Conflict Resolution

Bowdoin recognizes that maintaining a diverse environment of engaged discourse, creativity, discovery, collaboration and critical inquiry can be challenging and it can require different forms of support. We expect students to embrace and engage both the challenges and the learning opportunities offered by our diverse campus community. Groups experiencing internal conflict may work with the Program for Nonviolent and Conflict Resolution (PNVCR).

The program promotes a safe College community in which students, faculty, and staff can navigate conflict peacefully and in a way that promotes self-reflection and accountability by providing a variety of services designed to strengthen and support a harmonious community and seeks to respect and reflect the differences that make up our vibrant campus. 

PNVCR offers services for all members of our community through our specially trained facilitators, which include students, faculty, and staff. The following processes are available: 

  • Conflict Coaching: One-on-one consultation process designed to assess and develop an individual’s communication skills and conflict management strategies 
  • Facilitated Dialogue: A structured conversation, usually about difficult or sensitive matters, between two or more parties involved in a conflict. 
  • Mediation: A more structured form of facilitated dialogue with a specific outcome or resolution. 
  • Shuttle Negotiation: An indirect conversation and form of mediation when the parties are not able to be in the same space, as in the case of “No Contact Orders.” Mediators communicate the needs and opinions of the parties and attempt to reach resolution. 
  • Restorative Justice Circles: A facilitated opportunity for community members to come together to address harmful behavior in a process that explores harms and needs, obligations, and necessary engagement. 

Matters can come to PNVCR through various channels, the most common being (1) by referral of the Office of the Dean of Students, the Office of Residential Life and Education, or the Conduct Review Board; and (2) by request of a community member following a community disruption. PNVCR will contact the parties involved to participate in a process.