Concerned About a Student?
Any member of the UArts community who is worried about a student's health or well-being is strongly encouraged to contact the Student Affairs Office to discuss their concerns. Any concern that is reported to the office will be handled with the utmost care and sensitivity, but will also be investigated fully in order to determine the appropriate follow-up that needs to occur. Here are a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) that will help aid in your decision about reporting a student concern.
- What constitutes a concern about a student?
- When should I contact the Student Affairs Office as opposed to Counseling Services?
- How do I contact the Student Affairs Office?
- What if I have a concern after hours?
- Can I make a report anonymously?
- Will the student get in trouble?
- What about confidentiality?
- Can I contact the office with questions without giving specifics?
- How can I recognize the "warning signs" of a troubled student?
- Are there other resources in the Philadelphia community for dealing with problems (such as substance abuse, sexual assault, etc)?
- My friend was sexually assaulted. What should I do?
What constitutes a concern about a student?
Concerns about a student can range from missing class to a change in attitude to the death of a family member or thoughts of suicide. It also covers traumatic events that may have occurred, such as a sexual assault, car accident, etc. Regardless, we always tell students, family members and faculty and staff to trust their instincts. If they think something is wrong, they need to let us know so we can ensure that the student is doing well.
When should I contact the Student Affairs Office as opposed the Counseling Center?
There is nothing wrong with contacting the Counseling Center with a student concern. This office is well-run and very well trained to handle a myriad of student concerns. However, just making a referral to the Counseling Center may not be enough to get the student the appropriate help that they need. While a concern may be presented one way, the true issue at hand could be vastly different - personal, acadmic, or even financial. Contacting the Student Affairs will enable the staff to investigate, meet with the student if necessary, and get them pointed in the right direction. Additionally, the Student Affairs Office has the ability to create agreements with students to ensure they are getting back on the right track - no other office can do that.
How do I contact the Student Affairs Office?
There are several points of contact for the Student Affairs Office. For all questions and guidance, call 215-717-6617, Monday-Friday, 9:00 am- 5:00 pm and ask to speak to Gina Giusto,Student Affairs Coordinator (email@example.com), who can relay your concern to the appropriate staff member.
What if I have a concern after hours?
Our Public Safety staff is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, regardless of whether school is in session or not. Public Safety can be reached via phone at (215) 717-6666. While classes are in session, there is also an Administrator On Call that Public Safety can access to help deal with any crisis situation.
Can I make a report anonymously?
Once a concern about a student is submitted, our goal is to investigate the situation fully and to ensure the safety of the individual student and the overall community. When meeting with a student, we generally do not mention specific individuals who brought forth the complaint, unless that individual asks that we do. Our experience is that a concern in one area is shown in many areas so during the investigation, many reports come forward.
Will the student get in trouble?
Our number one goal is to ensure that each student is able to be successful and the safety of the community is not compromised. So no, students are not punished for being in crisis - quite the contrary. Sometimes, our role is to have students look critically at a situation that they are struggling with and deal with it head on. This can lead to some specific things they need to complete in order to stay at the University. This is always for their benefit and if necessary, a plan is worked out in conjunction with them.
What about confidentiality?
One of the most important things to us is confidentiality. We will always protect a student's confidentiality and only share relevant information with appropriate people if the student or the community is at risk.
Can I contact the office with questions without giving specifics?
Absolutely! We encourage that. Our office is here to assist with these matters and in many cases, families, other students and/or faculty/staff mentors are in the best position to help the student.
How can I recognize the "warning signs" of a troubled student?
The Counseling Center has a great resource on recognizing the warning signs of a student that is in trouble and how to get them help they need quickly in an emergency.
Are there other resources in the Philadelphia community for dealing with problems (such as substance abuse, sexual assault, etc)?
Absolutely! While we encourage students to come to the office and let us assist them, some people are more comfortable using resources off-campus. The most important thing for us is that students get the assistance that they need. Click here for a list of resources available.
My friend was sexually assaulted. What should I do?
The most important thing is for the student to get assistance and deal with this event. Unfortunately, many sexual assaults go unreported because the victim, male or female, feels that it was their fault or it was preventable. That is absolutely not the case. We always want to talk with a student that was potentially sexually assaulted for many reasons, including preventing the incident from occurring again on campus and ensuring that the student is able to deal with the emotional and physical toll of the event. We strongly encourage that the student get help by contacting our office, the Counseling Center at (215) 717-6630 or Health Services at (215) 717-6230. Other important things to remember when dealing with a sexual assault:
- If there is any chance that the victim may want to report this incident later, they should not shower or change their clothes. They should go to the hospital for evidence to be collected.
- Emergency contraception is available at local drug stores over-the-counter. The "morning after pill" has been shown to be effective if taken within 72 hours after unprotected sex has occurred.
- Even if the student does not want to press charges, they should get checked for any potential STDs that could have been transferred during sex.
- The Counseling Center staff can talk with a student confidentially without fear of reporting it. They can be contacted at (215) 717-6630.