Published: Oct. 12, 2017

Conflict is a normal and natural experience when your student is navigating and adjusting to new situations. While conflict can be challenging and uncomfortable for your student, there are ways you can support them while they are learning to engage in difficult dialogues and develop conflict resolution skills that will serve them at CU Boulder and beyond. There are also many campus resources available to help your student if they need assistance with current or ongoing conflict they may be experiencing.

When your student reaches out to you regarding a conflict:

  • Listen and offer encouragement. Your student has probably been through a lot of change and transition recently, whether they’re in a new living situation, starting a new job or attending college for the first time. It’s helpful for them to find a safe space to share how they are feeling.
  • Explore how the conflict occurred. For example, a roommate conflict may escalate over text message or social media where tone or meaning can be misinterpreted. Encouraging direct communication – talking face-to-face with the person they’re having a conflict with – can produce better results.
  • Ask for ideas from your student. Help your student talk through several possible solutions and make a plan to resolve the conflict.
  • Encourage them to reach out for help if needed. If your student lives on campus, they can reach out to their Resident Advisor (RA) or Hall Director for assistance with roommate conflicts. The Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution can assist any student navigating conflict with other CU students with resources that include one-on-one conflict coaching, mediation and facilitated dialogues. Additionally, the Ombuds Office is a confidential resource on campus for students seeking guidance related to a university dispute, including conflicts with professors.

For more information or resources related to conflict, please visit the Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution website.