Virtually all disputes originate in the department or comparable administrative unit and should, if feasible, be resolved through consultation between the disputants. The parties should meet and exert a good faith effort to resolve the dispute amicably.
At the request of either or both parties, the consultation may be recorded by a departmental note-taker (a staff or faculty member, but not a student). If a departmental note-taker is present during the consultation, the student may have an additional note-taker of his/her choosing also in attendance.
Neither note-taker may actively participate in the consultation between the parties to the grievance other than to request repetition or clarification of statements made by either party during the consultation session.
It may be useful for the student to seek first the assistance of his or her advisor, department chair, or director of graduate studies acting as a mediator to aid in evenhandedly resolving the dispute.