As a means to achieve restorative outcomes, primary principles of restorative justice must be understood. They include the following:
- Clarity and agreement among all parties regarding the facts in a given incident.
- Clarity and understanding regarding the roles and responsibilities of individuals and Goshen College in a given incident if deemed appropriate.
- Willingness by involved to accept responsibility for their actions.
- Communication by those involved regarding desired steps to make right the wrongs experienced.
- Willingness by those involved to respond and work to make right the wrong experienced.
- Agreement on restorative steps and outcomes between all involved.
- Honored confidentiality throughout the process.
Violations against Community Standards are indicators of offenses against people, relationships and the community. A witness to the violation should confront the violator or violators and together work out a resolution in keeping with the standards. If the violators refuse to work out an agreement, then a member of the Residence Life Team will be brought into the discussion. One of these persons will process the allegation to determine the facts and present them before the appropriate response team. The Resident Assistant and Resident Leader play an important role in confronting, listening to and supporting those involved in standards violations. RAs & RLs serve to repair the relationship and integrate those involved and the community as much as possible.
It is hoped that students will self-manage and resolve conflicts on an individual level. Student Life professionals are available to empower students to deal cooperatively and constructively with conflicts, disputes and offenses.
For those incidences that are not resolved individually, or there is a lack of responsibility for the violation, the situation moves to a more formal process. Students involved in a first time violation of a community standard will meet with a Residence Life Director to reach a common understanding and attempt to reach a restorative outcome and disciplinary response. All standards violations are processed on a case-by-case basis. The incident report will be moved to the Standards Response Team if a Residence Life Director is unable to reach a common understanding with the student, the facts of the incident are unclear, or the student involved is on disciplinary probation.