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Arts on view
Along with judicial board reforms, the student affairs office and the academic program in law and society have instituted a dispute-mediation program at Skidmore.
Interested staff and students undergo some twenty-five hours of mediation training through Saratoga County Mediation Services, which then certifies them as volunteer mediators. A list of mediators is kept in the student affairs office, and anyone seeking help with a dilemma or conflict—from roommate incompatibility, to landlord-tenant disputes, to romantic relationship problems—can request a meeting with a team of two mediators (who in turn may call on a professional from Saratoga County Mediation if they find themselves out of their depth).
Among the first trainees were a dozen students in the criminal-justice course taught by sociologist David Karp. Now the training is also one of three service options in the introductory course of the law and society program (the other two are serving on the student judicial board and assisting lawyer John Howley ’80 with pro bono death-penalty appeals).
Karp hopes the program will not only help resolve problems before they become judicial matters, but will “permeate the campus culture” to help strengthen a community ethic of civility, responsibility, and honor. —SR