The second annual FIGHTWeek provides conflict-related events for students: Events continue at Falstaff's and the Wilson Chapel this weekend

Posted by Julia Leef

April 4 marks the halfway point of the second annual FIGHTWeek, a series of events for students dealing with peer mediation and conflict, sponsored by members of the Conflict Resolution Club (FIGHTClub), a student-run organization created last year to deal with mediation and conflict coaching on campus.

This year, according to Chris Lord '12, president of FIGHTClub, the club has a larger budget to work with, which has allowed organizers to add new events, such as workshops that focus on moving from discussion to action.

"Last year was hard because we were starting from scratch," Lord said. "This year we had a base. We kept a lot of the events that went well. Also, we added and tweaked some events based on the needs we heard from students. We do our best to provide an opportunity for anyone in FIGHTClub to run an event that interests them."

Lord said FIGHTClub is working this week to provide fun events that service student needs and give them the opportunity to build and strengthen relationships. The week will also advertise FIGHTClub's peer-to-peer conflict resolution service, which provides the services of New York State Certified Mediators to students on campus.

Lord cited difficulties in scheduling the various events without creating overlaps, although he added there is almost always a way to work conflicts out.

"After helping to plan FIGHTWeek last year, and planning Flow Jam earlier this year, preparing for events is beginning to be second nature to me," Lord said. "I know who to talk to in order to get what done. I want to share this knowledge with students who have less planning experience to help them implement their own ideas to better Skidmore."

The club received support from several members of the administration, including David Karp, associate dean of Student Affairs and director of Campus Life, who serves as the club's advisor. 

Kris Scully, financial coordinator for Campus Life, and Robin Adams, interim director of Leadership Activities, also lent a hand in helping the club fund events and work with facilities to oversee the construction of a picnic table on April 2.

Beverly Cottrell, catering secretary for Dining Services, provided additional help by booking the second floor of the Murray-Aikins Dining Hall for a "Dialogue to Action" panel with Duke Fisher, a trainer of conflict resolution and restorative justice, on April 3. Rick Chrisman, director of Religious and Spiritual Life, reserved the chapel for an upcoming event on Saturday, April 7.

Each FIGHTClub member is responsible for a different event of FIGHTWeek, including the Compliment Booth in the Atrium of the Murray-Aikins Dining Hall all week from noon to 3 p.m. April 4 included a game of Capture the Flag, a blood drive, and an open FIGHTClub meeting, all of which took place on April 4.

Still to come is a movie showing and raffle at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday in the Spa, a "Feel Good" party with live Skidmore bands and DJs from 9:30 p.m. to 2 a.m. at Falstaff's on Friday, and a Gong Bath Meditation with Universal Sound at 12:30 p.m. Saturday in the Wilson Chapel.

For some, like Lord, this will be the last FIGHTWeek before graduation.

"I have built some incredibly deep relationships through this club that I will never forget," Lord said. "FIGHTClub has provided me the opportunity to develop my mediation and conflict coaching skills, confidence in my abilities to make a difference, deep friendships, the knowledge that there is always a solution, and a deep rooted optimism about humanity. I just hope I can leave this club with a fraction of what it has given me."

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