Bennington Mediation Process

Mediation is a voluntary and confidential process. Nobody can be forced to engage in mediation, and once the process starts, anyone at the table is free to leave at any time. It is our belief that the relief of moving forward and the release of tension offered by a mediated agreement is worth the difficult conversations and uncomfortable moments sometimes felt during the mediation. The mediator(s) will not share any information, including the names of the involved students, with anyone outside the mediation with the exception of the BMP coordinator.

The purpose of the Bennington Mediation Process is to give students access to a safe, confidential, and voluntary space to resolve
  • Minor or major conflicts
  • Disputes
  • Arguments
  • Issues as they arise
Mediation is a structured process in which you can
  • Express your perspective
  • State your needs
  • Listen to other viewpoints
  • Think up options
  • Explore solutions that meet everyone’s needs

One potential outcome of mediation is an agreement, either spoken or written, that you may come up with during the session. Trained Bennington students, staff, and faculty will mediate these disputes.

Student Mediators

  • Rumana Mehdi

Staff Mediators

  • Amy Kuzmicki
  • Ray Stevens
  • Michael Thomson

Faculty Mediators

  • Danny Michaelson
  • Peter Pagnucco
  • Susan Sgorbati

Steps for Mediation

Mediation request
  • You request mediation (email bmp@bennington.eduOR you are referred to mediation by a third party.
  • SUB Referrals may come from a variety of sources, including House Chairs, Jiray Avedisian (for House Chair issues or roommate issues), Psych Services, club and organization leaders, SEPC representatives, or faculty advisors.
All involved students receive a mediation intake email from
  • Email will include
    • The purpose of mediation and basic information about the Bennington Mediation Process
    • A list of available peer mediators, faculty mediators, and staff mediators
  • Involved students will respond to the email, indicating whether or not
    • They are willing to attend the mediation session
    • They are “comfortable with mediator” or “not comfortable with mediator,” for each mediator listed in the email
All involved students receive an email directly from mediator(s) which includes
  • An introduction from the mediator(s)
  • A link to Doodle poll, where involved students can choose from a list of available times to schedule the mediation
All involved students receive an email with the date, time, and place of mediation and confirm that they can attend.
  • When the involved students arrive, the mediator will give a brief introduction of the mediation process, check to see if there are any questions or concerns, and ask the involved students if they would like to proceed with the mediation
  • Mediation sessions typically last from 1.5 to 2 hours and may vary depending on the discussion.
Further mediation sessions can be scheduled as needed.