Student Care Commitee and Behavioral Intervention Team
Student Care Committee
The Student Care Committee (SCC) is responsible for soliciting and evaluating reports of any student whose behavior is of concern. The SCC provides ongoing case management for the Behavioral Intervention Team (BIT) and will refer cases back to the BIT if there are recommendations for action.
The Committee is co-chaired by the Associate Dean of Student Success and the Assistant Dean for Student Integrity and Community Standards. Members of the SCC may include staff from the Public Safety, Academic Advising, Counseling Services, Residential Life, Athletics, and First Year Experience. Depending upon the situation, other community members may be asked to assist the Committee if there is a specific student in need.
Behavioral Intervention Team
The Behavioral Intervention Team (BIT) consists of a small group of members from various University departments that will review concerning behavior that may need to be addressed with interventions to ensure the safety of the campus community. The BIT is part of the division of Student Engagement and Success and has the core function of providing interventions for student behavioral concerns. The committee is led by the Dean of Students Office and membership on the team will vary depending on the circumstances of each case. The BIT will provide consultation and support to other departments if an employee’s behavior is in need of evaluation.
The Team has the authority to implement behavioral intervention plans or withdraw students from the University if the behaviors of concern are creating a significant disruption to the campus community. If an individual is removed from the University involuntarily, the BIT will determine whether the person can be reinstated to the University through a reapplication process.
Responsibilities and Authority of the Behavioral Intervention Team
In circumstances that a report has been transferred the the Behavioral Intervention Team, the BIT will:
Determine the nature, duration, and severity of the risk posed by the concerning behavior.
Assess the probability that a threatening injury will actually occur.
Determine whether reasonable modifications of policies, practices, or procedures, with the input and participation of the person, will sufficiently mitigate the risk.
Recommend whether the person should take an interim emergency and/or involuntary leave of absence, if applicable.
At least two members of the BIT will assess the nature and degree of threat and then attempt to communicate with the person of concern to gather information about the nature, duration, and severity of the risk posed by the person’s behavior. The BIT will consult with others in the evaluation of the concerning behavior to determine appropriate steps for the person of concern’s safety and the well-being of others in the campus community.
As part of this evaluation, the BIT may ask the person of concern to consent to the release of information maintained by medical or mental health professionals, on or off campus, that do or have provided services to the person. If appropriate, the BIT may also ask the person of concern to undergo a physical, chemical dependency, or mental health assessment by a qualified and licensed professional whose credentials have been approved by the Dean of Students, or designee, to assist in evaluating the risk.
The person of concern may refuse to authorize the release of information and/or refuse to undergo an assessment. This may impede the BIT’s ability to assess the risk posed by the student’s behavior and to propose appropriate supports and interventions to minimize the risk. These limitations may result in the BIT determining that they must initiate an involuntary withdrawal process for the person of concern.
Members of the Behavioral Intervention Team reserve the right to contact a person of concern’s parent, guardian and/or emergency contact to the extent permitted by law at any time.
Any information shared with the Student Care Committee or the Behavioral Intervention Team will only be shared with others, as needed, to:
evaluate the concerning behavior;
monitor the person’s compliance with the plan of action, if applicable;
determine whether the person can be reinstated to the University, if applicable; or
conduct other essential business for the University.
Absent written authority from the student, staff from the Health Center or Counseling Services will not share information about a student’s interactions unless permitted by law.
Behaviors of Concern
Many behaviors cause concern for the well-being of an individual and/or others within the campus community. Behaviors or actions that pose a direct threat to the safety and well-being of others may violate University policies, pose a threat to an individual’s own safety and well-being, and/or impact members of the campus community. Some of these behaviors include, but are not limited to:
talking about hopelessness, extreme sadness;
attempting or threatening suicide;
significant changes in interpersonal relationships, such as abruptly ending a friendship without explanation or discussion;
unexpected withdrawal from campus life;
self-injurious behaviors such as cutting, bruising or burning oneself;
failure to attend classes;
significant changes in self-care, such as no longer bathing or washing one’s clothes;
excessive sleep or no sleep;
inappropriate responses, such as angry outbursts or unusually intense reactions;
excessive eating or starvation;
any other behavior that creates a direct threat of harm to the person or to others.
In some circumstances, a person of concern may be required to meet with a member of the Behavioral Intervention Team before they resume normal campus activities following an incident that included behavioral concerns.
Failure to meet with a member of the BIT may result in interim actions taken against the person of concern including a hold on a student’s account preventing them from attending classes or participating in other campus activities until the student participates in a meeting with a member of the BIT. This may also result in an involuntary withdrawal if the individual continues to resist meeting with a member of the BIT.
Ohio Wesleyan may take immediate action to address an imminent risk of danger posed by a person whose behavior presents a direct threat to the health and safety of others or property. The Vice President for Student Engagement and Success/Dean of Students, or designee, may immediately remove a person from the University community. After the removal, the person may submit a written appeal within 5 business days of the suspension notification to demonstrate why their continued presence on campus does not pose an imminent threat to others or property. Additional time to submit an appeal may be granted at the discretion of the University.
Interventions and Support
The Behavioral Intervention Team may develop a plan of action with the person of concern to ensure that the person is able to successfully persist at the University. The plan may include identifying supportive measures to help the person succeed, and share the University’s expectations of the person to implement the plan. The BIT reserves the right to impose interventions beyond what the person of concern has identified as a supportive measure.
The plan of action may prohibit the person of concern from living in a University residence, attending classes, and/or participating in University activities if members of the BIT have reasonable information that indicates that the person is unable to be successful in those environments. The plan may also provide modifications to work and/or academic schedules. The person will be given a written copy of the action plan.
If ongoing care is recommended, the person of concern will be asked to sign a release of information in cases that the action plan requires an exchange of confidential information with medical or mental health providers. The person of concern has the right to refuse to consent to the ongoing exchange of information and implementation of the plan; however this will impede the BIT’s ability to assess whether the risk has been reduced. The person of concern may be placed on an involuntary withdrawal if members of the BIT determine that this barrier is a threat to the person of concern or members of the campus community.
Any behavior that is a violation of University policies will be treated as such and is subject to disciplinary action through the University’s conduct resolution process. This includes failure to comply with the plan of action.
A student may request to voluntarily withdraw in accordance with the University catalog at any time. A student who withdraws will be required to resolve any pending conduct matters with the University before being permitted to return for a subsequent term. Members of the Behavioral Intervention Team will review a student’s request for return if they were engaged in the Behavioral Intervention Process prior to their withdrawal.
In rare circumstances when a student cannot safely remain at Ohio Wesleyan University, after a plan of action has been proposed and/or implemented, the University may require the student to involuntarily withdraw in accordance with the University catalog.
Prior to the imposition of an involuntary withdrawal, the student will have the opportunity to attend a Behavioral Intervention Meeting and appeal the involuntary withdrawal.
Behavioral Intervention Meeting
When the BIT recommends an involuntary withdrawal, it will document its recommendation and request a Behavioral Intervention Meeting (BIM) with the Vice President for Student Engagement and Success (VPSES)/Dean of Students, or designee.
The BIM will be held in a reasonable and timely manner. At least three (3) business days before the BIM, the student will be given notice of the BIM and a copy of the BIT’s recommendation for involuntary withdrawal with a rationale. The student will be given the opportunity to appear personally to present information in response to the BIT’s recommendation. The BIM may be held without the student if they fail to appear.
A University Advisor is permitted at this meeting. Please refer to the University’s Advisor Policy for detailed information about appropriate Advisors.
At the conclusion of the Behavioral Intervention Meeting, the VPSES/Dean of Students, or designee, will determine whether sufficient evidence has been presented to support the belief that the student has engaged in or is likely to engage in behavior that poses a significant risk of:
Harm to self that will create a significant impact on the community;
Harm to others;
Significant property damage;
Behaviors that render the student unable to engage in the basic activities necessary to persist at Ohio Wesleyan University.
In addition, the VPSES/Dean of Students, or designee, will determine whether sufficient information has been presented that supports the belief that the risk cannot be eliminated or reduced to an acceptable level through the implementation of a plan of action. The VPSES/Dean of Students, or designee, may give the student another opportunity to comply with the plan of action in circumstances where the student refused to comply with the plan of action leading to the involuntary withdrawal referral.
In reaching a decision, the VPSES/Dean of Students, or designee, may consider the impact of the student’s behavior on the educational community as a whole, including other students residing with or near the student, classmates, and professors. This may result in additional actions imposed on the student if the student is permitted to remain enrolled at the University.
If a student is involuntarily withdrawn, the student may be restricted from interacting with the campus community during the period of the leave to ensure safety and reduce ongoing negative impacts on others. Such restrictions may include limits to the student’s communications with faculty, staff or other students and limits to the student’s access to the campus, for example, to visit friends or attend campus events.
Regular refund policies will apply to students who withdraw, whether voluntary or involuntary.
A student who has withdrawn, whether voluntary or involuntary, may request at any time to return to Ohio Wesleyan University for the following semester unless the involuntary withdrawal process imposed a timeline for return.
The process for reinstatement to the University is facilitated by the Office of the Registrar who utilizes the expertise and knowledge of the Behavioral Intervention Team.
The student may be required to produce an opinion from a qualified, licensed professional, whose credentials have been approved by the VPSES/Dean of Students, or designee, that the student is fit to return. In addition, the student may be required to sign a release authorizing the qualified, licensed professional to exchange information regarding their determination that the student is fit to return to the University. The University may also request a second opinion from a qualified, licensed professional regarding the student’s ability to safely return to campus.
Upon return to campus, the student may be required to meet with a member of the BIT to discuss their transition to campus life and discuss appropriate supportive measures and/or expectations for behavior while on campus.