Purpose and Philosophy
The purpose of the Behavioral Intervention Team (BIT) is to identify and coordinate appropriate action to respond to student behavior that is erratic, self-injurious, or potentially threatening to others. The goal of any action taken by the committee is to protect the campus community while optimizing the outcome for the individual student. When possible, attempts will be made to engage the student in a positive way rather than ostracize him/her because of the behavior exhibited. Any disciplinary action taken will be based on the actual behavior exhibited rather than on projections about possible future behavior.
Referrals to the Behavioral Intervention Team
The BIT will review information and incident reports from University Police, Housing, and Judicial Affairs about on and off-campus incidents involving students. In addition, any member of the USCA community can report erratic, threatening, or potentially self-injurious (such as suicidal threats or abuse of alcohol or drugs) behavior by a student to the BIT.
The BIT was established to handle serious behavioral issues exhibited by students. It is not meant to replace the normal care and concern that is routinely provided to our students by our faculty and staff and other students. Typically, behaviors that pose a threat to safety or that cause a significant community disruption should be referred to the BIT, while students who experience other mental health issues should be referred to the USCA Counseling Center. However, when in doubt, the best course is to report the behavior to the BIT.
The following procedure should be used to make a referral to the BIT:
If requested and feasible, the identity of the person who reported the behavior can be withheld from the student exhibiting the behavior. If judicial or legal charges are made as a result of an investigation of the incident, statements from witnesses may be necessary.
The BIT will discuss information received about student behavior and develop an appropriate course of action on a case-by-case basis. Potential courses of action include:
- Follow-up contact with the student by professional staff
- Mandatory referral to the Counseling Center or outside mental health professional
- Disciplinary charges
- Continued police investigation and/or criminal charges
- Voluntary or involuntary transport to hospital
- Removal from University housing
- Summary suspension
- No further action
Other possible follow-up includes:
- Communication with victim or person forwarding BIT Incident Report, when appropriate
- Review and/or revision of policy or services to better meet student needs
Members of the BIT Team:
- Dr. Deb Kladivko - Vice Chancellor for Student Life and Services
- Ahmed Samaha - Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Life and Non-Academic Judicial Affairs Officer
- Cindy Gelinas - Director of Counseling, Student Health, and Disability Services
- Hope Smith-Dunbar - Associate Director of Housing for Residence Life
- Kevin Liles - Chief of Police
Other members will be assigned as needed.