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Swarthmore College Advocacy Training Group Project Records

 Collection — othertype: RG6-Q039
Identifier: SFHL-RG6-Q039

Scope and Contents

The collection includes budget information related to the Advocacy Training Group Project, official correspondence of the program coordinator, fundraising letters, brochures and promotional materials. The collection also includes handouts and worksheets for training sessions, notes from facilitators about individual sessions, facilitator's reflections on issues related to advocacy, communication and mediation, papers detailing different types of peer mediation on campus. Materials related to AIDS and HIV advocacy on campus and in Philadelphia and materials related to LGBTQ advocacy on campus. Several letters related to the position of Equal Opportunities Officer and the need for change within the office, several proposals related to the Equal Opportunities Medication Program, and a letter from the coordinator for the Coalition for Improved Psychological Services (CIPS) calling out Dean Gross for lack of empathy and action on behalf of students with mental illness on campus.


  • Creation: 1989 - 1995


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright has not been assigned to Friends Historical Library. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in to the Director. Permission for publication is given on behalf Friends Historical Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by reader.

Biographical / Historical

The Advocacy Group Training Project was originally founded in 1986 by Swarthmore College’s Equal Opportunities Officer, Patricia Whitman. The program's primary purpose was to train students in conflict resolution and peer mediation. The project also focused on consensus building, problem solving, active listening, de-escalation and creating a supportive environment for students to examine complex ethical issues. The Advocacy Group Training Project facilitated two hour long sessions every week broken up into two week cycles. The first week would be discussion and active listening around a moral issue, topic or problem, then students would spend the second week reflecting on communication styles, group dynamics and how the previous week’s conversation could have been better mediated. By the early 1990s over three hundred students had participated in Advocacy Group Training Project sessions. Despite high student interest the program struggled for funding. In 1993 the position of Equal Opportunities Officer was cut from a full time staff position to a part time one, which is also called the program’s survival into question. Student’s petitioned for its continued funding and were able to secure funds from alumni and eventually administration. Recent Swarthmore alumni, Michael Pfeiffer, was hired to coordinate the program and oversee the peer facilitators. Under Pfeiffer’s leadership two special interest groups, the Gay, Bisexual, Lesbain Group and the Intercultural Men’s Group, were formed in 1993 to focus on conflict medication for students in in these specific communities. Likewise the Advocacy Group Training Project also worked closely with the Jewish student group and several student groups engaged with racial justice issues on campus to train students in meditation and conflict resolution. Peer facilitators within the Advocacy Group Training Project were also heavily involved with AIDS and HIV awareness and advocacy at the time.


0.83 linear ft.

Language of Materials



Collection contained the records of the Advocacy Training Group Project at Swarthmore College that trained students as peer faciliators in mediation and conflict resolution. It also includes materials related to various types of student advocacy in the late 1980s through the early 1990s.


This collection has been arranged into three series: series 1 includes administrative materials related to the running of the group. Series 2 includes notes and reflections on mediation sessions and group discussions. Series 3 includes materials related to the intersecting interests of the group both on and off campus. Within their series files have arranged in alphabetical order.

Processing Information

This collection has been reorganized from its original arrangement to help with usability and to be better tell the story of the history of the Advocacy Group Training Project at Swarthmore College. Photocopied journal articles, duplicate documents and personal materials not related to the Advocacy Group Training Project have been removed and deaccessioned.

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Find It at the Library

Most of the materials in this catalog are not digitized and can only be accessed in person. Please see our website for more information about visiting or requesting repoductions from Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College Library

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Swarthmore Pennsylvania 19081 USA