Informal Resolutions

As the Office of Community Standards seeks avenues for implementing educational and equitable procedures and processes, we believe that informal resolution in response to first-time, low-level alcohol violations is a positive addition to our procedures and processes. Informal resolution allows students to accept responsibility for their alleged misconduct, meet individually with an Office of Community Standards staff member or other trained facilitator, and have a transformational conversation regarding ways to repair harm to themselves and the University community.

The overall goal of informal resolution is to reduce the likelihood of the behavior recurring while also solidifying action steps that students must complete in order for them to directly address the misconduct in an educational and restorative manner. Informal resolution encourages students to share their stories, experiences, and perspectives so facilitators have all of the information necessary to comprehensively assess the situation and the student’s needs. Informal resolution is a process that shifts the focus to the student taking an active role in resolving incidents.

Overview of Process

To be considered for informal resolution, certain criteria must be met. Those criteria include:

  1. the responding student accepts responsibility for the alleged prohibited conduct;
  2. the responding student does not have any prior disciplinary history related to alcohol including “Alcohol Violations” and “Complicity” related to alcohol;
  3. the amount of alcohol in question must not amount to more than five standard drinks and all containers must be unopened;
  4. the responding student must not have engaged in the consumption of alcohol;
  5. the incident did not involve any other prohibited conduct other than a first-time, low level alcohol violation, or complicity related to such an incident; and/or
    other factors or information available to the Office of Community Standards in conversation or consultation with the student.

If a member of OCS determines that all criteria have been met, they will schedule a conversation between the student and a trained facilitator who will engage in restorative dialogue with the student that is intentionally designed to gain an understanding of the incident. This portion of the process affords students the opportunity to reflect on how their behavior impacted themselves and other members of their community. Facilitators reserve the right to stop the informal resolution process at any point and initiate the formal conduct process if they feel that informal resolution is not a good fit or in the best interest of the student.

Toward the end of the meeting, the facilitator and student will engage in conversation about what action steps (educational outcomes) are appropriate to repair harm and benefit the holistic development of the student. The student plays a vital role in determining what steps they believe will positively impact them and allow them to further reflect on their behavior and ways in which they plan to avoid similar incidents during their time at Miami.