COLLEGE HOUSES: ANTI-OPPRESSION AUDIT AND CONFLICT RESOUTION TRAINING

ABOUT THE CLIENT

College Houses is a student-owned housing cooperative that serves 500+ members in seven different residences in Austin, TX.



SCOPE OF WORK

AORTA trainers Jenna Peters-Golden and Roan Boucher conducted an anti-oppression audit and provided conflict resolution services over the course of three months.
ANTI-OPPRESSION AUDIT


An anti-oppression audit is a training and consulting process to assess, evaluate, and build/develop an organization's social justice practices, providing support an
 d recommendations for racial, economic, and gender justice, and accessibility.
 

The audit process began and concluded with day-long trainings to help College Houses staff and members build a shared analysis of how anti-oppression politics and principles affect member houses, organizational leadership, staff dynamics, and overall structure of the organization. 
 

As part of the audit, AORTA conducted an in-depth survey of College Houses staff and members, along with a review of College Houses policies and documents. AORTA synthesized this information into a report that summarizes findings and provides reflections on four key areas of College Houses’ work. The report also includes a series of recommendations to support College Houses in improving education and training, communication, and accessibility and addressing various issues that came up during the audit process. 

CONFLICT RESOLUTION SERVICES 
AORTA trainers provided a conflict resolution training for conflict mediators. This training helped mediators build their skills in resolving conflicts and also equipped them to conduct a similar training with student leaders. AORTA also created a conflict resolution manual for College Houses, which includes tips, tools, and options for resolving conflicts.

jenna and roan pose in front of flipcharts at a college houses training



WHAT COLLEGE HOUSES SAYS ABOUT THEIR EXPERIENCE

"Members and staff members at College Houses have had nothing but positive feedback concerning our relationship with AORTA. Jenna and Roan were very responsive by email and phone throughout the anti-oppression audit process, and always took the time to thoroughly answer all questions that came up during our work together. The audit was systematic and in depth and revealed things about our organization that were lurking beneath the surface. Since working with AORTA, our members have formed an Anti-Oppression Alliance Committee to prioritize and put into action the recommendations given to us in the audit report. There is excitement in our organization about the positive changes that are on the horizon, and a genuine respect and appreciation for the good work that AORTA is doing in communities across the US. We will continue to consider AORTA a partner in our pursuit of making our co-op organization a place where everyone is welcome and comfortable."

-Kim Penna, Membership and Development Director, College Houses