The definition of “crisis” according to Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary is, in part, “an emotionally significant or radical change of status in a person’s life; an unstable or crucial time or state of affairs whose outcome will make a decisive difference for better or worse.” With a University community totaling over 15,000 people, we know that crises will occasionally occur and will require a timely response.
One of the many positive factors about Sam Houston State University is its size and the fact that many students, faculty, and staff know each other on a first name basis. However, as a result of this closeness, an emotionally significant event or radical change of status in one person’s life can have a potentially profound impact on the larger campus community.
The goals of the Students of Concern (SOC) Team are:
- To assist in the direction of a student in crisis while paying special attention to the safety and security needs of community members.
- To offer counseling, guidance, referrals, and any other feasible type of support needed to members of the SHSU community, including their families.
- To use the experience of crisis, when appropriate, as a teachable moment which may enhance the quality of life for all of those touched by the experience.
Members of the Students of Concern (SOC) Team have completed special training and meet weekly during the academic year to stay ready to respond appropriately to any crisis. Team members are pledged to confidentiality and may be entrusted with highly confidential information.
Each situation is unique and involves responding to the specific needs of the student of concern. Questions or suggestions about protocols, procedures or policy issues may be directed to the Dean of Students, who chairs the Students of Concern (SOC) Team, or to the Vice President for Student Affairs.