Informal mediation is only possible when all parties to the mediation voluntarily agree to engage in the process. The informal mediation process is intended to help the parties better understand each other’s viewpoints, develop options, and articulate some informal agreed upon guidelines regarding how best to move forward. Before beginning informal mediation, all parties agree not to share what is said within the mediation outside of the process (though at the conclusion of the mediation process, the parties can agree to share information). As the mediator, the University Ombuds is neutral and does not adjudicate, decision-make, advocate, or determine the outcome of the mediation. Rather, the role of the University Ombuds is to facilitate communication and mutually satisfactory outcomes between the parties.