Conflict Resolution Options

Conflicts are a normal part of life, especially when people from different backgrounds come together like at Harper College. Incidents and conflicts can be resolved through a variety of methods, both formal and informal.

A conversation is often the fastest and most efficient way to resolve a conflict, as it involves the parties most affected by the conflict. If you have trouble coming up with how to approach a difficult conversation, review the outline under Having Difficult Conversations. A conversation is usually the first step towards resolving conflict, unless the situation involves a threat or a power differential that makes it too difficult for you or another party to work through in a fair manner.

If you or the other party do not feel you can have the conversation on your own or, if you have already tried to do so, having another person mediate it may be helpful to ensure equity and focus to the conversation. Contact the Student Conduct Officer if you would like help finding a mediator.

Students may pursue the academic or non-academic complaint process to raise concerns about grades, refunds, or other College decisions. These processes are outlined at the end of the Student Code of Conduct.

Once a complaint of misconduct is filed, it may be resolved by the Student Conduct Officer and the accused student discussing and reaching agreement on the situation. This includes reaching agreement on the finding(s) of responsibility and any sanctions. Most formal student conduct complaints are resolved through this manner.

If academic dishonesty occurs within a specific course, the faculty instructor may determine an academic penalty for the dishonesty. Penalties may range from having to redo an assignment to failing the course.

This is the most formal resolution option. A hearing occurs either with a Resolution Board, comprised of faculty and students, or with one or more College staff members designated as Hearing Officers. Review Hearings-What to Expect to learn more about the formal hearing procedures.