FAQs

MUSC Behavioral Support Intervention Team FAQs

Recognize.                Respond.                Refer.                Report.


Why does MUSC need a BSIT?

What is BSIT Cares and how is it different from the BSIT?

What kinds of behaviors of concern should be reported?

How do I make a referral/report?

Who comprises the Core Team?

What if I report something that shouldn’t have been reported?

How anonymous/confidential is the reporting process?

Will the reporter’s identity remain confidential when a student of concern is contacted?

Won’t I be betraying my students’ trust if I report?

Shouldn’t employees report concerns to their Supervisor, Department Chair, or Dean rather than the BSIT?

Who has access to the BSIT reports when they are submitted?

After a report is submitted, in how timely a fashion will the BSIT take action?

When should I make a report to the BSIT and when should I contact Public Safety?

Who does the BSIT serve?

How often does the BSIT meet?

What is the history of the BSIT?

How will reporters know if their report has been received and acted upon?

How does the BSIT determine if reports are false or true?

Who can submit reports of concern?

Isn’t this just profiling students to weed out the “bad” ones?

Why does MUSC need a BSIT?

Legal agencies and research gathered from institutional tragedies strongly support that educational institutions must address campus safety in a much more unified, planned, and proactive manner than ever before.  Two states – Virginia and Illinois – require their state universities to have formal teams such as our BSIT.  It is no longer acceptable for higher education institutions not to have a centralized campus team and system to help identify students in distress early, connect students in distress with appropriate resources and provide follow-up care.  Please visit the following on-line resources for more insight to this topic: Why Do Campuses Need Behavioral Support Intervention Teams?

What is BSIT Cares and how is it different from the BSIT?

BSIT Cares is a set of resources that has been established to protect the health and safety of our community.  The BSIT along with Public Safety, Disability Support Services, Counseling and Psychological Services and the Office of Gender Equity is one of the resources that falls under the umbrella of the BSIT Cares initiative.

What kinds of behaviors of concern should be reported?

Some of the most common behaviors that are reported include the following:

·      Unexpected absenteeism

·      Classroom disruption

·      Intoxication on campus

·      Threatening words or actions

·      Writings that convey clear intentions to harm self or others

·      Observed self-injurious behavior (cutting, burning, etc.)

·      Threatening online postings in social media

·      Acts motivated by hatred or discrimination

·      Paranoia

·      Stalking

·      Relationship violence

·      Harassment or bullying

·      Extreme changes in personality

·      Suicidal behaviors

o   Threats (“I am going to kill myself.”)

o   Gestures (giving away belongings, etc.)

o   Ideation (“I’ve always thought about killing myself.”)

o   Attempts.

This list is not inclusive.  Please refer to the NaBITA Threat Assessment Tool.

How do I make a referral/report?

If you have concerns about a student, please contact one of our BSIT Team members directly during regular business hours. They will assist in gathering information about your concerns. In an emergency, call 911 or Public Safety at 792-4196.

Who comprises the Core Team?

ChairpersonDr. Alyssa Rheingold792-4497
College of Dental MedicineDr. Sharlene Wedin792-0686
College of Graduate StudiesDr. Steve Kubalak792-0624
College of Health ProfessionsDr. Nancy Carson792-2239
College of MedicineMs. Myra Haney Singleton792-1672
College of NursingMs. Annemarie Donato792-4655
SC College of PharmacyDr. Shannon Drayton792-5570
Education & Student LifeDr. Laurie Charles792-2146
Public SafetyMajor Kevin Kerley792-6207
Risk ManagementMr. Wayne Brannanadvisory
University CounselMs. Annette Drachmanadvisory

What if I report something that shouldn’t have been reported?

When in doubt, please report.  Your reported concern could be critical to the BSIT as we seek to determine whether an expressed concern is an isolated event or a sign that a student has more serious issues.

How anonymous/confidential is the reporting process?

When a report is received, we will only know the reporter’s identity if the reporter chooses to include this information in his/her report.  Reporters can remain anonymous; however, we do encourage reporters to include their contact information so that if we need additional information or have questions concerning a report, we can gather this information more quickly.

Will the reporter’s identity remain confidential when a student of concern is contacted?

Although there may be situations where the student can deduce who reported the concerns, as a general rule, the BSIT does not share the identity of the reporter with the student of concern.

Won’t I be betraying my students’ trust if I report?

If you are concerned about a student’s behavior and would like to see the student receive early intervention, please share your concerns with the BSIT.

Shouldn’t employees report concerns to their Supervisor, Department Chair, or Dean rather than the BSIT?

Employees are encouraged to follow the guidelines as set forth by their Supervisor when it comes to communicating to students of concern.  We simply ask that this communication also be shared through the BSIT so that when appropriate, we can coordinate early intervention for this student in conjunction with the actions the reporter, Supervisor, Department Chair, and/or Dean plan to take.  Although it is your personal decision whether you will report concerns to the BSIT, we do ask that you strongly consider how keeping this information “siloed” in your department will benefit the student.

Who has access to the BSIT reports when they are submitted?

Only members of the BSIT Team will have access to submitted reports.

After a report is submitted, in how timely a fashion will the BSIT take action?

If this is an emergency, call 911 or Public Safety at 792-4196.  When you submit your report, a designated BSIT member receives electronic notification immediately.  Your report is generally read within one business day of submission.  Depending on the nature of the concerning behavior, reports may be acted on within minutes of submission.  Not all submissions, however, will warrant immediate response and in some cases, no response is warranted at that time.

When should I make a report to the BSIT and when should I contact Public Safety?

Individuals must contact MUSC Public Safety or 911 FIRST if the person of concern poses an immediate threat to self or others OR the individual experiences a medical emergency (e.g., seizure, loss of consciousness).  The BSIT plays a secondary role to all urgent circumstances and should be contacted only after initial emergency notifications are made.  Follow up during the next business day with the BSIT by completing the BSIT Student Concern/Incident Referral form.

PUBLIC SAFETY EMERGENCY NUMBERS

911

2-4196 (if calling from campus)

843-792-4196 (if calling from off campus or cell)

211 Crisis Hotline is another available resource.

Who does the BSIT serve?

At this time, resources are focused toward working with our student population.

How often does the BSIT meet?

The BSIT meets every other month or on an as-needed basis.  During meetings, core members discuss new reports and on-going cases to coordinate resources for students of concern.  The Core Team also remains in daily contact electronically for immediate feedback and case consultation.

What is the history of the BSIT?

MUSC’s BSIT was initially formed in 2011 and tasked with developing and implementing the Behavioral Support Intervention Team Protocol.  After one year of development, the BSIT was formally introduced to the campus community in August of 2012.

How will reporters know if their report has been received and acted upon?

Once a report has been submitted, the reporter will not know the exact actions that may be taken as we seek to protect the privacy of our students.  Any number of responses/actions may be appropriate following receipt of an incident referral.  In some instances, no action will need to be taken right away and in other instances, immediate contact with the student will be necessary.  Our team follows an objective protocol when determining follow-up actions.  The nature of the report, the behaviors that are being exhibited, and the number of reports that we may have previously received all play a role in guiding the BSIT in actions that may be taken.  Possible actions can be viewed at the following link NaBITA Threat Assessment Tool.

How does the BSIT determine if reports are false or true?

There is the possibility that reports contain false information or are reported out of revenge.  Nationwide, the number of “false reports” is actually quite low.  Our team is careful about the actions we may take when a report is submitted.  When necessary, and if the reporter has shared his/her contact information, the team consults the reporter for further information.

Who can submit reports of concern?

We encourage all members of the campus community (students, faculty, employees, patients and visitors to our campus) to participate in “recognizing, responding, referring, and reporting.”

Isn’t this just profiling students to weed out the “bad” ones?

The BSIT’s initiative seeks to give all students, no matter the type of behavior, the same opportunity to receive early assistance.  We achieve this goal by: (1) focusing on the concerning behavior(s) and educating our campus community to pay attention to any behaviors that may indicate a student is in distress, and (2) following a consistent, objective protocol when working with students who are reported.  We do not seek to weed out “bad” students; whenever possible, our goal is to assist the student to remain enrolled and be successful, productive members of our community.

Adapted with permission from Ozarks Technical Community College, 1001 E. Chestnut Expressway, Springfield, MO  65082 – (417) 447-7500.