Working with the Community to Prevent Violence
"Threat Assessment is a process to identify and respond to students, faculty and staff who may pose a danger to others on campus may pose a danger to themselves, or who may simply be struggling and in need of assistance and resources."
- G. Deisinger, M. Randazzo,
D. O'Neill, J. Savage in
The Handbook for Campus Threat Assessment & Management Teams
Washington Adventist University has established a Threat Assessment Team to address situations where students may be exhibiting disruptive, threatening or worrisome behaviors that have the potential to impede their own academic progress, or that has the potential to impede the ability of others to function successfully or safely.
It is imperative that any member of the WAU community – faculty, staff or students – immediately report any situation that could result in harm to anyone at the University. Any member of the campus community may become aware of a troubling situation that is causing serious anxiety, stress, or fear. If such a situation appears to be imminent, including possible immediate risk of violence to self or others, it should be reported immediately to the Department of Campus Safety. Any situation not deemed to be imminent, yet still of concern should be reported to the Office of Student Life.
This Team has been established to:
For the safety of the campus community any threat, explicit or implied, will be considered a statement of intent. The Threat Assessment Team will investigate any concern and act as necessary to protect the campus community.
Threat-related information must be forwarded to the Office of Student Life or in an imminent situation directly to the Department of Campus Safety. The report will be initially evaluated, and if appropriate a group from the Threat Assessment Team will be convened. Any member of the campus community is expected to make themselves available as needed for advice and consultation.
When information is received about a possible threat, it will be investigated and a determination will be made using the best available information regarding the level of threat present. This determination will be made by assessing the initial concern in conjunction with any corroborating evidence, the student’s disciplinary record, and any other relevant information as deemed appropriate by the Threat Assessment Team. The determination of the Threat Assessment Team is intended only as an initial intervention, and should only be considered as the first part of an ongoing review. While the Team is comprised of skilled and knowledgeable staff who will make every effort to consider all angles of a situation, it should be noted that assessing a possible threat can never be 100% accurate.
As needed, the Threat Assessment Team will ask the Vice-President of Student Life, or designee, to place a student on an interim suspension pending a disciplinary hearing, require internal or external psychological evaluations, or act in any other manner as allowed by the University’s policy in order to ensure the safety of the campus community.
The Threat Assessment Team consists of University personnel with expertise in law enforcement, threat assessment, academic affairs, and student affairs. Whenever possible a collaborative process will be used to assess the perceived threat. A core team of key campus leaders will generally comprise the Team, and a secondary support team will be available as needed to assist with the investigation and assessment of a situation. Other individuals may also be consulted such as a faculty member who has a concern about a student. Generally when investigating a possible student threat four members of the core team – one each from Student Life, Academic Affairs, the Counseling Center, and Campus Safety, to be chaired by the representative from the Office of Student Life – will be assembled to manage the investigation and make a determination regarding the level of threat.
The Team will meet on an emergency basis and as needed to review reports brought forward by faculty, staff, and students concerning disruptive, inappropriate, and/or threatening behavior.
General questions about the role or purpose of the Threat Assessment Team should be forwarded to the Office of Student Life at any time.
Purpose of the Behavioral Intervention Team
How do I make an appointment?
You can schedule a first appointment by calling us at 891-4089 or stopping by the Center which is located in Wilkinson Hall on the fourth floor office 426. Our offices open at 8:30 am and we recommend that you call early as our appointments often fill quickly.
Where are you located?
The Counseling Center is located on the fourth floor of Wilkinson Hall Building, office 426.
Who is eligible for your services? Is there a cost for your services?
All students registered at Washington Adventist University are eligible for services. There are no additional charges for any of the clinical services offered at the Counseling Center.
How many sessions does the Counseling Center offer?
The Counseling Center provides short-term, individual counseling focused on helping students develop solutions to issues affecting their academic work and personal lives. Many students find that their issues can be resolved after only a couple of sessions. If you or your counselor determine that longer-term, individual counseling would be helpful, your counselor will assist with referrals to the community.
What types of counseling services do you provide?
The Counseling Center provide individual, couples’ and group counseling focused on a range of common concerns shared by students. We also provide specialized assessments for Depression, Anxiety, Suicide and Alcohol and Drug related concerns.
What can I expect when I come to the Counseling Center?
You will be asked to complete several confidential forms that will provide your counselor with information regarding why you have scheduled an appointment and what types of concerns you want to address in your appointment. You will meet with your counselor for about 45 minutes and she will then talk with you about what types of services the Counseling Center has available that would be most helpful to you.
Who are your counselors?
The Counseling Center counselor is a licensed mental health professional. In addition, the counseling center has graduate counseling interns who are supervised by the licensed staff member.
Do you prescribe medication?
Some students find that medication, often in conjunction with counseling, can be useful in addressing their mental health concerns. Since the counselor at this center does not prescribe medication, we collaborate with physicians in the community. If you are interested in being evaluated for medication, it is necessary for you to first discuss this with a mental health counselor. Your counselor may then refer you to a psychiatrist, primary care physician, or nurse practitioner who has the ability to prescribe medication. They will evaluate the appropriateness of medications in treating your symptoms and consult with you about their recommendations.
What kind of issues do students come to the Counseling Center to get help with?
Students come to the Counseling Center for a wide variety of reasons. Some students are having trouble adjusting to college life or are having conflict with a roommate or their parents. Many of our clients have a specific concern related to depression, anxiety, alcohol or substance abuse, eating concerns or a similar clinical issue. Our counselors can help you understand troubling feelings and behaviors and help you to feel better in general.
Who will see my Counseling Center records?
All Counseling Center records are confidential in accordance with Maryland mental health law. Your records stay at the Counseling Center and can only be released to a third party with your written consent except under specific circumstances outlined in our confidentially policy. The Counseling Center record will not become a part of your academic record.