Winter Quarter Newsletter

2020 v.1
University of Chicago campus covered in snow
Thank you for signing up for the Office for Access and Equity listserv. Each quarter we hope to bring you engaging content regarding the work, vision, and commitment to access and equity at the University. 

The Office for Access and Equity (OAE) supports the full participation of all members of the University community while maintaining a commitment to fair process, compassion and creativity. On a day to day basis, OAE receives reports, provides support and resources, and offers resolution options under the University's Policy on Harassment, Discrimination and Sexual Misconduct, removes barriers to participation, offers training and resources and connects with the campus community.

Like to learn more? Visit our website or contact us by email at, phone 773.834.OEOP (6367), or in person during our office hours
In this Issue:
Learn. Mediation and Why It Matters. 
Share. Access UChicago Now Town Hall; Conflict Resolution Workshops at U. Chicago. 
Connect. Report a Campus Access Barrier; Office Hours.
Mediation and Why It Matters

Mediation, or a “facilitated conversation,” is one resolution option offered by OAE (and Equal Opportunity Programs) to members of the campus community in conflict. While the term may be familiar to many, how does it work and how might it benefit members of our campus community?
A facilitated conversation is an impartial, voluntary and participant-driven process to identify, understand, and potentially resolve conflict through mutual agreement. Facilitated conversations offer a unique opportunity for participants to engage in dialogue to identify their own needs and interests, to better understand those of the other participant, and to resolve ongoing conflict. 
  • A facilitated conversation is impartial; it is facilitated by a neutral third party (the facilitator) who assists the participants in opening dialogue and identifying options for resolution. The facilitator guides the process not the outcome.
  • A facilitated conversation is voluntary; participants choose whether to participate in the process and may disengage at any time.
  • A facilitated conversation is participant-driven; participants choose what to share and whether to come to agreement as part of the process.  
  • A facilitated conversation is private; the facilitator will not willingly share information disclosed during the facilitated conversation, with limited exceptions disclosed to the parties in advance. Likewise, the parties are asked to keep information disclosed during mediation private.  
A facilitated conversation offers certain benefits to participants separate from other resolution mechanisms. For example, a facilitated conversation can serve as an alternative to other processes such as an investigation (though it is not appropriate, even on a voluntary basis, to address allegations of sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking). In addition, a facilitated conversation can address a variety of concerns, including those that do not relate to a specific policy, but which may, nonetheless, negatively impact participants. By creating space for dialogue, the process encourages participants to remain engaged with the campus community, and where willing, with each other as well.
Equal Opportunity Programs has several staff trained as facilitators who may offer a facilitated conversation between willing parties. For more information, review EOP's
resolution options guide or contact the Office for Access and Equity by email at or by phone at 773.834.OEOP (6367). 
Books on bookshelf

Additional Resources

To request a training or workshop, contact OAE by email at or by phone at 773.834.OEOP (6367). 
 Access UChicago Now Town Hall
 Thank you to all who participated

Access UChicago Now is a centralized initiative seeking multiple perspectives on the ways in which the University of Chicago advances its core commitment to access for members of the campus community with disabilities. 
Access UChicago Now launched spring quarter 2019 and conducted a listening tour throughout spring and summer quarters, speaking with over fifty-five students, faculty, and staff regarding key challenges related to accessibility and ways in which to advance disability inclusion on campus. During autumn quarter, Access UChicago Now hosted a Town Hall attended by over fifty students, faculty and staff. The Town Hall provided an opportunity to present insights from the listening tour, to solicit additional feedback, and to begin to brainstorm recommendations. Thank you to all who participated. Access UChicago Now will draft recommendations stemming from the listening tour and town hall, which will be shared with the campus community (anticipated spring 2020). 

To stay connected with Access UChicago Now, sign up for the Access UChicago Now listserv or visit the Access UChicago Now website
Center for Conflict Resolution Logo
Conflict Resolution Workshops at U. Chicago
During summer and autumn quarter, the Office for Access and Equity partnered with the Center for Conflict Resolution to provide mediation and conflict resolution workshops to faculty, students, and staff on campus. These workshops provided attendees with valuable skills in navigating and addressing conflicts in their work as well as at home. Attendee response was positive, reporting that these workshops enhanced their understanding of mediation (including its potential uses and the mediator's role), improved their listening skills, and provided them with other useful skills to inform their work supporting members of the campus community. 
OAE offered these workshops as part of its ongoing commitment to providing conflict resolution resources and training to the campus community. CCR is a non-profit organization in Chicago whose mission is to work with individuals, communities and courts and other institutions to manage and resolve conflict,

Interested in learning more? Contact OAE by email at or by phone at 773.834.OEOP (6367) or visit CCR's website

Have you noticed an access barrier on campus? 

Report physical barriers to Facilities Services online (indicating that it is an access request) or via email at For urgent requests, call 773.834.1414. You may also report any physical, technological, or other barriers to OAE online or by phone at 773.834.OEOP (6367).
Visit Us
OAE will have weekly office hours during winter quarter on Tuesdays between 11:00 a.m to 2:00 p.m. 

During this time, a member of the OAE team will be available to discuss any concerns you might have regarding reasonable accommodations, accessibility initiatives, discrimination, harassment or sexual misconduct.

OAE is located with other offices in Equal Opportunity Programs at
5525 S. Ellis Ave., Suite B 
(in the campus north parking structure across from Ratner)
Contact Us
Liz Honig
Director, OAE/ Deputy Title IX Coordinator

Jackie Hennard
Associate Director, OAE/ Lead Investigator
Copyright © 2019 University of Chicago Office for Access and Equity, All rights reserved.

Contact us
773.834.OEOP (6367)

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