Mediation Committee

Mediation Committee adds members, new chair nominated

The Mediation Committee added two new members last week and, in an effort to address complaints that the mediation process has stalled, nominated a new chair to coördinate the process. Meanwhile, the nominations of several other candidates for the Mediation Committee remain to be acted on.

The activity of the Mediation Committee has decreased significantly in the past few weeks. Although requests continue to come in regularly, the mediators have not responded to most of them for the past month, and several users requesting mediation have wondered at the lack of response. The only visible activity since the beginning of the year has been Danny agreeing to mediate between Auto movil and Jewbacca.

Part of the problem has been a severe reduction in the staffing of the Mediation Committee. As recently as the beginning of December, there were 13 active mediators, but since then four have been elected to the Arbitration Committee, and Llywrch resigned from his position. Others dropped out of activity, leaving it uncertain to what extent any of the mediators was still monitoring the process.

The new candidates

In anticipation of losing members to the Arbitration Committee, some effort was made to advertise the need for new mediators. In all, seven candidates had come forward, a total equal to the number of mediators designated as "active" (although several of these have not actually been active editors for weeks or even months).

However, while a few people commented on the new candidates, no action was taken and this aspect of the Mediation Committee seemed to be in limbo along with the rest of its functions. Most of the candidates had been waiting for a decision anywhere from one to two months.

Last Friday, the most recent candidate to come forward, former arbitrator Jwrosenzweig wrote to the wikien-l mailing list, expressing his concerns about the delay. He described the situation as "an apparent standstill", commenting that the mediation process also urgently needed fixing because the Arbitration Committee expects people to use mediation and other dispute resolution procedures before requesting arbitration.

Acting in response to these concerns, Anthere, who is a member of the Mediation Committee but currently inactive due to her work on the Wikimedia Board of Trustees, decided on Saturday to install the two candidates she thought were clearly supported, Jwrosenzweig and Improv. Regarding the others, she said, "It is not so obvious to me whether the other candidates should be added or not added."

Jwrosenzweig nominated for chair

The position of Mediation Committee chair, which has been rotated among several current and former members, was declared vacant as its previous occupant, Bcorr, has been away from Wikipedia for several weeks. The chair coördinates and facilitates the work of the Mediation Committee, and lack of activity in this regard seems to have contributed to confusion in the mediation process, as well as failure to act on the candidacies of potential new mediators.

Anthere nominated the newly appointed Jwrosenzweig for this position and opened the nomination for comments, as well as other candidates if there are any. Having Jwrosenzweig as chair had already been suggested by former mediator Ambi in response to his initiative to reactivate the mediation process. Others on the mailing list also endorsed this idea.

According to Anthere's suggestion, Jwrosenzweig should become the chair if there is no opposition within the next few days.

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