Restorative Practices Program

Bates College is committed to helping students resolve conflicts peacefully and to develop the skills needed to successfully navigate conflict and difficult situations throughout their lives. Restorative Practices include both proactive educational opportunities and responsive programs with a particular focus on repairing the harm and hosting reflective opportunities to consider impact on self and community. To that end, the college has developed a number of programs designed to support students in proactively establishing mutual respect for community members and provides methods to repair harm when conflicts arise.

Should you wish to make use of these services, please complete this request form. If you have any questions, please contact Jimmy Riley, Associate Director for Community Standards & First-Year Experience at jriley3@bates.edu or (207) 786-6220.

Proactive Restorative Practices

Education and Outreach

Restorative practices include proactively providing education and outreach to the Bates community. The program engages students, faculty, and staff in meaningful conversations and restorative circles in which community members come together to establish expectations, norms, and mutual respect. These circles are designed to strengthen relationships and build transparent and clear communication pathways.

Responsive Restorative Practices

Restorative Justice Circles

A restorative justice process may be initiated either by the college or by an individual student when a situation occurs where one or more students have caused harm to other members of the campus or local community. A restorative justice circle seeks to bring together those who have caused harm with those who have been impacted by their actions. The goal of the circle is to allow the participating parties to explore what happened, what harm was caused, and how community members can begin to repair the harm. An agreement detailing the further obligations of the offending parties may result. A group of staff, faculty, and students (the Restorative Practices Advisors) are trained in circle keeping and facilitation.

Mediated Conversations

Students experiencing interpersonal conflict may request help from the college to work through their concerns. Typically, this would be in the form of a mediated conversation. The student residence life staff (JAs and RCs) are trained in the basics of mediation and can help roommates discuss appropriate boundaries and parameters for living with another person or persons. The Restorative Practices Advisors are certified mediators and are available to assist in formal mediations.

Conflict Coaching

Students experiencing interpersonal conflict may wish to handle the situation on their own with some coaching from someone trained in conflict management and mediation. The Restorative Practices Advisors are certified mediators and are available to coach students on how to best approach a conversation with someone around interpersonal conflicts and can offer strategies for navigation through the conversation.

Resources

Restorative Practices Advisors

Advisors provide informal support services to students around campus, co-facilitate formal mediations and conferences, and provide educational programming to departments, clubs, organizations, and teams. To meet the Advisors for the current academic year, please click here.

Staff Members

A number of staff members provide informal support services to students around campus, facilitate formal mediations and circles, and provide educational programming to departments, clubs, organizations, and teams.