Behavioral Intervention Team (BIT) at Webster University
Comprehensive Protocol for the Webster Groves Campus
Webster University is concerned about the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff. We are committed to providing an environment where individuals are free to work, learn and teach, unencumbered and uninhibited by threats of intimidation or harm. To this end, the University has established the Behavioral Intervention Team (BIT). BIT is responsible for assessing reports of troubling behavior on the part of students, faculty, or staff, and implementing interventions that are in the best interest of the University and the individual.
BIT: Behavioral Intervention Team is a cross-functional assessment group that will respond to students in apparent/potential distress. As needed, BIT will also address distressing behavior of faculty or staff.
Mission Statement: BIT provides proactive assistance to students (and sometimes faculty and staff) who are exhibiting concerning behaviors, both to support students and assist faculty/staff.
Purpose: The BIT is to coordinate Webster University’s resources to address the needs of students who are experiencing significant behavioral disturbances in order to recommend collaborative and purposeful interventions aimed at helping students achieve success. The BIT process is also designed to provide members of the University community, who have concerns regarding students’ behavior, with an easily-accessible avenue to report these concerns. Following a referral or information submission, the BIT will, when appropriate, identify treatment and/or referral recommendation options to the student, toward the ultimate goals of student health, safety, success, and retention.
Ethics of BIT
The ethics of BIT are to provide confidential, respectful, proactive support, while offering resources and balancing the educational needs of students within the overall mission of Webster University.
Goals of BIT
- Review information from faculty, staff, students, and/or community members; conduct investigation to determine appropriate response.
- Intervene early. Provide support and response to students displaying varying levels of disruptive, disturbed, or distressed behaviors.
- Centralize collection and assessment of concerning student behaviors. ‘Connect the dots’ of disparate problematic actions involving one student that may be known to various faculty, staff, and administrators.
- Coordinate follow-up. Ensure that services, support, and resources are deployed effectively.
- Utilize a formalized protocol of instructions for communication, coordination, and intervention.
- Balance FERPA, HIPAA, and counselor privilege with the University’s need-to-know and emergency communication needs.
- Coordinate actions: psychological assessment, adjudication of conduct issues, disability services, hospitalization, and/or medical leave/withdrawal, as needed.
As a result of growing national trends concerning mental health issues on college campuses, Webster University created the Behavioral Intervention Team (BIT). BIT has been charged with upholding policies and maintaining a healthy and safe environment for the University community.
BIT is not meant to take the place of standard classroom management techniques utilized by faculty. Implementation of this team does not alter any existing discipline policies. Rather, BIT centralizes the reporting of concerning student behavior, publicizes current policy, and encourages early intervention.
BIT will utilize a database where real-time incident information will be submitted by University employees, students, or other concerned individuals. Incident reports will be reviewed daily (Monday-Friday). If a situation demands immediate attention overnight or during the weekend, please alert Public Safety by calling 314-968-6911. The team will follow up with the individual initiating the report to gather additional information. In some cases, an interview will be arranged with the student of concern to determine appropriate actions. Incident reports should be completed when someone observes incidents of concerning, aberrant, dangerous, or threatening behavior. Incident reports are available on the main BIT home page, or can be called into Public Safety at 314-968-7430.