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Dispute Assistance and Resolution Team (DART)

Dispute Assistance and Resolution Team [DART]

The mission of the Dispute Assistance and Resolution Team is to instill and support a culture of conflict resolution in our community which is consistent, balanced and fair. DART encourages resolution strategies that are cooperative, proactive, creative, and peaceful among members and Houses.

Dart is not:

    • A substitute or stand-in for members or houses taking primary initiative responsibility for resolving their own disputes.
    • A therapeutic or medical resource.
    • A a judicial body. DART does not render decisions on cases.
    • An investigative body. DART only pursues information relevant to concerns brought to its attention.

Learn More About DART

The Dispute Assistance and Resolution Team (DART) is a 2-tier team consisting of

Advisor Corps (AC) – Chair (or co-chairs) and the Directors of Member Services. The AC administers the training and case management for the DART cases including referral/expulsion.

Team- Members approved from the Coordinating Committee . These folks support members and houses by;  helping them efficiently and successfully handle dispute resolution, advocate for fair and equitably administered dispute resolution policies and processes within the ICC and assist members and houses in developing a range of responsible options to resolve problems.

The specialized and often sensitive nature of DART’s work requires unique training and expertise. Seats on the team are also limited in number. Prospective team members are therefore screened for approval by the Advisor Corps before being eligible for service and labor credit. This screening process is required by the Coordinating Committee. The Advisor Corps strives to assemble a team that has a broad base of skill and knowledge, is diverse in membership, and displays dedication to the mission and principles of the team.

Member Resource Panel (MRP) – A Member Resolution Panel is an ad hoc judicial panel, convened by DART or EHOT (Emergency House Operations Team.) Panels are composed of 3 Chairs (Co-opers for Healthy Relationships, DART, Member Assistance Representative) and 2 House Presidents (HP.) If the MRP cannot be filled by House Presidents, it may include other interested members. Panelists are selected to minimize conflicts of interest and to insure fairness and impartiality. Member Resolution Panels are convened on a case-by-case basis. In a MRP hearing, panelists consider evidence, and determine responsibility for the charges, including relevant sanctions, agreements and remedies.

Member Resolution Panel hearings are subject to all ICC rules and policies pursuant to referral, expulsion, hearings and due process contained within the Standing Rules.

A Member Resolution Panel decision requires at least a 2/3 majority of voting members present to pass.

The DART or EHOT may agree to hold a referral or expulsion hearing in lieu of a House hearing only in the following cases:

A. Request by the House: DART receives a request from a House vote or a petition signed by a majority of House members.

B.  Request by Another House: Another ICC House (where the individual is not a member) votes to request a hearing.

C.  Actions which jeopardize the interests of the ICC: DART determines that the actions of the individual “jeopardize the interests of the membership as a whole or the interests of other co-ops”.

D.   Petition because of Inaction: DART receives a petition of 20% of House members or 8 members, whichever is greater, requesting a hearing and the House has not or will not take action.

E. Cases involving prejudicial behavior, sexual misconduct, or other legally sensitive issues.

Email General Inquiries to the DART Adviser Corps (NOT RFA’s) at: dart.chair@icc.coop

If a member is not comfortable requesting assistance from DART, they may submit their concern directly to the ICC President instead. In the event that DART involvement creates the appearance of significant personal involvement in a situation – even if there is no suspicion of unethical behavior – one or more persons may be appointed by the ICC President to handle a dispute resolution concern.

First: To consult with DART, members should submit a
Request for Assistance Form (RFA)

Then: Dart will arrange to assist members and houses in the following ways:

  • Listens to the concerns of parties or Houses interested or engaged in dispute resolution; including reports of uncooperative behavior.
  • Advises members and Houses on appropriate dispute resolution resources, options and relevant ICC rules and policies.
  • Provides alternative dispute resolution assistance to members and Houses, taking care to avoid any situation which might create, or appear to create, a conflict of interest. Such options include mediation, shuttle negotiation, process observation, meeting facilitation and restorative justice circles
  • Convenes a Member Resolution Panel of House Presidents and other interested members on an ad hoc basis to adjudicate cases, including referral or expulsion per Standing Rule 7.3.4.
  • Advocates for fair and equitably administered dispute resolution policies and processes within the ICC.
  • Tracks dispute resolution outcomes in the ICC and maintain confidential case files.

Process:

  1. DART Chair receives request for assistance form (RFA) and decides
    1. If it is a DART case or not. If it is, proceed to step 2.
    2. If it is not, the process stops here and the ICC member is notified.
      1. EX. It may be an EHOT case and EHOT is notified
  2. DART Chair assigns case to 2 DART team members.
  3. DART team members assigned to case contacts the concerned ICC member to set up a meeting time.
  4. The DART team members and ICC member meet:
    1. The confidentiality form is reviewed and signed.
    2. The ICC member tells their story with the utmost attention from the DART member.
      1. One DART team member begins to fill out the session form.
    3. The DART member ask the ICC member what they would like to see happen.
    4. The DART member explains the resolution pathways.
    5. The DART member advises resolution pathways, Which are presented with their respective pros and cons.
    6. The ICC member decides which pathway to undertake.
    7. The DART member advises the ICC member with the actions to take in the resolution process.
    8. Both the ICC and the DART members review and sign the session form.
  5. A follow-up meeting is scheduled with the ICC member.
  6. The post-evaluation form is filled out.

INDEPENDENCE: DART is independent in structure, function, and appearance to the highest degree possible within the ICC. The DART Chairperson reports directly to the Board of Directors, and does so in a way that protects the confidentiality of disputants and specific case details.

NEUTRALITY AND IMPARTIALITY: DART, as a designated neutral body within the ICC, remains unaligned and impartial towards the members and concerns brought to its attention. DART does not engage in any situation which could create a conflict of interest. DART does not advocate on behalf of any individual, House, or issue within the organization.

CONFIDENTIALITY: DART holds all communications with those seeking assistance in strict confidence to the extent provided by law. DART does not disclose confidential communications unless given permission to do so.  The only exceptions to this privilege of confidentiality are:

  • Instances where there appears to be imminent risk of serious harm.
  • Cases involving legally sensitive issues.
  • Situations or actions which jeopardize the interests of the membership as a whole or the interests of other co-ops.

The pathways may be accessed for a variety of types of conflict, including roommate/housemate disputes, generally uncooperative behavior, and disagreements between members of a house, disagreements between houses, and some conflicts with officers or staff.

Conflict Coaching

If you are interested in meeting with a Dispute Assistance and Resolution Team member to explore constructive ways to approach conflict on your own, consider Conflict Coaching.

Conflict coaching involves a one-one-one meeting between a student and a DART Member to explore the individual member’s conflict resolution style, training in new CR skills, as well as constructive approaches to resolving conflict. DART can actually coach a member side-by-side throughout an entire resolution process. This can be useful when someone seeks to build skills and tools to more constructively approach conflict, and/or when communication or cultural differences might be impacting a situation.

Facilitated Dialogue

If you are interested in having a conversation with another person / group of people and need a facilitator to help it be constructive, consider Mediation or Facilitated Dialogue.

When individuals or group members in conflict are interested in direct communication with each other, and feel that having a third party facilitate the conversation would be helpful, DART can assign a trained facilitator to lead the dialogue. Facilitated Dialogues provide an opportunity to create a shared understanding of opinions, beliefs, and experiences. The focus of a Facilitated Dialogue is creating a safe space for all voices to be heard, and also potentially exploring how differences of opinion may be managed. Facilitated dialogues may or may not be gear to reaching some kind of agreement depending on the aims of the disputants.

Mediation

If you prefer to talk directly to mediators who will communicate your needs and opinions to someone else on your behalf, consider Social Justice Mediation.

There are may forms of mediation available. Traditional mediation formats typically reflect conflict resolution procession which a neutral third party assists the disputants to communicate better, analyze their conflict, explore their options, and develop mutually satisfactory solutions.

When individuals in conflict would like an opportunity to share their stories and explore their desired outcomes with mediators in a private space, and indirectly (and/or directly) rather than face to face, they may choose Social Justice Mediation. In this process, each person in a conflict meets privately with a pair of multipartial mediators to relay their thoughts, feelings, and experiences related to a conflict, including discussion of any issues related to social identity that inform the conflict.

The disputant’s stories are collected by the mediators and passed back and forth between disputants. Social Justice Mediation formats explicitly challenges notions of neutrality and equality in traditional mediation formats, by encouraging the acknowledgement of privilege and power imbalances between both disputants, and between disputants and mediators. Agreement and resolution is not an explicit goal of this form of mediation. Rather, the integrity, authenticity, of the disputants and their stories

Restorative Justice Circle

If you’ve been impacted by someone’s actions and want to confront that person to understand what happened and why, consider a Restorative Justice Circle.

When an individual or a community has been harmed, there are multiple ways to respond to the wrongdoing.  A Restorative Justice approach offers a communal cooperative opportunity for all individuals responsible, impacted, affected by an issue or incident, to come together to gain a shared understanding of what happened, who was impacted and how, and how the situation may be repaired and relationships in the community can be restored.  In a Restorative Justice Circle participants have complete control of the outcome, working together to develop an agreement that resolves the issues and restores the situation.

Section One, Chapter Two: Member Rights, Responsibilities, and Uncooperative Behavior

Section Three, Chapter Sixteen: House-Level Dispute Resolution

  • UM OFFICE OF STUDENT CONFLICT RESOLUTION (OSCR)
    OSCR provides a variety of programs and services designed to support a safe, just and peaceful community, and to help Michigan students learn how to manage and resolve conflict peacefully. OSCR offers a full-spectrum menu of conflict resolution pathways. These include Facilitated Dialogue, Restorative Justice Circles, Shuttle Negotiation, Social Justice Mediation, as well as the Formal Conflict Resolution process as described by the Statement of Student Rights and Responsibilities. The Statement is a community-owned expression of Michigan’s values that outline both the rights that U-M students enjoy as well as responsibilities they accept as members of this community. OSCR continually strives to Build Trust, Promote Justice, and Teach Peace.
  • Click here to download “UM Off Campus Housing Conflict Resolution Resources”