Don't Hate, Mediate

On October 7th and 8th, students from the University of Texas, Georgia Southern, (yours truly!) Brenau University, and even all the way from India, woke up bright and early dressed in suits, dresses, and blazers, ready to compete in the annual Brenau Mediation competition.     

Mediation is when the disputing parties work with a neutral third party in hopes of settling their conflict so the two parties won’t have to go to court. Mediation Competition is when a whole school splits up into teams of three. There are three rounds and in each the teams are given a case for which there has to be at least one mediator, one client, and one advocate for the client. Each participant plays a different role during each round. You work together as a team to get the highest score and as a school to get the highest score as a whole. There are individual, team, and school awards.

This competition gives students from all over an opportunity to come together and learn that not every conflict requires an argument and that not every argument needs to be dragged to court. Mediation really gives you a different outlook on life. You can use mediation in your daily life. You can use mediation when your roommates get in an argument over a simple shirt, when your coworkers are upset at their boss, or when your professor just doesn’t understand how badly you need an A. Okay, okay, maybe mediation cannot fix your grades, but it's an effective way to be engaged in "Conversation, not Confrontation".

What mediation really helps you understand is that everyone just wants to be heard. When you lend someone your ears, you don’t only hear the problem, you see the problem. This gives you, the mediator, the chance to address it before it becomes something bigger. That is what mediation is all about.

In the competition, three people from Brenau received an individual award and one team was awarded 3rd as a group for playing their part as mediators. Brenau Tigers know how to settle conflicts! So next time you find your self in a conflict with your boyfriend or best friend, remember: don’t hate, mediate. Don’t argue, listen. Breathe and talk it out.