The mediation team of Tal Ron, Mirah Dumasia, and Almar Meijles, with their trophies at the National Undergraduate Mock Mediation Tournament in Arlington, Texas
Mirah Dumasia and Tal Ron with team coach Vicki Herriott at the regional tournament at MUM in October, where students won second place
Mirah and Tal preparing for their case before the tournament
MUM Students Place in National Mediation Tourney
Three MUM students competed in the National Undergraduate Mock Mediation Tournament in Arlington, Texas, last month. The team of Tal Ron (from Israel), Mirah Dumasia (from New Zealand), and Almar Meijles (from the Netherlands) was one of only four teams to qualify for the semi-finals in both the mediator category and the advocate/client category, and they took seventh place in both categories.
“MUM was by far the smallest school in the tournament, competing in the semi-finals against much larger schools,” said professor Vicki Herriott, the team’s coach. Competing teams came from schools such as Boston University, the University of Texas at Dallas, the University of Texas at Arlington, Holy Cross, the University of San Diego, the University of Dubuque, and Principia College.
The tournament was sponsored by the International Academy of Dispute Resolution, which is the primary sponsor of three annual mediation events. The academy’s mission is to encourage society to resolve differences and disputes in a more sensitive and compassionate manner, and to promote peace and civility in human behavior.
“Mediation is a very useful skill which facilitates a conversation between both sides, and it creates a safe environment to express each side’s problems with the other and to come to a resolution that both sides are happy with,” said Mirah Dumasia. “The resolution is very important because this isn’t like court, where it is chosen for you and the whole trial is out of your hands. In this process, each side plays a key role to help identify the resolution that will work for them.”
Professor Herriott is proud of the team’s performance, but feels the most important reason to compete is to give the students the opportunity to meet students from all over the country and share in a common endeavor to learn to use mediation as a means to resolve conflict.
Students also appreciated the chance to learn to work in a team and found that the practice of the Transcendental Meditation® technique made them more effective. “Transcendental Meditation helps me become very sensitive to my environment,” said Almar Meijles. “Knowing how people behave and react is quite crucial if you want to respond to them appropriately.”