On October 1, 2015, Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Ore. had a sudden school shooting. As a result of the recent shootings that have been occurring closer to the Pacific Northwest, Bellevue College is now taking even more precautions and are putting in more effort to create a safe space for students.
One way that Bellevue College is implementing this is through the Behavioral Intervention Team. The team is “charged with monitoring ‘students of concern,’” as the article from King 5 stated about Bellevue College’s BIT. Not only does BIT monitor potential students that could be a harm to others, it also monitors students who are a potential harm to themselves, whether they are depressed or suicidal. Also, the BIT is taking measures by making sure students are safe and helping students who may need some intervention.
The members of the team range from different departments of the campus community.
Ana Blackstad, the dean of Student Success at Bellevue College, explained that, “The Behavior Intervention Team is made up of the Dean of Student Success, two faculty, and representatives from Student Programs, Multicultural Services, Counseling, the Office of International Education, Disability Resource Center and Public Safety.”
The way that the team functions is that a faculty member may submit a report through an online system, then the referrals are reviewed and BIT will either try to assist the student by approaching the concerns or just by monitoring them. “The BIT Team meets weekly or more often in case of an urgent situation. The BIT team provides consultation and support to faculty, staff and administrators in assisting students who display concerning or disruptive behavior,” explained Blackstad. “BIT also connects students with college and community resources, such as counseling, food assistance and temporary housing.”
“In addition, BIT monitors the ongoing behavior of students who have displayed concerning or disruptive behavior,” Blackstad continued.
Pavy Thao, the Bellevue College admin assistant to the dean of student success, summarized that the mission of BIT was to “Provide consultation and support to faculty, staff and administrators in assisting students who display concerning or disruptive behavior and connects students with college and community resources.”
Lastly, Blackstad concluded, “Bellevue College faculty, staff and students who are concerned about a student’s behavior are encouraged to submit an incident report for follow up by the BIT on the BC web page.