Emergencies and urgent concerns
If you feel threatened, or are concerned about someone’s immediate health, safety, or welfare, call the Department of Public Safety (717-337-6911). They can work with you to assess the situation and determine if immediate action is necessary.
If you are concerned about someone’s behavior or you have information about a student that causes you concern, please call the Dean of Students, Jeff Foster, Interim Vice President for College Life and Dean of Students, or the Office of Academic Advising and Student Support Services (717-337-6579). The Dean of Students can work with you to determine the next appropriate step(s) which may include a referral to Health (717-337-6970) & Counseling (717-337-6960), CARE Group, or other campus/community resources.
Gettysburg College is committed to establishing and supporting an environment where students, faculty, employees, volunteers and guests can take full advantage of the academic and social offerings in a manner that supports the health, safety, and well-being of all individuals. If members of our community observe behaviors inconsistent with this goal, it is important to immediately report concerns to the appropriate College department or official for prompt and timely investigation.
Members of the Gettysburg College community have two options for officially reporting concerns:
1. For immediate emergency assistance, including assistance for imminent risk of suicide or harm to others, call 911 or the Department of Public Safety (DPS) at (717-337-6911).
2. Submit non-emergency concerns using the Community Concern Webform. Information provided on this form will be sent to the appropriate College official for review during normal business hours, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Do not use this form to report time-sensitive or urgent matters. Contact the Department of Public Safety for issues that require immediate attention before or after normal business hours. Use of this form could be appropriate for reporting:
- Bias incidents
- Crime tips
- Harassment, including sexual harassment
- General student (CARE), employee, or faculty concerns
- Sexual Assault, Dating Violence, Domestic Violence, Stalking, or Sexual Misconduct
Community Concern Form submissions are not anonymous. Privacy will be maintained throughout the investigation to the extent possible, however, consistent with the College’s need to undertake a full investigation. All complaints will be promptly, thoroughly, and impartially investigated. Your name will be submitted along with the information you provide. Parents, guests, and visitors should contact DPS to report concerns as access to this reporting form is limited to Gettysburg students, faculty, and employees
Students who would like to discuss concerns confidentially are advised to contact Counseling Services at 717-337-6960. Any such information will NOT be shared with College officials and does not constitute official reporting.
Employees who you would to discuss concerns confidentially are advised to contact the Employee Assistance Program.
- Amanda Blaugher - Title IX Director
- Faith Biesecker - Lietenant/Sexual Violence Prevention Coordinator & Field Training Officer
- Kathy Bradley - Associate Dean and Director of Health and Counseling
- Charmaine Cruise - Dean of Academic Advising
- Darrien Davenport - Executive Director of Multicultural Engagement
- Elizabeth Eckman – Interim Chaplain
- Elizabeth Farner – Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities
- Jennifer Fernandes – Nurse Practitioner
- Jeff Foster - Interim Vice President for College Life and Dean of Students
- Shantanique Johnson – Associate Director of OME and LGBTQ+ Life
- Keira Kant - Associate Dean of College Life
- Brad Lancaster - Director of International Student Services
- Danielle Phillips - Director of Residential & First-Year Programs
- Allison Schofield - Associate Director of Residential & First-Year Programs
- Hannah Sollenberger - Interim Assistant Dean of Academic Advising and Student Support Services
- Cindy Wright - Director of EES Student Success & Well-being
- A marked decline in academic performance
- Dramatic changes in behavior
- Marked weight gain or loss
- Garbled speech or confused thinking
- Sleeping in class
- Poor personal hygiene
- Repeated "hangover" or other signs of drug use
- Confusion, sadness, anxiety, notable irritability, depression, poor concentration
- Over-dependence on you
- Bizarre behavior
- Disproportionate or erratic emotional reactions
- Overt references to suicide or harming others
- Is the focus of other students' complaints or concerns
- Repeatedly requests deadline extensions or begins missing classes/meetings
- Alludes to harassment or assault
- Repeatedly violates community norms of behavior
- Disrupts class/meetings
Guiding students to appropriate campus resources and notifying the Dean of Students (Chair of CARE)
Knowing when to turn to others for immediate help
Seeking consultation when necessary, not counseling at a level that exceeds your expertise
- Remain calm.
- Use your good judgment, and consider the following options:
- Consult with a colleague or department chair, the Dean of Students, or Counseling Services if you need guidance.
- Deal directly with the behavior/problem in the classroom, according to classroom protocol.
- Address the situation one-on-one.
- Mentally rehearse what you want to say.
- Confront the student about specific concerns. Be direct and clear: “You have been doing/seeming [insert observed behavior or state], and I am concerned about you. What’s going on? … Have you talked with anyone about this?” etc.
- If the student doesn't want to talk about it (denies there’s a problem or explicitly says it’s "private," don't push for information!) But do follow through with referral.
- Refer the student to one of the College’s student resources. See referral phone numbers for help.
- Hold the line about your expectations. (Don't feel guilty about a student failing a project or a course.)
- Highly disruptive behavior (e.g. irrepressible hostility, aggression, violence, etc.)
- Inappropriate, persistent, and irrepressible elation
- Inability to communicate clearly (garbled or slurred speech; evidence of unconnected, disjointed, or rambling thoughts)
- Loss of contact with reality (apparently seeing or hearing things others cannot; holding beliefs greatly at odds with reality or probability)
- Stalking behaviors
- Harassment via threatening letters, emails, texts, IMs, etc.
- Suicidal thoughts
- Verbal threats to others or threatening behavior
Faculty members have broad authority to manage their classrooms and establish reasonable guidelines for class discussions that ensure everyone has an opportunity to participate in an orderly manner. If you believe a student’s behavior is inappropriate, consider a general word of caution rather than singling a student out or embarrassing the student. "If the behavior in question is irritating but not disruptive, try speaking with the student after class. Most students are unaware of distracting habits or mannerisms, and have no intent to be offensive or disruptive. There may be rare circumstances where it is necessary to speak to a student during class about his or her behavior. Correct the student in a manner, indicating that further discussion can occur after class [sic]."
If a student’s behavior interferes with your ability to conduct the class or the ability of other students to benefit from the class, the student should be asked to leave the room for the remainder of the class period. The student should be provided with a reason for this action and an opportunity to discuss the matter with you as soon as is practical. In such situations, consultation with and referral to the Dean of Students may be appropriate.
This item adapted from ASJA Law & Policy Report, No. 26, ASJA & Gary Pavela, 2001.
Knowing where to refer students is sometimes difficult, as academic, behavioral, and psychiatric problems often blur together. Unless someone’s life is threatened, in which case you should call 911 or the Department of Public Safety (x 6911), you can refer a student to Counseling or Academic Advising and Student Support Services, who can then initiate other referrals, if necessary. To make referrals:
- Tell students that there are several places you can go on campus for help, including the Dean of Students, Academic Advising and Student Support Services, and Counseling Services.
- Reassure the student that it is an act of strength to ask for help-after all, it’s a lot easier to avoid facing problems.
- Dispute the myth that only “weak or crazy” people turn to others for help. In fact, about 20% of all students use Counseling Services in a given year. That doesn't even include students who go elsewhere on campus for help.
- If you refer students to Counseling Services, remind them that counseling services are free and confidential: they are NOT part of the student’s academic record.
- Offer to help make the initial contact with the Dean of Students, Academic Advising and Student Support Services, or Counseling Services: you can make a phone call together to set up an appointment or walk the student to the appropriate office.
- Notify the Dean of Students that you have made a referral or have concerns about a student. You may want to make clear that you are notifying the Dean as part of College protocol.
While you don’t want to intrude into a student’s personal life, it’s okay to follow up later (and may make the student feel better) by saying something like, “I hope you’re doing better these days.”
- Ask a colleague to stay close in case you need help.
- Have a phone at hand.
- Call for consultation if you need it.
- Keep your door open or meet with the student in a public place.
- Sit near the exit in case you need to leave quickly.
- Trust your intuition. If you begin to feel fearful, end the meeting.