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Mediation Service Now Open

By Elizabeth M. Angell

The Harvard Mediation Service opened last Monday after months of planning, according to Dean of Students Archie C. Epps III.

The service's official pamphlet describes it as a "student-faculty-staff voluntary organization created to assist the Harvard community in improving communication and understanding around issues of conflict and concern including, but not limited, to race and ethnicity."

The service has already received one call, Epps said in an interview on Wednesday. He said the service has not yet decided whether to help settle the dispute.

Epps said he could not disclose what the dispute concerned, but that it was not race related.

The service, which has an office in Holworthy basement, now has a phone line and drop-in hours from two o'clock to four o'clock daily.

The mediation service has a policy of returning calls the same day if there is not someone in the office to receive them, Epps said.

If a caller has an emergency, the service provides the phone number of the Dean of Students' office, which will arrange for somebody to help, he said.

In a meeting last Tuesday, the service began to assign mediators to beats in the University and the community at large. About three people, a faculty or staff member and two students, are assigned to each beat, though that number is flexible, Epps said.

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