EECS REFS serve as a resource for EECS graduate students in managing stress and conflict, acting as coaches/mediators, liaisons, and intermediaries. As coaches and mediators, they help analyze issues and situations brought forth by students and identify appropriate courses of action. They are also trained to mediate conflicts between students when appropriate. As liaisons, they provide information about and may refer students to the professional services available at MIT. As intermediaries, they inform the EECS REFS faculty advisors and the EECS department of concerns facing the graduate student community.
Before participating in the program, EECS REFS are required to attend the forty hour mediation and conflict resolution training administered by Mediation@MIT. In addition, active REFS members are required to attend two hours of mediation-related training and/or seminars per semester to refresh their skills.
In addition to the above responsibilities, EECS REFS may periodically host social events and engage in other publicity activities aimed at increasing student exposure to and familiarity with the program. Events may also be held to highlight a particular professional service (e.g. the Center for Health and Wellness) available at MIT.
EECS REFS holds one to two meetings each month to discuss the current status and future direction of the program. During these meetings, recent cases may be discussed (while maintaining confidentiality) as a means of educating all members on particular topics. Members discuss participation in department and Institute activities of interest and also plan independent initiatives; the associated workload is then distributed appropriately.
EECS REFS meet at least once a semester with their faculty advisors to formally discuss the program and noteworthy issues facing the graduate community. The faculty advisors monitor the effectiveness of the EECS REFS program and make recommendations as needed.
Please note that each member of EECS REFS reserves the right to refuse or discontinue a case if he or she feels uncomfortable providing consultation.
This excerpt was adapted from the "(Graduate Resident) Tutor Roles and Responsibilities" written by W. B. Watson on September 9, 2002. This original document can be found here.