Students find success in spring mediation event

April 30, 2015

PLATTEVILLE, Wis. — They weren’t the best in mediation nor were they the best in advocacy, but when you put the two together, the University of Wisconsin-Platteville mediation team was the best of them all.

Twelve mediation teams from six local colleges and universities met at UW-Platteville recently to test team members’ skills as mediators and advocates in a series of three mock legal disputes that seemed headed for lengthy and stressful trials, according to Dr. John Rink, professor of political science and coach of the mediation team at UW-Platteville.

Participating schools included UW-Platteville; University of Dubuque, Dubuque, Iowa; Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa; Lewis University in Romeoville, Ill.; Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa; and Principia College in Elsah, Ill.

There was a separate championship for the best team in advocacy – won by Lewis University’s team #2 – and a separate championship for the best team in mediation – won by the University of Dubuque. When the scores were put together to see which team was the best overall, the top prize went to the team from UW-Platteville.

UW-Platteville’s Emily Schroeder, Evan Seibel and Aaron Kelsey, all seniors in political science, along with UW-Platteville’s Josh Meyer, a junior political science major, won nine of the judges’ 12 ballots and tied for a tenth over the three rounds of competition. The tied ballot made all the difference, as Lewis University’s team #2 lost a ballot by one point, giving the advantage to UW-Platteville.

“It was Emily’s idea to have a spring tournament,” said Rink. “She wanted to do something based on the NCAA basketball tournament. So she called this tournament ‘March Mediation Madness.’ We couldn’t get space for the tournament in March so we had to add ‘in April’ to the title.”

“Once again our students showed themselves to be a talented, hardworking bunch that can stand up to anybody,” Rink said. “They made the Elite Eight at the national tournament in Georgia this year and now this. It’s very gratifying.”

As UW-Platteville pursues its vision of being recognized as the leading student-focused university for its success in achieving excellence, creating opportunities and empowering each individual, it is guided by four strategic planning priorities. The mediation tournament aligns with three of the priorities, including providing an outstanding education, fostering a community of achievement and respect and enriching the tri-state region.

Written by: Laurie Hamer, College of Liberal Arts and Education, 608-342-6191, hamerl@uwplatt.edu

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