prevent an unnecessary dispute
● prepare for a conflict conversation
● generally improve competency in conflict management
Not every restorative referral will result in a process or face-to-face
outcome. A SARP staff will assess whether or not a referral will occur
and whether or not an individual will participate. It is our goal to
avoid additional harm through the process.
There are other options which include, but are not limited to, apology
letters, reflection paper or shuttle processes. These approaches may
serve as a single approach or as a supplement to a recommended process.
Shuttle processes consist of separate, alternating facilitated meetings
between the facilitator(s) and each individual to discuss perspectives
in order to identify harms experienced, and meet the needs of the
harmed individual. 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 or mutually agreed outcomes.
Details of the restorative process are kept confidential by SARP staff
members and trained facilitators 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.
EFFECTIVE DATE: AUGUST 21, 2020
UPDATED: AUGUST 8, 2021
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