Menu of Restorative Justice Opportunities

Below is a brief description of the types of restorative processes offered at USD. For more information about what is involved in the process and how to implement restorative justice for your situation please contact the individuals or offices listed under the option. All of our processes are adaptable to the specific needs of your situation. If you are unsure about which process is best for your situation please contact the Office of Ethical Development and Restorative Practices at 619-260-4590 or stop by UC 132.

Community Circles

Best Use: Helps address issues of concern to the larger USD community such as complex social issues, difficult current events, and community building. Some examples of the use of Community Circles include responding to hate crimes, sexual assault awareness week, and Torero Days community building.

Focus: Creates a space for participants with varying values, experiences, and backgrounds to discuss difficult topics in a safe space. Seeks to create a new understanding of the topic by engaging in a constructive and generative dialogue.

Get Involved: Facilitate a Circle for your group, floor, class, or organization. Anyone can facilitate a Circle at anytime using a basic framework. Please feel free to contact us if you need any advice or assistance facilitating. We have a number of trained facilitators who can help you implement a circle as a stand-alone event or integrate it into an already existing program, training, and team-building event. Contact Mandy Womack, Assistant  Dean of Students, at to begin.

Be sure to send us a message about how your Circle goes so we can celebrate your great work!

students in community circle session

Restorative Circle

Best Use: Situations where multiple parties feel that the other has negatively impacted their experience at USD and previous communication efforts have been unsuccessful. These are often conflicts with seemingly very different perspectives such as roommate conflicts, Residential Life room changes, and conflicts between student organizations.

Focus: Creates a safe space where parties are able to explain their perspective and be heard. Seeks to generate increased understanding and agreements for how to best move forward in a positive way.

Request a Restorative Circle: If you are involved in a conflict or incident that may benefit from a structured circle please contact your Resident Assistant, or Mandy Womack, Assistant Dean of Students, at We would be happy to talk with you about your concern and suggest possible ways to move forward.

people in mediation session

Restorative Justice Conference

Best Use: Student conduct cases where the student responsible expresses remorse about the impact they had on other community members and desire to apologize and repair, to the best extent possible, any harm caused. Students often report feeling that the Conference process was very meaningful because they actually took a role in determining the outcomes along with the impacted parties.

Focus: Students responsible for misconduct are provided an opportunity to take responsibility, apologize to those who have been harmed, and work with the other parties involved to identify appropriate ways of repairing the harm.

Request a Restorative Conference: Students can request a Restorative Conference from their conduct hearing officer at the time of the hearing. If approved, the case is referred to a trained Restorative Justice Facilitator who will coordinate the process. If you have any questions about this process please contact your Community Director or Mandy Womack at or 619-260-4590.

students in conference session

Restorative Justice Trainings and Workshops

In partnership with Residential Life, the School of Peace Studies, and the Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice, we are continually offering training and workshop opportunities related to restorative justice and conflict resolution. We are also available to conduct trainings and presentations about RJ principles and practices as requested. For more information or to request a workshop or mediation, please contact the Office of Ethical Development and Restorative Practices at 619-260-4590 or stop by UC 132.

students in workshop