Campus Life

Students of Concern and Violence Prevention Plan


PART I :: Introduction

While interacting with students across the College, staff may be confronted with situations in which a student displays concerning behaviors or comments, is disruptive to the campus environment, or creates an environment that may be intimidating or threatening to others. By providing information and assistance, this Students of Concern/Violence Prevention Plan is designed to assist faculty, staff and administration in responding to these behaviors. 

The Students of Concern/Violence Prevention Plan was developed around implementation of a Students of Concern/Violence Prevention Team (SCC). The overall goal of the SCC is to promote a safe environment for all students and staff focused on student learning and student development.  

The Students of Concern/Violence Prevention Plan was developed in accordance with the College and University Students of Concern Committee (CUBIT) model that was introduced by the National Center for Higher Education Risk Management in response to the Governor’s Panel Report on the Virginia Tech shootings and the Assessment-Intervention of Student Problems (AISP) model introduced by Ursula Delworth. The Students of Concern/Crisis Prevention Plan complies with recommendations of the April 2008 State of Illinois Campus Security Task Force Report to the Governor and the Illinois Campus Security Enhancement Act.

Overall, the Students of Concern/Violence Prevention Plan seeks to formalize the College’s processes for greater communication, collaboration and coordination in responding to concerns regarding student behavior. 

Students of Concern/Violence Prevention Team

Functions - The Students of Concern/Violence Prevention Team (SCC) is a multidisciplinary team that meets regularly to serve six major functions for the College:
1. Provide staff training to recognize concerning, disruptive and/or threatening behavior;
2. Provide consultation and support to faculty, staff and administration in assisting students who display concerning or disruptive behaviors;
3. Gather information to assess situations involving students who display concerning or disruptive behaviors including implementation of a formal Students of Concern process;
4. Recommend appropriate intervention strategies or disciplinary sanctions; 
5. Connect students with needed campus and community resources; and 
6. Monitor ongoing behavior of students who have displayed disruptive or concerning behavior.

Team Membership
The Students of Concern/Violence Prevention Team is composed of representatives from six critical areas of the campus community and includes:
Vice President for Student Affairs/ Dean of Students
Director of Public Safety
Director of Residential Life
Director of Templeton Counseling Center
Director of Chesley Health Center
Dean of Student Success

A referral agency is available for further mental health consultation if warranted..
Additional members from the campus community are included in meetings of the SCC as necessary.

The Students of Concern/Violence Prevention Team meets regularly to discuss topics related to student behavior and intervention and violence prevention. These discussions include information such as trends in student behavior, best practices in intervention and available resources. 

Additional meetings are held to assess, intervene and monitor student concerns brought to the attention of the SCC. 

Reporting Process

The Importance of Reporting Red Flag Behaviors - The overall goal of the Students of Concern/Violence Prevention Plan is to promote a safe college environment for all students and staff focused on student learning and student development. By encouraging all members of the campus community to report behaviors that are concerning, the Students of Concern Committee will be able to reach out to students to intervene, provide support and connect them with resources that can assist them.  As such, the Students of Concern Committee asks that the campus community report concerning, “red flag” behaviors.

Identifying “Red Flag” Behaviors - Recognizing that it is not uncommon for college students to display some questionable or inappropriate behaviors, “red flag” behaviors are those questionable, suspicious or inappropriate behaviors that go beyond what seems normal or reasonable for the situation.  “Red flag” behaviors may be presented through a student’s appearance, spoken or written words, or specific actions.  
Examples of “red flag” behaviors include:

Behaviors which regularly interfere with classroom environment or management
Notable change in academic performance – poor or inconsistent preparation
Notable change in behavior or appearance
Impairment of thoughts – verbal or written 
Overly aggressive behaviors toward others; inability to set limits or re-direct focus
Poor decision-making and coping skills
Inappropriate or strange behavior
Low frustration tolerance
Overreaction to circumstances
Lack of resiliency
Writings and comments  endorsing violence; unusual interest in violence
Indirect or direct threats in writings or verbalizations
Lack of empathy and concern for others; inability to care
Anger management problems
Threats to others
Appearance of being overly nervous, tense or tearful
Expression of suicidal thoughts or feelings of hopelessness

Behavioral Incident Referral
The Behavioral Incident Referral is designed to enable faculty, staff and students to voluntarily report “red flag” behaviors that may raise concerns and incidents of student misconduct at Illinois College.  An incident, in this context, is an event that does not warrant immediate intervention.  
In the event of an emergency that requires immediate intervention, call 911 or Department of Public Safety

The Behavioral Incident Referral will provide a mechanism for responding to individual incidents and will reveal patterns of disruptive behavior of specific students. It will also provide aggregate data on the nature and frequency of disruptions at Illinois College.  This report provides a standardized method for recording observations of troublesome behaviors and for alerting staff of potential concerns.  

In accordance with the Illinois College Student Community Standards and Policies, information provided in the Behavioral Incident Referral may also be considered in determining appropriate disciplinary action with students. 

Student Concerns Regarding Other Students

Any student with a concern about another student may submit a Behavioral Incident Referral form. As with faculty and staff, students can identify themselves in the report or can submit the report anonymously. A student seeking to submit a concern about another student is encouraged to discuss their concerns with a counselor prior to submitting the report; however, it is not required. Behavioral Incident Referral forms are available to students in the Counseling Center, the offices of the Dean of Students and Department of Public Safety and on the College Web Page.

PART II :: Students of Concern/Violence Prevention Team (SCC)

Students of Concern/Violence Prevention Team Assessment

While there is no single set of warning signs that will reliably predict student behavior or campus violence, the assessment process looks for behavioral evidence that a student is planning or preparing to act out inappropriately or carry out some type of threat. Assessment is designed to distinguish between threatening and non-threatening cases in order to ensure the safety of the student of concern and any others potentially involved as well as to resolve concerns that initiated the inappropriate behavior.

Assessment assists in early identification of situations that may pose a threat to others, creates a baseline of information against which to assess future behavior, and provides a means for implementing interventions to increase the likelihood of a positive and safe resolution.

Assessment Process

Information Gathering and Assessment - Once a Behavioral Incident Referral has been received by the Students of Concern Committee, the team will meet to implement the assessment process. The most appropriate time to include the student in the process will be considered on a case-by-case basis. 

In general, the SCC will gather preliminary information regarding the concern and then the case manager of the SCC (a team member) will interview the student as part of the initial assessment process.  The interview will provide the opportunity for the student to share his/her concerns about the situation and ask for needed assistance in solving it. Information gleaned in this initial interview will be helpful in determining appropriate intervention strategies.  

That process may include any of the following data gathering processes:
Interviews with all available parties with information about the situation
Interviews with the person alleged to have displayed inappropriate/concerning behavior
Assessment by counselor/mental health professional
Interview with any identified potential targets of inappropriate/concerning behavior
Contacting a student’s parents or family members
Review of student’s academic and disciplinary history
Legal/criminal background check
Implementation of the Students of Concern Checklist (Appendix D) and other Students of Concern models appropriate to the situation.

Intervention Strategies

In most cases, a student displaying concerning behaviors is willing to work with the College and to obtain the assistance necessary to complete their educational program.  When a student is in distress, feeling that they have support for resolving the concern may serve as prevention and provide the opportunity for student learning.

Based on the behavior displayed by the student and the assessment by the SCC, the SCC may make any of the following recommendations for intervention. Recommendations are made in consultation with the appropriate college department or administrator who takes any final action. 

Referral to College and/or Community Resources - The SCC may refer the student to Counseling Services for intervention and connection with appropriate College and community resources. 

Voluntary Withdrawal from Classes – Based on discussion with a counselor or member of the SCC, the student may choose to temporarily take time away from the College to deal with other concerns. The student may re-enter the College at a later time.

Referral to Disciplinary Process – The SCC will make this referral to the Vice President for Student Affairs (VPSA) when it is determined that the student behavior may be in violation of the student code of conduct. 

Mandatory Direct Threat/Safety Assessment – The SCC may recommend to the VPSA that students determined to be at high risk for danger to self or others be required to participate in a mandatory assessment by the Templeton Counseling Center, or the College’s mental health consultant (at no cost to the student).  The mental health professional will conduct an assessment of direct threat, provide assistance in gaining access to emergency care for the student as needed, assist the student in establishing ongoing treatment as needed, and provide feedback and recommendations to the SCC. An assessment may take up to 5 sessions.

Involuntary/Voluntary Psychiatric Hospitalization - When a student, based on the safety assessment of a mental health professional, is believed to be: 1) imminently suicidal, 2) acutely dangerous to others, or 3) unable to take care of him or herself as a result of impaired psychological functioning, appropriate personnel may be notified to arrange for hospitalization. In times when a mental health professional is not available on campus, the Department of Public Safety officer on duty will determine if a substantial risk exists, and if so will call 911 to secure an ambulance to transport the student to the hospital for assessment by a mental health consultant. In these situations, the student’s emergency contact of record will be notified, as soon as practicable, but no later than 24 hours after making this determination, of the student’s condition as well as the specific steps the College is taking to address the student’s condition. The SCC will also be notified. (If the psychological crisis occurs after hours, the Department of Public Safety officer on duty will notify the College administrator on-call to make this initial notification to the student’s emergency contact. If during regular hours, the VPSA, or designee, will make the initial notification. The VSPA will also make any additional notifications to the student’s emergency contact to keep this contact abreast of the situation.)   

Interim Suspension – The SCC may recommend to the VPSA that students determined to be at high risk for danger to others be temporarily removed from the College based on imminent safety concerns. Generally, the interim suspension will require a mandatory direct threat/safety assessment evaluation prior to return.

Involuntary Withdrawal – In extremely high risk situations, the SCC may find it necessary to recommend to the VPSA an involuntary withdrawal for a dangerous student who will not comply with the requests of the SCC or agree to a voluntary withdrawal. Involuntary withdrawals will be determined based on the opinion of the mental health consultant that the student poses an imminent risk of serious harm to self or others. The length of withdrawal and conditions for re-enrollment at the college will be determined by the VPSA at the time that the withdrawal is imposed.

Criminal Charges - Students who have engaged in behavior that may be in violation of local, state or federal law may be referred for criminal prosecution.  The Director of the Department of Public Safety will ensure a comprehensive investigation is conducted and determine whether probable cause exists for the filing of criminal charges.  If probable cause is established, the SCC will consider prosecution as an intervention option.

Follow-Up and Monitoring 

In addition to any of the specific intervention strategies described previously, the SCC will determine a plan for follow-up monitoring of each student.  This follow-up monitoring will be conducted by the case manager for the SCC and may include checking with faculty and staff regarding student behavior, checking the progress of the student in counseling and periodic meetings with the case manager or another SCC member. Failure of the student to cooperate with this follow-up monitoring could result in disciplinary action.

Feedback to Referring Individual

In accordance with FERPA, following assessment and intervention with the student of concern, the SCC will provide feedback to the referring individual to inform them of resolution of the case and any ongoing follow-up in which they may need to be involved.

Record Keeping

All records of the Students of Concern/Violence Prevention Team pertaining to students will be stored on a secure site on College’s Moodle site. Records will be maintained for seven years post a student’s enrollment at the college. 

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