"Come now, and let us reason together ..."

Recently we learned of a professor from the University of Nevada at Reno who has created a center on campus designed to help settle disputes in a moral, supportive atmosphere. We think Sentinel readers will enjoy reading Dr. K. B. Rao's answers to some of our questions.

You've been interested in college students and their activities for many years, and now have founded the Mediation Center for students and faculty on your campus. What caused you to do this, and why has the center become so vital to the university morale? A university is a place for dialogue. Conversation with individuals of different disciplines is at the heart of any university community. Sometimes, though, students feel isolated, lonely, even threatened. They need an oasis, a place of tranquillity where they can go and find someone who will listen to them.

Recently a gentleman walked into my office for counsel. He was dressed casually and had an old bag on his shoulder. One might think he was a tramp or hobo. Nevertheless, while listening to him and to the words he used to state his claims, I knew he was well educated. He said he was registered for a class in human rights and was highly offended when a freshman accused him of taking space in the student union that belonged to students—not to homeless people. He wanted the student to apologize to him. I found the freshman and he came to my office. There was an interesting exchange. I only facilitated the conversation. They did the resolving. They left the office as good friends, both looking toward a better future. In its humble way, the center mediated an intergeneration encounter. Reasoning together this way contributes to establishing peace for the whole world.

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In next week's Sentinel—
October 18, 1993

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