10 things you may not know about the Grad CRC

How can the Graduate Conflict Resolution Centre help you? G2G Peer Advisors Tony and Terence share their thoughts with Gradschool e-news.  

When conflict arises, academic or non-academic, it can really impact your graduate experience. Whether you are dealing with a dispute with a roommate, caught up in some drama at the lab, or in the middle of a disagreement with your supervisor or committee, the Graduate Conflict Resolution Centre (Grad CRC), is a useful resource to tap into!   

1. “We’re just like you!”

The G2G (grad-to-grad) peer advisors are current master’s and doctoral students from a wide range of departments with diverse life experiences. We care about supporting our graduate community and understand what grad life is like. In addition to individual coaching sessions, we also facilitate workshops to help you learn conflict management skills and strategies.

G2G Peer Advisors

2.  “We’re here to listen, seriously.”

Sometimes, all it takes is just one person who is willing to listen, without judgment. G2G peer advisors provide informal support, while connecting you to existing campus resources that may be better suited for your specific academic issue or personal situation. If you want to chat we can usually meet on the spot (at a drop-in – see our Twitter feed  for the most up-to-date information about time/location) or next day (multiple appointments each week, year-round). Bonus: There are no fees for talking to a G2G!  

3. “We aren’t keeping files on your issue.”

We know that it can be hard to open up about difficult issues, and you might be worried about someone (your supervisor or department or classmates or … ) finding out you’ve been talking about a conflict or issue.  Our commitment to confidentiality ensures that you can complain all you want, and practise that difficult conversation you’ve been avoiding having.

4. “You’re not alone!”

We realize that your path to graduate success might not always be clear. We help you to find ways to approach a difficult situation, brainstorm options for dealing with an academic matter or financial issue. Faculty and staff can also connect confidentially with the Grad CRC – we believe the best approach to preventing and managing conflict is to support the entire graduate community. You have someone you can talk to at the Grad CRC.  

5. “We’ll start with where you’re at.”

That’s right! We don’t assume we know what’s best for you because nobody knows your situation better than you do. While we will not “take sides,” advocate or intervene on your behalf, we will remind you of the importance of prioritizing and critically assessing your options moving forward. You share what you are comfortable sharing.

6. “Let’s get … proactive!”

We offer interactive workshops and informal talks to help members of the graduate community better understand how to approach, prepare, and prevent issues from snowballing into something bigger. Check out our website Training & Events page or the Grad CRC Events & Workshops page on CLNx. We promise learning about conflict can be fun!  

7. “No issue is too small or too big to discuss.”

Like many students, you might be dealing with a complex, multi-issue situation – perhaps one that has been weighing on you for some time. In 2017/2018, we had 200 conversations – many over an hour in length – about a wide range of issues including supervision-related concerns (e.g., “My supervisor’s expectations are totally unreasonable”) and interpersonal conflict (e.g., “I’m not getting along with my class/lab mates”).  

8. “We aren’t SGS, or Student Life, or the UTGSU…”

In fact, we are a partnership of all three – who all recognized the importance of helping grads to navigate conflict earlier and more effectively. As a tri-campus resource, we work across departmental and faculty boundaries to share best practices and support all members of the graduate community. 

9. “Away from campus? No problem.”

We normally try to meet you in person (and with 14 G2G team members we can usually find a time that works for your schedule!); however, if this is not possible, we can also connect with you over Skype (find us at GradCRC_UofT) or phone. We’ve also compiled a list of common graduate concerns on our website Resources page – from feeling like an imposter to parental leave, you may find tips and resources to help get you started.   

10. “We can’t wait to meet you!”

Where you see conflict, the G2G see opportunity. An opportunity to connect with a fellow grad student and share what’s been weighing on your mind. The best way to book an appointment with any of our G2Gs is by logging into the Career and Co-Curricular Learning Network  (CLNx) system with your UTORID. Come talk to us – we look forward to meeting you!

Contributed by Tony & Terence, G2G Peer Advisors

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