Behavior Assessment Team

Campus Safety in response to The College Fix article dated September 12, 2017

The College Fix, a student-reported publication, ran a story about a letter Utah Valley University distributed to faculty about student behavior. The story was since picked up by other media outlets.

Utah Valley University takes student health and safety very seriously. The University’s Behavior Assessment Team (BAT) is a multidisciplinary team whose mission is to promote the health and safety of the campus community, including by providing faculty with tools and resources to prevent violence and to promote early intervention for students experiencing distress or engaging in harmful or disruptive behavior.

BAT sent a letter on August 16, 2017, reminding faculty of such resources. The College Fix article cites a single UVU professor as the source for commentary on the letter. If indeed an authentic source, the UVU faculty member took the letter out of context and made inferences about our policy that are inaccurate. The behaviors our staff are urged to respond to range from withdrawal and angry outbursts to physical violence. Nowhere do we suggest professors punish students for “unpopular” opinions.

UVU is foundationally committed to the principles of free speech, promoting civility and respect for the dignity and potential of each individual, and a safe and inclusive environment for the entire UVU community. To see the letter, go to: http://bit.ly/2eU6PRB. To see UVU’s free speech policy, go to: http://bit.ly/2wnMbQb.

MISSION

The mission of Utah Valley University’s Behavior Assessment Team is to promote:1) the health and safety of the campus community, and 2) community member health, well-being, and successful experiences by encouraging communication, collaboration and coordination of concerns regarding student/campus community member behavior, coordinating information, and developing support plans for people of concern.

PURPOSE

The purpose of the Behavior Assessment Team is to serve as the coordinating hub of a network of existing resources, focused on violence prevention and early intervention in community situations involving members experiencing distress or engaging in harmful or disruptive behaviors. The Team will develop intervention and support strategies and offer case coordination. This team will regularly review and assess these situations and recommend actions in accord with existing university policies.

RESPONSIBILITIES

The BAT is responsible for performing the following functions, when necessary, to fulfill the mission of this protocol:

  • Receive, review, and catalogue information about community concerns regarding community member concerning and/or threatening behavior
  • Perform initial assessment of risk and refer cases to offices and officials as needed for additional assessment and intervention
  • Develop specific intervention strategies to manage potentially harmful or disruptive behavior to protect the safety and rights of both the individual and the university community
  • Make recommendations to university officials on appropriate intervention consistent with university policies and procedures
  • Engage in ongoing refinement of Team procedures and protocols to foster optimal Team functioning and interface with the university community
  • Identify university policy and procedural issues warranting further examination and refer such matters to appropriate entities
  • Maintain confidentiality within the guidelines of FERPA, HIPAA, and other laws.
  • Provide educational programs for the campus community that promote campus safety, response protocols, and campus community members’ well-being; including, informational handouts, signage, and holding regular trainings

BAT DOES

  • Respond to individuals in apparent/potential distress
  • Provide consultation and support to faculty and staff
  • Connect students with needed resources
  • Operate within all University policies and procedures, and state and federal law
  • Provide education and training on campus safety and violence prevention

BAT DOES NOT

  • Function punitively
  • Profile or discriminate based on protected class
  • Replace student discipline
  • Replace faculty classroom management
  • Act as an emergency response team

 

WHEN IN DOUBT,
REACH OUT!

IF YOU SEE CONCERNING BEHAVIOR

  • EMERGENCY: 911 or UVU Police dispatch @ (801) 863-5555.
    This line is monitored 24 hours a day/seven days a week.
  • NON-EMERGENCY: UVU Tip line @ (801) 863-1234.
    This line is monitored 24 hours a day/seven days a week. 

MANAGING THE SITUATION

If you can, calmly confront the individual:

  • Stay calm, don’t overreact.
  • Maintain a quiet tone, don’t get into a yelling match.
  • Invite them to sit down to discuss their concerns.
  • Actively listen to their concerns and take notes.
  • Provide any support or resources you can.
  • Refer them to the appropriate entities.

In an active shooter situation:

  • Run,
  • Hide, or
  • Fight.

Opt In to the campus emergency communication system, and to access the video Shots Fired.

CONSULT WITH THE
BEHAVIOR ASSESSMENT TEAM

Alexis Palmer (Chair) - AVP Student Life/Dean of Students
(801) 863-8681palmeral@uvu.edu

Ashley Larsen (Asst Chair) - Associate Dean of Students
(801) 863-8665, alarsen@uvu.edu

Bill Erb - Senior Director of Student Health Services
(801) 863-8927, erbbi@uvu.edu

Maren Turnidge - Director of Student Conduct/Conflict Resolution
(801) 863-5841, marent@uvu.edu

Matthew Pedersen - Chief of Police
(801) 863-8320, mpedersen@uvu.edu

Robin Ebmeyer - Emergency Manager
(801) 863-7977. robin.ebmeyer@uvu.edu

Pola Morrison - Director of Accessibility Services
(801) 863-7377, pmorrison@uvu.edu

Jason Slack - Associate Dean College of Science
(801) 863-7488, jason.slack@uvu.edu

Kurt Ashworth - Director of Employee Services
(801) 863-5360, kashworth@uvu.edu