The Sorority & Fraternity Life Office has been engaging in a partnership with the LMU Center for Urban Resilience's (CURes) Restorative Justice Project and the Office of Student Conduct & Community Responsibility (OSCCR) since Fall 2018. From incorporation of Restorative Practices in SFL Educational Initiatives to working with chapters to implement them, and even collaborating with our partners in OSCCR to see if this could be appropriate for chapter conduct issues, we have seen the positive impact it has on student learning and accountability.
Restorative Practices implementation has been gaining momentum as a vital contribution to improving social interaction amongst community stakeholders, including LMU’s campus. The aim is to help build and develop stronger relationships amongst all stakeholders which in turn, positively impacts the campus environment. Restorative Practices are based on principles that emphasize the importance of positive relationships as central to building community and involve processes that restore relationships when harm has occurred. Restorative Practices utilize processes such as Restorative Conferencing to repair relationships when conflict naturally occurs and tools to help build a sense of connection.
Restorative Practices asserts that in assisting others to make changes to behavior, it is most effective if one works with others, as the likelihood of cooperation and accountability increases. The goal is to elevate voice and agency of students, staff, faculty, and neighbors. The process of transforming campus culture and climate requires willingness, time, and dedication. In order for accountability to thrive, people appreciate when there are safe spaces to speak the truth of experience, and perspective, even if there is non-agreement.