Advocacy & Navigating Issues

The MSUM Dean of Students Office often meets with you when you are experiencing challenges in your life that may affect your success at MSUM. We serve as a resource hub for both on- and off-campus resources. We are happy to meet with you to discuss what has been happening and how we can help ensure your success at MSUM.

We believe that it is important for students to have the ability to advocate for themselves, which is an important life skill. There will be times when the Dean of Students staff members will incorporate self-advocacy skill building into our discussions with students.

It is important for students to:

  • Learn how to speak up for themselves
  • Make their own decisions about their life
  • Learn how to get information so that they understand things that are important to them,
  • Find out who will support them in their journey
  • Know their rights and responsibilities
  • Problem solve
  • Listen and learn
  • Reach out to others when they need help

Conflict Coachingis a one‐on‐one consultation process designed to assess and develop a student’s communication skills and conflict management strategies.

In Conflict Coaching, students can:

  • Get confidential assistance
  • Learn more about their communication and conflict management styles.
  • Develop new options and a strategy for managing their existing conflict.
  • Gain confidence in their own abilities to manage and resolve the conflict knowing that they have someone to support them through the experience.

Who is involved?

  • Student – the individual seeking conflict coaching. 
  • Director –Student Conduct and Resolution, within the Dean of Students Office.

How does it work?

In a typical Conflict Coaching session:

  • Prior to meeting, the student completes a Conflict Style Self‐Assessment.  The student brings this Self‐Assessment with them to the meeting.
  • The Director provides a brief introduction to the process.  Student and Director establish any necessary ground rules and behavioral guidelines, then confirm agreement on the timeframe for the session.
  • The Student describes the conflict as they understand it, with appropriate time and space needed to “tell their story well”.
  • The Director reviews results of the Self‐Assessment with the student and invites reflection on what it was like take the survey, as well as personal reactions to the survey.
  • The conversation then shifts to an exploration of the conflict, informed by the Self‐Assessment, with the objective of identifying optimal next steps to take toward resolving the conflict.
  • The Student (with the Director’s support and coaching) then develops a realistic, achievable plan for how best to proceed.
  • The Director closes the meeting with final questions and reflections from the Student, summarizing the key take‐away points from the meeting. The Student is invited to schedule a follow‐up appointment if they choose.