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Behavioral Intervention Team

Thomas More College seeks to provide a safe and secure environment where students and employees can successfully pursue their academic, professional and personal goals. Occasionally, students and employees exhibit behavior or communicate in a fashion that raises concern - for that person’s welfare or for the welfare of others in the community. Recognizing that the behavior of individuals can have a profound impact on the community, a balance must be maintained between a desire to support individuals and the safety and well-being of the community.
The Behavioral Intervention Team is a multi-disciplinary body of stakeholders from across the College to receive and, when it deems appropriate, act upon information or behavior of concern exhibited by a student, group of students, faculty and staff.

Purpose:

The purpose of the Behavioral Intervention Team is to provide a means for early intervention of at-risk students and employees through collaboration with campus departments, faculty, and staff.

Students and Employees exhibiting behaviors that are of concern in relation to their personal, physical, and emotional well-being should be referred to this team of professionals. The Behavioral Intervention Team is not meant to be the sole mechanism of communication and will not take the place of services provided by the Counselor, Retention Services, Student Conduct, Campus Safety, Human Resources or other established services on campus.

Team Responsibility to Campus:

  • To provide a centralized structure for campus departments and offices that need help dealing with a person who is displaying concerning, disruptive or distressed behavior.
  • Responsibilities include gathering and sharing information, discerning whether there are multiple concerns about the person within a setting or across multiple settings, or when the situation encompasses a variety of issues. 
  • The committee is charged to devise a coordinated plan for assessment, intervention and management of the concerns for the student/employee wellbeing and that of the College community. 
  • The committee would ensure that information is shared among strategic partners concerned about the person’s welfare while still protecting the person’s rights and integrity.
  • The committee may reach out to other individuals as appropriate, such as the person raising the concern, others with relevant information or those in a position to provide assistance. Involvement and disclosure of information are managed consistently around the parameters of need to know and health and safety.
  • The committee may also periodically review and recommend changes in campus protocols that address assisting the person in distress.

Representatives on the Committee:

  • Kevin Reynolds, Dean of Student Affairs (Chair)
  • TBD, Asst. Dean of Students (representing residence life & St. conduct)
  • Veronica Lubbe, Counselor
  • Bill Wilson, Director of Campus Safety
  • John Hennessey, Assistant Director, Academic Support Services
  • Noah Welte, Director of Retention
  • Laura Custer, Director of Human Resources
  • Joe Christensen, Assistant Academic Dean

When and How to Refer a Person of Concern

Recognizing Warning Signs
Identifying the signs of at-risk behavior and responding in a timely manner may be a significant part of linking the person with the appropriate campus resource(s).

  • Unusual or erratic behavior in the office or in the classroom, in the residence halls, during advising appointments, during meetings, etc.
  • Extended absence from office, class or TMC related activities by a typically engaged person
  • Written work (including email and social media outlets) or creative expression with troubling themes or references
  • Written or verbal expressions of suicidal ideation
  • Noticeable changes in academic or employee performance
  • Noticeable decline in personal appearance/change in hygiene
  • Repeatedly engaging in disruptive behaviors
  • Excessive or inappropriate anger

How to Make a Referral

  • Contact one of the members of the Behavioral Intervention Team
  • Send an email to bit@thomasmore.edu (only if non-emergency) 
  • Call Campus Safety at 859-341-4867 or Student Affairs Office at 859-344-3544

Emergencies
The Behavioral Intervention Team is not for emergencies. If there is an immediate threat to a student or employee (either through self-harm or interpersonal violence) or the community, call 911.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What about FERPA protection?

A: FERPA pertains to the privacy of educational records. It does not prohibit the reporting of observable behavior and if the incident is a health or safety emergency.
If you are concerned about a personal interaction you have had with a person or an observation you have made pertaining to behavior, or if you feel it is a health and safety issue, you are encouraged to report it to the Dean of Student Affairs or Director of Campus Safety.

The members of the Team, as institutional agents, adhere to the laws and standards governing the disclosure of information to third parties both within and external to the College.  Such information is only disclosed on an administrative need to know basis and only according to the relevant laws/policies that govern such disclosure.

Q: How is this team different than the Crisis Management Team?

A: The Crisis Management Team is a team that responds to high level, imminent campus crisis once a situation emerges. The Crisis Management Team continually assesses the campus’s risk level, develops policies and procedures and provides training to be preventative in nature. The Behavioral Intervention Team is a proactive team that meets bi-weekly to assess referrals and intervene before the concern escalates to violent or detrimental behavior to the person of concern or members of the campus community.

Q: Will I be contacted and updated about the student I refer?

A: Once you refer a person of concern you may be contacted by a committee member for details about the concerning behavior. You may be updated with information as it pertains to interactions with you. However, you will not be informed of details of conversations with the person or possible disciplinary action that may occur depending on the situation.

The Behavioral Intervention Team supplements but does not replace existing College processes:

  • Allegations of criminal activity are managed by the Campus Safety office and referred to the Lakeside Police Department or other law enforcement agency (in cases of behavior alleged to have occurred off-campus).
  • Alleged violations of the Saints Community Standards are referred to Dean of Student Affairs office.
  • Allegations of harassment or sexual misconduct are reported to the Title IX Coordinator, Campus Safety or Dean of Student Affairs Office.
  • Grievances and appeals of various sorts are handled according to the policies described in the Saints Community Standards, the Employee Handbook, the Undergraduate Catalog and/or the Graduate Catalog.