The idea of a restorative approach is to “make things right.” We all make mistakes, and sometimes people are harmed by our mistakes.
When that happens, our primary goal is to help you learn from your experiences, to see how your behaviour affected others, and to look for ways to resolve the problems. We’ll talk to you about what happened, how others might have been harmed, and how things can be made right so your relationship with the community can be rebuilt.
Q. Are all issues handled with a restorative approach?
Although this is our primary goal, there are times when a restorative approach may be complemented with educational and developmental strategies such as attending an educational seminar or completing an online workshop. In some situations, a more punitive approach may also be used in accordance with campus procedures.
Q. What is a circle?
A circle is the name for one process that can be used when there is a community concerns or to respond to harms. The students who were harmed or affected by an incident (or ongoing behaviours) will gather with those who were responsible and the RLS facilitators. There will be a discussion to find a resolution that works for the entire group.
Q. Why restorative for residences?
Research shows that these restorative practices work well in university residences: students learn from them and are much less likely to engage in negative behaviours again afterwards. The emphasis on restoring community relationships helps because students will need to go on living, working and studying in the community.
This approach also recognizes that starting at university can be a stressful and challenging time for many students, and gives more opportunities to learn.