Sharing is CARE-ing
Report concerns about an MSU Denver student whose behavior is troubling to the CARE Team.
April 19, 2018
What do you do if you notice a student’s behavior is concerning, risky or potentially harmful to the student, others or the community? In the event of an emergency, call 911 from any Auraria Campus phone or 303-556-5000 from any other number to reach the Auraria Police Department.
If you’re worried about a student and the concern isn’t a 911-level emergency, Metropolitan State University of Denver has a place for that too. You can file an online CARE report, and the CARE (Consultation, Assessment, Referral and Education) Team will review it within 24 hours and try to contact the student within 48 hours.
Kelli Frank, director for behavioral intervention and student conduct in the Department of Student Engagement and Wellness, says anyone can fill out a CARE report and that students, faculty and staff are encouraged to trust their gut and come forward if they’re concerned about a student.
“Behavioral intervention teams have been in place widely since the Virginia Tech shooting (2007). The big lesson learned there was that when there is siloed information across a campus or community, it really limits the ability to preventatively support a student or prevent violence from occurring,” Frank said. “If someone is worried and wants to share that information, we’d rather know it than not.”
CARE reports aren’t strictly for students who may become violent toward themselves or others; the CARE Team website has frequently asked questions and a list of reasons to report that includes students dealing with a health issue, the loss of a loved one, a lack of safe housing and much more.
After a report is filed, possible next steps include the CARE Team contacting the reporter to discuss next steps, which could include educating the reporter on how to assist the student directly, such as referring the student to a campus resource. The CARE Team may contact the student as well.
When appropriate, the CARE Team will refer the situation to the Student Conduct process or police or community agencies.
“What I worry about sometimes on a commuter campus is we miss opportunities to really come together as a community,” Frank said. “We can’t be the eyes and ears in the community when we’re here doing the work, so we need folks to tell us.”
The CARE Team comprises officials from across campus, including Student Engagement & Wellness, Student Conduct, the Counseling Center, the Auraria Police Department, the Access Center, the Health Center at Auraria and faculty representatives. Legal counsel and other professionals consult when needed as well.
“We try to have a multidisciplinary approach, and that helps us consider the complex needs of the individual and the community,” Frank said. “So if you see something, say something. Share information early and often so we can refer students for support and they can know they’re not alone.”