Providing caring support for our campus community
The College of DuPage cares about the safety, health and well-being of its students, faculty, staff and community. The Behavioral Intervention Team was created to promote and maintain the safety and well-being of the campus community.
Who is the Behavior Intervention Team?
The team is comprised of representatives from a wide range of campus departments to provide a holistic support system for students. We serve as a centralized reporting source for any community member (faculty/staff, students, parents, etc.) who is concerned about a student or campus community member and would like assistance with the concern.
The Dean of Students serves as the chair of the Behavioral Intervention Team and coordinates outreach to students to offer assistance and connect them with on and off campus resources.
The purpose of the team is to
- Educate others about how to identify behaviors of concern and how to refer them.
- Review all referred incidents, as soon as reasonably possible: It is recognized that some referrals, by their very nature, will require immediate review and response while others may be dealt with during regular team meetings.
- Determine if a risk exists and develop a strategy or plan of action to respond to that risk: The team will use a fact based assessment process to determine if a risk exists and to develop an appropriate plan of action. Action plans take into consideration the risk for potential harm and the potential for incidents of targeted violence.
- Take appropriate action to implement the plan and mitigate the risk: The team shall implement the agreed upon action plan and assure that all necessary follow up and documentation is conducted. Any action plan shall make available, and use as needed, a full range of support services including mental health, crisis management, as well as victim services.
- Work with individuals who have been referred to ensure a safe and successful experience at College of DuPage
The following behaviors can all be important signs of distress. As a member of the College of DuPage community, you may notice an individual exhibiting behaviors which cause some concern. Or you may have a “gut-level feeling” that something is wrong. If the latter is the case, don’t dismiss your feelings or feel that you need to wait for tangible “proof” that a problem exists. A simple check-in with the individual may help you get a better sense of his/her situation.
- Falling asleep in class or other inopportune times
- A dramatic change in energy level (either direction)
- Worrisome changes in hygiene or personal appearance
- Significant changes in weight
- Frequent state of alcohol intoxication (i.e., bleary-eyed, hung-over, smelling of alcohol)
- Noticeable cuts, bruises, or burns on individual
- Inappropriate emotional outbursts (unprovoked anger or hostility, sobbing)
- Agitated behaviors
- 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 individual (in class, lab, club)
Referrals can be made by completing the electronic reporting form. The online form allows for 24-hour reporting; however, please note that referrals may not be handled until the next business day. NOTE: In cases where an individual’s behavior poses an imminent threat to you or another, contact the College of DuPage Police, if you are on main campus (630) 942-2000 or for off-campus concerns, call 911 immediately!
What does the BIT need to know?
- Name of the individual(s) of concern
- Factual description of the incident or behavior, be objective and use direct quotes when possible
- Location and time the incident occurred, or when the behaviors were first notices
- Names and contact information of any witnesses
- Your name and contact information
- Related emails, correspondence or information you have concerning the incident. If possible, save voice recordings, text messages and emails on the device that received them.
Who can refer an incident?
Anyone who feels an individual is a threat to themselves and/or the community can make a referral; including students, parents, faculty and staff, and other community members.
Referrals to BIT are private
The BIT will take reasonable steps to maintain the privacy of those who make a report to BIT, if requested, but confidentiality cannot be guaranteed. On occasion, due to the nature of the reported concern, the reporter’s identity may be evident to the individual of concern.
Talking to an individual of concern
If you are comfortable doing so, tell the individual that you are concerned and ask if they are OK. In many cases an individual will indicate that they could use some help and you can refer them to counseling services or to the BIT.
If you have determined that a referral to the BIT is appropriate, and are comfortable doing so, you are encouraged to discuss the referral with the person of concern. You can say something like “I am concerned about you, and so I have referred you to our BIT. The BIT can provide you with support and resources to get you through this difficult time.”
What happens after I refer?
- The team evaluates each report.
- A member(s) of the BIT may reach out to the individual of concern to assess any resources needed and collaboratively develop an action plan with the individual to reduce obstacles for their success at College of DuPage. The BIT may also contact the person completing the Incident Report.
- BIT members will assist the individual to coordinate with existing campus resources and works with the individual to monitor progress. In the event that an individual is perceived to be at risk of harm to self or others, BIT may coordinate with appropriate College of DuPage offices to assist the individual.
- BIT may determine that there is no need to take any further action but will monitor the situation and concern.
- Although there may be instances where there is an intersection of Student Conduct and BIT, the BIT is not intended as a punitive function, and is a resource to support students, staff, and faculty and community members in times of distress. Conduct violations will be handled in accordance with the procedures outlined in the Student Handbook through the Student Conduct Office. The work of the BIT is not intended to replace the current college disciplinary process, and/or faculty classroom management.
FERPA protects the privacy of students’ education records. FERPA does not prohibit or in any way restrict a College employee from sharing what they personally observe. In other words, a College employee would not violate FERPA by advising the BIT of what he or she saw or hears when directly interacting with a student, when observing a student interact with others, or when otherwise observing a student’s behavior or demeanor.
In addition, if a College of DuPage faculty or staff member notices disturbing content in a student’s writing or artwork, the faculty member should refer this to the BIT. Although the student’s writing or art work would likely be an education record protected by FERPA, FERPA authorizes school officials (such as faculty) to disclose education records, without student’s consent, to other school officials who have a legitimate educational interest in those records. Since the BIT is responsible for identifying, responding to, and supporting at-risk College of DuPage students while simultaneously attending to the needs of the College of DuPage community, the members of the BIT would have a legitimate educational interest in examining the student’s writing or artwork.
Protecting student privacy is a high priority of the BIT. Record and proceedings of the BIT are kept private and shared only on a “need to know” basis in a manner that is consistent with College policy and the College’s obligations under applicable laws, including FERPA.
- Nathania Montes – BIT Chairperson, Dean, Student Affairs, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Addie Cooke – Administrative Assistant to the Dean of Students, email@example.com
- Dennis Emano – Mental Health Counselor, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Tauya Forst – Criminal Studies Faculty, email@example.com
- Robert Hazard – English Faculty, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Kent Munsterman – Lieutenant, College of DuPage Police, email@example.com
- James Nehls – Deputy Chief, College of DuPage Police, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Eric Ramirez Thompson - Criminal Studies Faculty, email@example.com
- Samantha Salvato – Manager, Center for Access and Accommodations, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Julie Trytek – Human Services Faculty, email@example.com
- Sonia Watson – Interim Associate Dean, Adjunct Faculty Support, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Debra Wendling – Human Resource Partner, email@example.com
Behavioral Intervention Team
24-hour DuPage County Crisis Line: (630) 627-1700