The Student Services Division has identified staff trained to respond in a crisis situation at Sam Houston State University. The Students of Concern (SOC) Team may be utilized in cases such as student, spouse, or dependent death, sexual assault, attempted suicide, or major trauma affecting students’ lives.
In the event that the student of concern is believed to be an immediate danger to themselves or others contact the University Police Dispatch number at 936-294-1000 as soon as possible. In other cases during business hours the Dean of Students’ Office may be contacted directly. In either case the Dean of Students as Team Leader will then be contacted and will initiate SOC Team member involvement. If the Dean of Students is out of town or otherwise unavailable, the Assistant Dean of Students assumes the position of Team Leader. In initiating Team involvement and depending on the location of the crisis, an on-site coordinator may also be identified. For example, if the crisis is in a residence hall, a Residence Hall Manager may be designated as the on-site coordinator.
The Dean of Students or his designee as on-site coordinator will assume responsibility for briefing caregivers arriving on the scene of the crisis as well as any others, including paraprofessionals who may be assisting, and for keeping the SOC Team informed about developments. Any Team members called on-site should check in with the Team Leader on-site coordinator and receive instructions or guidelines. Team members will be assigned on-site as needed and determined by the Dean of Students or his designee.
Team members on-site will assist in managing the crisis by providing counseling, resources, gathering information, providing referrals, etc. Coordinating counseling on-site or at a future date and grief support will be the responsibility of the Counseling Center representative working in conjunction with the Dean of Students or his designee.
In the event of a student death or serious injury, the Dean of Students or his designee will serve as SHSU’s contact with the parents or other surviving family members. The Dean of Students will have responsibility for notifying the student’s family, will assist the family with reclaiming the deceased student’s effects (in communication with the SHSU Police Department and/or residence life staff members), answering questions regarding the deceased’s withdrawal from the University, including processing appropriate paperwork, meeting with the family on campus, and responding to other needs. The Dean of Students will also arrange for the family to meet with any University officials as appropriate or contact them on behalf of the family.
Possible outcome(s) for the student of concern include but are not limited to:
- Referral to University Counseling Center
- Referral to off campus treatment facility
- Referral to Psychiatrist off campus
- Referral to SHSU Judicial Affairs
- Interim Disciplinary Action (see Student Guidelines)
- Welfare Concern Block placed on student’s file
- Student voluntarily resigns from University
Within a week following the crisis, SOC Team members involved in the case may participate in a debriefing process. This process is designed to enhance the reflection of Team members and further refine the procedures implemented by the Crisis Team. The debriefing process will ordinarily be initiated at the discretion of the Dean of Students and all Care Team members shall be present. The debriefing process will result in a discussion of the incident, a review of the time frame, a summary of activities taken by the SOC Team members, assessment of the response provided, and any recommendations regarding the procedures.