Student Mediation Services builds social media, relationships


 A group of Kent State students discuss possible mantras and ideas for the new Student Mediation Services, which had its opening day on Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2015 in the Twin Towers residence halls.

McKenzie Jean-Philippe

Seated around a conference table, guests at the grand opening of Kent State’s Student Mediation Services on Tuesday, Jan. 27 brainstormed hashtags and mottos that will be use to build its social media presence on Facebook and Twitter.

Though various hashtags were created, the one that seemed to represent the organization is “#conflicttransformation.”

“It’s a very exciting event,” program manager Jacquelyn Bleak said. “I wanted to create something special that would involve students.”

Introduced at the beginning of fall 2014, Student Mediation Services is a program that uses mediation in order to solve conflicts, such as roommate troubles and romantic relationship issues, that occur between students on campus.

“It’s important to have the program so that we can support students and help them learn about mediation,” sophomore journalism major Lassana Kanneh said.

Guests had refreshments and discussed the positivity of the mediation service. With the help of a mediator provided by the organization, more students at Kent State will be able to solve problems in an efficient way.

Emily Kontur, a sophomore applied conflict management major, said she likes to support the Center for Applied Conflict Management, which teaches different mediation techniques that the new services may use.

Mindy Farmer, director of the May 4th Visitor’s Center, said she attended the event to support the new organization.

“This has the potential to be great,” Farmer said.

The guests’ enthusiasm showed that they supported developing the Student Mediation Services and people like Bleak, a lecturer in the Center for Applied Conflict Management, and Todd Kamenash, assistant dean of students and director of Student Conduct.

“We saw that there was a lot of conflict amongst students,” Kamenash said. “I’m hoping that this grand opening is the start of an open door.”

In addition to brainstorming hashtags, guests viewed an art display, showing the work of artists who participated in the services’ art competition.

Tori Swarm, senior applied conflict management major, won first place in the competition along with a $100 gift card to Amazon.

Swarm’s piece, a wood carving of a tree and a dove flying above it, will be on display in the halls of Twin Towers (Beall-McDowell halls) for the next two years.

“Trees need roots to grow and are a representation of growth,” she said. “The dove represents peace.”

Contact McKenzie Jean-Philippe at [email protected].

McKenzie Jean-Philippe is a student life reporter for The Kent Stater.