CARE Network Statement of Commitment | The Evergreen State College

CARE Network Statement of Commitment

Conflict is inherent in the human condition, and constructive conflict is an essential element of a free society. The Evergreen State College values honest disagreement in the furtherance of open inquiry and learning across significant differences.  One of the resources the College provides to support constructive disagreement is the Conflict Assistance, Resources and Empowerment (CARE) Network.

A group of students, faculty and staff volunteer to serve as the CARE Network to help community members deal creatively and productively with conflict. We encourage members of the community to discuss issues early and execute strategies for solving problems before they escalate. We seek to provide resources and clear, accurate and consistent information about how to address and recover from conflicts.

The CARE Network affirms the principles expressed in Evergreen’s Social Contract to maintain civility in all our interactions with one another. The opening of that document states:

As members of the Evergreen community, we acknowledge our mutual responsibility for maintaining conditions under which learning can flourish—conditions characterized by openness, honesty, civility and fairness. These conditions carry with them certain rights and responsibilities that apply to us both as groups and as individuals … The Social Contract is an agreement; a guide for civility and tolerance toward others; a reminder that respecting others and remaining open to others and their ideas provides a powerful framework for teaching and learning.

Genuine differences between the interests and values of individuals or groups can be emotionally laden and at times difficult to navigate. The CARE Network is a resource for all members of the Evergreen community that seek help and information in navigating conflicts. In this work, we also commit ourselves to neutrality in any disagreements, in order that we may more effectively serve the college community as a whole.