CARE Team

The CARE Team

Bowling Green State University’s Campus Assessment, Response, and Evaluation (CARE) Team serves to promote the health and safety of the campus community in an effort to instill and enhance a safe campus environment. With the team being comprised of representatives from across campus, interventions can be tailored to each unique situation, and may include supportive outreach and referrals, advocacy, student conduct proceedings, and/or law enforcement responses.

If a student is in crisis (at immediate risk of harm to self or others), call 911 or BGSU Police: 419-372-2346.

If the student is not at immediate risk to self or others, you can report the incident to the Office of the Dean of Students.

Documentation

Disruptive and distressed behavior should be documented.  Write a factual, detailed account of what occurred.

In addition to reporting your concern to the Office of the Dean of Students, share this information with your immediate supervisor or department chairperson. 

Distressed Students

While emotional or stressful responses are expected at certain times during the semester, you may notice someone acting in a way that is inconsistent with your normal experience with that person. You may be able to serve as a helpful resource in times of distress/personal struggle. Your expression of interest and concern may be critical factors in helping the student re-establish an emotional connectedness with family and friends. You may also be able to alert our University staff to ensure a timely and appropriate intervention.

Possible signs of Distress

  • Marked change in academic performance or behavior
  • Excessive absence or tardiness
  • Trouble eating and/or sleeping
  • Disruptive behavior
  • Undue aggressiveness
  • Exaggerated emotional response that is obviously inappropriate to the situation
  • Depressed or lethargic mood
  • Hyperactivity or very rapid speech
  • Marked change in personal hygiene
  • Excessive confusion
  • Dramatic weight loss or gain
  • Dependency (individual hangs around or makes excessive appointments to see you)
  • Strange or bizarre behavior indicating loss of  contact with reality
  • Feelings of helplessness or hopelessness
  • Verbal or written references to suicide
  • Verbal or written references to harming another
  • Isolation from friends, family, or classmates
  • Give away prized possessions

THE DOs

  • Do speak with the student privately
  • Do let him/her know you are concerned about his/her welfare
  • Do express your concern by describing changes you observed in non-judgemental terms
  • Do tell him/her you are willing to help
  • Do listen carefully to what he/she is troubled about
  • Do help him/her explore options
  • Do suggest resources
  • Do consult with others about your concerns
  • Do make referrals to the appropriate campus department and offer to accompany them if able
  • Do point out that help is available and seeking such help is a sign of strength and courage, rather than a weakness or failure
  • Do follow up with the student about your referral

THE DONTs

  • Don’t promise confidentiality
  • Don’t judge or criticize
  • Don’t ignore the unusual behavior
  • Don’t make the problem your own
  • Don’t involve yourself beyond the limits of your time or skill

What is disruptive behavior?

Behavior that interferes with other students, faculty or staff, or threatens the safety of the community and their access to an appropriate educational or work environment.

What are some examples of disruptive behavior?

  • Yelling or screaming
  • Persistent and unreasonable demands for time and attention
  • Words or actions that have the effect of intimidating or harassing another
  • Words or actions that cause another to fear for his/her personal safety
  • Threats of physical assault

How should I respond to disruptive behavior?

Disruptive behavior should not be ignored. Remain calm. Remind yourself that it is not about you; it is about the situation. Tell the individual that such behavior is inappropriate. Inform the individual that there are consequences for failing to improve the disruptive behavior. If possible, have someone else with you. Many disruptive situations involve anger. Recognize that the period of peak anger usually lasts 20 to 30 seconds. Although this may seem like an eternity in the midst of the situation, often it is best to wait a person’s emotions out before continuing.

THE DOs

  • Do listen through the anger. Use active listening
  • Do acknowledge the feelings of the individual
  • Do allow the person to vent and tell you what
    is upsetting the individual
  • Do set limits. Explain clearly and directly what
    behaviors are acceptable “I am willing to speak
    with you as soon as you lower you voice”
  • Do be assertive, fair, consistent, and honest
  • Do focus on what you can do to help resolve
    the situation
  • Do make personal referrals. Give a name of an
    individual when possible, and call ahead to brief
    the person
  • Do report to BGSU Police, and/or the Office of the Dean of Students

THE DON’Ts

  • Don’t minimize the situation
  • Don’t get into an argument or shouting match
  • Don’t blame, ridicule, or use sarcasm
  • Don’t touch
  • Don’t ignore warning signs that the problem is about to explode
  • Don’t ignore your own limitations

Managing Classroom Disruptions

Proactive Measures

  • Build behavioral expectations into your course syllabus
  • Devote sufficient time during first class to discuss those behaviors you view as unacceptable
  • Outline the consequences for non-compliance with expectations
  • Refer to the Code of Student Conduct if applicable
  • Get to know your students
  • Meet with students outside the classroom to address concerns
  • Respond to students in a caring and concerned manner

Handling Disruptions/Managing Angry Behavior

  • Do not overlook the disruption or let it go
  • Ask to speak with the student individually
  • Explain the behavior you observed
  • Describe how the behavior impacts you and the class
  • Listen to the student
  • Reach an agreement that the behavior will cease
  • Document conversation
  • Inform your Chair/Director/College Office/Dean

Disruptive behavior that continues

  • Meet with the student again
  • Document meeting and agreed upon outcome
  • Date; time; location; detailed facts of behavior and outcome
  • Inform student that additional disruptions will be referred to the Office of the Dean of Students