UW-Washington County is concerned about the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff. We are committed to providing an environment where individuals are free to work, learn, and teach unencumbered by threats of intimidation or harm.
We encourage the campus community to use referral services to better serve our students. The Behavior Intervention Team (BIT) will serve as a cross-functional assessment group who will respond proactively to students in apparent/potential distress. You should submit referrals for individuals for whom you have a concern, who are exhibiting behaviors that pose a threat to safety or that cause a significant disruption to UW-WC.
Signs to look for include:
- Person states intent to harm him/herself.
- Person states intent to harm others.
- Student demonstrates erratic behaviors that significantly disrupt the learning or working environment.
Physical Signs may include:
- Falling asleep in class or other inopportune times
- A dramatic change in energy level (either direction)
- Marked decline in hygiene/appearance
- Significant changes in weight
- Subtle acts of intimidation (a pattern of posturing, overbearing behavior)
- Indications of substance abuse (physical decline, behavior swings, tardiness, forgetfulness, anxiety attacks)
- Noticeable cuts, bruises or burns on student
Emotional Signs may include:
- Inappropriate emotional outbursts (unprovoked anger or hostility, sobbing
- Expressions of persecution/paranoia
- Exaggerated personality traits; more withdrawn or more animated than usual
- Expressions of hopelessness, fear or worthlessness; themes of suicide, death, and dying in papers/projects
- Direct statements indicating distress, family problems, or other difficulties
- Peer concern about a fellow student (in class, lab, residence hall, club)
- Poor workplace relationships marked by a pattern of unusual verbal conflicts or emotional outbursts
- Obsession with a grudge or “injustices” towards a specific individual or administration
Academic Signs may include:
- Deterioration in quality/quantity of work
- A negative change in classroom or research performance (e.g., drop in grades)
- Missed assignments or exams
- Repeated absences from class or from research lab
- Disorganized or erratic performance
- Decline in enthusiasm in class (e.g., no longer choosing a seat in the front of the room)
- Student sends frequent, lengthy, “ranting” or threatening types of emails or assignments submitted to instructors
- Continual seeking of special provisions (e.g., late papers, extensions, postponed exams, and projects)
How to Report:
Please contact the Behavioral Intervention Team with your concerns.
The campus will act on information about observed behavior that may pose a risk to the safety of an individual or others in our university community. Upon receipt of information of potential risks, UW-WC will execute the following steps:
- Verify: UW-WC will investigate reported or observed behaviors, including spoken and written words, through interviews and observation. The initial objective of verification is to determine that an incident has, in fact, occurred. Once it is evident that a potentially risky, disruptive, harmful, or threatening behavior or situation has occurred, the BIT must determine if the individual or individuals involved pose a threat to themselves or to others. Secondarily, we are interested in identifying individuals whose behavior, though it may present no immediate threat, may be inappropriate.
- Assess: We will use UWS Chapter 17, Student Nonacademic Misconduct Policy, UWS Chapter 18, Conduct on University Lands Policy, applicable laws, knowledge of types of risk, observed behavior, our experience, our judgment, consultation with law enforcement personnel and university personnel, and other means -as appropriate- to analyze a potential issue, to develop an appropriate intervention strategy, and to document our assessment.
Behaviors will be rated on a “D” Scale, by level of risk and aggression as follows:
Distress –emotionally troubled (e.g. depressed, manic, unstable); individuals impacted by actual/perceived situational stressors and traumatic events; behavior may subside when stressor is removed or trauma is addressed/processed; may be psychiatrically symptomatic if not coping/adapting to stressors/trauma.
Disturbance – Increasingly behaviorally disruptive; unusual, and/or bizarrely acting; may be destructive, apparently harmful or threatening to others; substance misuse and abuse.
Dysregulation –Suicidal (thoughts, feelings, expressed intentions and ideations); parasuicidal (extremes of self-injurious behavior, eating disorder, personality disorder); hostile, aggressive, relationally abusive; Individuals deficient in skills that regulate emotion, cognition, self, behavior, and relationships.
Medical Disability (a parallel level of risk to dysregulation) – profoundly disturbed, detached view of reality, unable to care for themselves, at risk of grievous injury or death without an intent to self-harm; often seen in psychotic breaks.
3. Intervene: We will implement strategy determined during assessment and will document our intervention. Potential Outcomes of an Assessment include:
- No action necessary
- Behavior Agreement
- After investigation, evaluation and response to Behavior Agreement may be followed by a modified Behavioral Agreement
- Assist university staff or students to develop a plan of action
- Referral to other campus, Colleges, or System resources
- Referral to appropriate community resources
- Notification of family or others as allowed under FERPA
- Voluntary medical leave of absence
- Disciplinary Action
- Involuntary withdrawal from school
- Employee leave of absence
- Temporary Restraining Order
4. Document: We will collect and document findings using text, video and sound recordings, images, and physical evidence. Once BIT verifies that a report or observation of an incident is legitimate, the team needs proper documentation so that it can develop intervention strategies, so that it can provide an accounting to an outside agency should it be necessary, and so that it can evaluate the effectiveness of an intervention.
5. Evaluate: We will observe, document, and evaluate the results of our intervention.
6. Follow-up: As the situation warrants, we will monitor and repeat the cycle of intervention.