By: Kelly Butler, Staff Reporter
When students start lashing out or behaving strangely, the Behavioral Concerns Team steps in to handle the situation.
Faculty, staff or other students who notice unusual behavior in a student can report him or her to the Behavioral Concerns Team who then assesses the student and determines what kind of help or services he or she needs.
Dean of Students Trudi Goggin and head of the Behavioral Concerns Team, said the team handles many kinds of cases and determines if intervention or other kinds of help are necessary.
The Behavioral Concerns Team is a student behavioral response team for community intervention, mediation and risk management. The goal of the team is to consider the best interest for the student and the campus community. The team assesses the risk the student poses to his or her self and to other members of campus. If the problem is serious enough or if it is escalating, the board will intervene.
“We have this team because a student’s conduct or acting out can cross into mental issues,” Goggin said. “Over the last decade, college campuses across the country have seen a rise in distressed or disturbed behaviors and violence. By checking in on these individuals, we hope to help these students before they hurt themselves or others.”
The Behavioral Concerns Team gives students the invitation to talk about any problems they’ve been having. Students can easily become overwhelmed and don’t know how to reach out for the kind of help they need. The team contacts these students and stays in touch with them throughout their time of need.
“Going through an illness of any nature can be scary,” said sophomore Chellie Britt. “Having people that can reach out to the affected students can ease the burden they may be feeling.”
The team consists of Trudi Goggin, Dean of Students; Angela Frazier, Assistant Dean of Advising Services; Shannon Green, Director of University Ministry; Natasha Teetsov, Residence Hall Director; and Michael Purcell, Assistant Director of Counseling Services.
The team is intentionally small so that it can function with integrity. By keeping the student’s private life known to only a few members, the team can help the student without him or her feeling vulnerable due to a lack of privacy.
“A small group prevents too much talking about the student,” Goggin said. “There is too much interpersonal information revealed and student privacy is always important.”
Any behavior that is cause for concern should be reported to the Behavioral Concerns Team. It can be as simple as not seeing a student for an extended period of time or noticing a change in behavior such as withdrawing from friendships or aggressiveness.
As the people who interact with the student on a daily basis, faculty, staff and peers are the ones who notify the Behavioral Concerns Team so that they can assess the kind of help that the student needs. In some cases the team will contact the parents of the student if it is determined that it is in the student’s best interest.
“I think that it’s the job of the university to identify these problems. It’s in the student’s best interest, and in some cases, it’s in their peers best interest as well,” said junior Crystal Alagwu.
If a student is exhibiting concerning behavior contact a member or the Behavioral Concerns team, an RA or Residence life and discuss any concerns with them. An email can also be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.