Asst. News Editor
Butler University’s Assessment and Care Team is one of many Behavioral Intervention Teams formed on college campuses around America following the 2007 Virginia Tech shootings.
The goal of ACT and other BITs is to identify disengaged students who could potentially be dealing with issues ranging from homesickness, to mental health issues, to academic problems. The team tries to direct students to the appropriate resources.
The ACT consists of representatives from different colleges, the Learning Resource Center, Butler University Police Department, the Health and Counseling center, Residence Life, health services and others. Sally Click, dean of student services, coordinates the committee.
“There’s a continuum, some of them on one end are really looking at threat assessment, then on the other end is the success and retention,” Click said. “We’re on that end.”
Public campuses in states such as Virginia and Illinois are required to have BITs by law. Butler has one by choice and chooses to focus on the well-being and retention of students, Click said.
“The lesson in all campus violence is you can never predict who is going to act out and be violent,” Click said.
The team typically meets every other Monday to discuss possible concerns on campus. The most common concern is with students who are disengaged from classes and activities, Click said.
“Sometimes what we’re doing is connecting the dots, and trying to put pieces together,” she said.
Interventions are usually kept to the lowest level, sometimes using support systems already in place, such as the student’s Greek house or residence hall staff, Click said.
Health records from the Counseling Center and health and student disability service records are not generally shared unless there is an immediate health or safety issue, Click said.
Students and concerned faculty can also submit issues to the ACT through an online form on the Community of Care website or by emailing Click. There is an option for submissions to remain anonymous.
Alex Correa, a sophomore, was unaware that the ACT existed, but he is aware of the variety of services offered to support students on campus.
“[The ACT] is something that might go under-utilized but it’s definitely a good idea and could be crucial to those that do need it,” he said. “There are tons of resources available that a lot of students don’t know about.”
As BUPD’s representative on the ACT, Andy Ryan informs the BUPD staff of students who could be a concern based on what other committee members report.
For example, if a student was hospitalized for alcohol poisoning, Ryan would share it with the group in case of future academic or behavioral issues.
“We want to keep them on the radar,” Ryan said. “Obviously we want students to return, but we also want to help them if they need help.”