Texas A&M University-Kingsville

Referral FAQ

The Behavioral Intervention Team (BIT) is in place to respond to concerning behavior that may involve threats to the safety or security of an individual or the campus community.

What is concerning behavior?

  • Self-injurious behavior / suicide ideation or attempt
  • Erratic behavior (including online activities) that disrupts the mission and/or normal proceedings of University students, faculty, staff or community. Behaviors include but are not limited to: verbally aggressive or violent behavior; threats of violence; weapons on campus; socially withdrawn or isolated; agitated behavior; disorganized thinking and speech or other evidence that student is “out of touch with reality;” expressions of feelings of persecution or strong mistrust of others; violent outbursts; or other behavior that results in significant inappropriate disruption and/or has the potential for compromising the safety and well being of the community.
  • Unusual or suspicious behavior (prolonged absence; changes in academic performance, pattern of interaction; changes in physical appearance).

What do I do if I know someone who may need to be referred?

1. If you feel there is an immediate threat, call the University Police Department at 593-2611 or 911. UPD will respond as appropriate and contact the BIT as part of this response.

2. If you observe any behavior that is concerning and that needs to be brought to the attention of the BIT, you may report the behavior using the online report form or by contacting one of the team members during business hours.

How do I know if it is a BIT issue or if is more appropriately handled by other campus resources?

You do not have to make this determination; the BIT will do it for you. The most important step is that you report the concerning behavior here.

Even if there is no threat to harm, it is recommended to involve other professional staff to discuss concerning behavior and seek appropriate assistance.

If another campus resource is appropriate, the BIT will refer the student and handle the transfer of information as needed.

What happens after the referral is made?

Different situations require different levels of response. An immediate, potentially severe threat would result in the immediate implementation of the Crisis Management Plan and action by the Crisis Management Team. Less severe or immediate threats would be assessed, additional information obtained if necessary and other campus offices involved as needed. Possible approaches will be discussed and a course of action developed by the team that takes into consideration the individual’s best interest as well as the best interest of the university community and is consistent with university policy.

Possible outcomes for students referred include but are not limited to:

  • Upon consideration of mitigating factors and in consultation with the appropriate offices, the student is informed of campus services available, and no other action is deemed necessary
  • The student satisfactorily confirms that he /she is already under medical or psychological care and is following the appropriate steps of his/her treatment plan. Other behavioral stipulations may be established.
  • The student is referred to the services of an office on campus with behavioral stipulations.
  • The student is referred to off-campus treatment with behavioral stipulations.
  • Reduction in access to university facilities and/or courses
  • The student is suspended immediately pending an informal hearing if the President or designee determines that a student poses a continuing danger to persons or property, or the student’s behavior is an ongoing threat of disrupting the academic process
  • Involuntary withdrawal from the university

What about confidentiality?

Do not promise confidentiality when entrusted with personal information by someone confiding in you, rather stress to the individual that you will consult those university officials that are in the best position to assist him or her.

Recent clarification of FERPA, the law that governs student privacy, indicates that one may disclose their personal observations about an individual to a university official, particularly when it involves a health or safety emergency. This information however, should be considered confidential and not shared with others who do not need to know.

The information provided to the BIT will be handled as confidentially as possible, but please be aware that this must be balanced with our goal to help protect the safety of the individual and the campus community.



This page was last updated on: October 11, 2011