Behavioral Intervention Team
Millersville University has established a Behavioral Intervention Team (BIT) to assist in addressing situations where students, faculty, or staff are displaying disruptive or threatening behaviors that potentially impede their own or others’ ability to function successfully or safely. The process is designed to help identify persons whose behaviors potentially endanger their own or others' health and safety.
It is the responsibility of faculty, staff, and students to immediately report any situation that could possibly result in harm to anyone at the University. Any member of the campus community may become aware of a troubling person or situation that is causing serious anxiety, stress, or fear and, if so, this information should be provided to the Behavioral Intervention Team at (717) 871-7070.
In cases where a person may pose an immediate risk of violence to self or others, please call 911.
For the safety of the campus community, any threat, explicit or implied, will be considered a statement of intent. The Behavioral Intervention Team will recommend actions to the appropriate vice president(s) in order to protect the student, employee, and University community. This team has been established to:
- Respond to incidents of violence, threatening behavior, unwanted pursuit, harassment, and behavior indicating a student, faculty, or staff member poses a risk to self or others; when necessary, initiate contacts with appropriate authorities to place a student/employee in the custody of a mental health facility capable of supporting specific behaviors.
- Coordinate and assess information from faculty, administrators, students, and local authorities.
- Investigate the incident(s) and recommend appropriate actions, which may include suspension, expulsion, involuntary leave of absence, filing of criminal charges, or ongoing monitoring for follow-up and observation of behavior patterns; recommendations are made as appropriate to the Vice President for Student Affairs & Enrollment Management, the Vice President for Finance and Administration and/or the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs, who shall sign off on action to be taken.
- Identify resources for troubled students and personnel and make referrals to appropriate campus and off-campus agencies; help secure therapeutic actions that are appropriate, such as treatment or counseling, and that may include internal or external psychological evaluations.
- Authorize notification, within FERPA guidelines, of parents, guardians and/or next-of-kin.
- Assess outcomes of actions taken periodically.
Nothing in this policy is intended to abridge any employee's rights under a collective bargaining agreement, and any student's rights under the provisions of the student code of conduct, or their respective rights at law.
Information should be forwarded to the Behavioral Intervention Team by calling (717) 871-7070. However, in an emergency, immediately dial 911. The executive committee of the Behavioral Intervention Team will initially evaluate the report and, if appropriate, convene the team. Individual members of the team are also available for advice and consultation. The executive committee shall be comprised of the Chief of the MU Police Department, Director of Safety/Environmental Health, Director of the Center for Counseling and Human Development, and the Dean of Students, who shall serve as chair of the executive committee.
Once a report is received, the following preliminary investigative information will be collected by the MUPD and/or other members of the executive committee as appropriate/necessary to complete the preliminary investigation as expeditiously as possible:
- Interviews to determine the existence of corroborating evidence;
- Student disciplinary/judicial MU history;
- Relevant employment records under the custody of the chief human resources officer;
- Other relevant information as deemed appropriate to assure the safety of the University community.
Behavioral Intervention Team
The Behavioral Intervention Team consists of University personnel with expertise in human resources/employee assistance, law enforcement/threat assessment/tactical applications, University operations, medical knowledge, social equity, and student affairs. A collaborative process to assess threats will be used, and, depending on the situation, personnel with areas of specialization/responsibility may be called upon to assist the team. Other individuals may also be consulted as needed such as a faculty member who has a concern about a student, a counseling psychologist to share expertise, and/or a manager who has information concerning an employee.
The team will meet on an emergency basis as well as on a regular bi-weekly schedule to review reports brought forward by faculty, staff, and students concerning disruptive, inappropriate, and/or threatening behavior. All information received by or related to the activities of the team will be maintained by the Associate Vice President. This information will be treated as confidential among and between members of BIT, will be protected in accordance with FERPA and other applicable laws and administrative rules, and will be released only as required by law or permitted by law under exigent circumstances.
- Renardo Hall, Associate Vice President
- Thomas Richardson, Associate Vice President
- Pete Anders, Chief, MU Police Department
- Lori Austin, Director of Student Conduct & Community Standards
- Dr. Kelsey Backels, Chair, Center for Counseling & Human Development
- Diane Copenhaver, Executive Director of Human Resources.
- Dr. James Delle, Associate Provost for Academic Administration
- Dr. Victor DeSantis, Interim Chief of Staff
Dr. Scott Helfrich, Director, University Housing and Conference Services
- Janet Kacskos, Director of Communications
- Joanne Ocasio, Nurse Supervisor, Health Services
- Elizabeth Swantek, Title IX Coordinator
- Patrick Weidinger, Director for Safety/Environmental Health
While supervisors, managers, department chairpersons, deans, and student affairs/residence life staffs are appropriate counsel for general student/employee concerns, they are not experts in responding to threatening or alarming incidents. Therefore, it is everyone's responsibility (students, employees, and visitors) to report incidents that could possibly result in harm to the campus community to the Behavioral Intervention Team by calling (717) 871-7070 or in case of an emergency, directly call 911.