Frequently Asked Questions
Anyone who is concerned about a student's behavior and/or wellbeing should make a referral to the Behavioral Response Team. This includes students, parents, faculty and staff, and other community members. Reporting is the most critical step toward intervention.
To make a referral, complete and submit the online BRT Referral Form. You will be asked for your contact information and a description of the incident, behaviors, observations that prompted the referral.
Public Safety is the first-line contact for urgent matters. Call: 212-772-4444.Go to BRT Referral Form
You do not have to make this determination - our team will do it for you. We are committed to promoting a culture of support and the most critical step is your referral. Following receipt of a referral, we consider its content, as well as other information we may have obtained about the student to determine how to proceed. While the content of any single referral may seem relatively benign, multiple referrals about an individual student would raise our concern and may result in our wanting to meet with a student.
If an alternate campus resource is more appropriate, the BRT will make the referral or will suggest that you do so depending on the resource to which the student should be referred. Generally, behaviors that warrant a BRT referral are those that:
- pose a threat to safety
- cause significant disruption to the learning/working environment of the Hunter College community
- indicate a significant degree of emotional distress
The primary purpose of the Behavioral Response Team is proactive early intervention to help students who are in crisis or distress, or demonstrate behavior that is cause for concern. When you refer a student to the BRT, you are helping to ensure that the student receives assistance and support from qualified staff members. The BRT reviews the information contained in your referral and, after assessing the degree of urgency, will determine the appropriate course of action.
Your referral may result in our initiating contact with the student to arrange a meeting. When members of the BRT meet with a student, we discuss the nature of, and cause for, the concern, and assess the student's insight into the issues at hand and the rationale for the referral. We offer support, advice, recommendations, feedback - all designed to address the concern. In most cases, we encourage students to utilize the various support services that are available (e.g. Counseling & Wellness Services, Advising, AccessAbility). BRT meetings are not meant to be punitive. However, in cases where students display disruptive or inappropriate behaviors which affect the learning environment, the BRT will engage students in a discussion around the underlying causes of these behaviors, and will make students aware of the consequences that may arise should they continue to behave inappropriately.
In other cases, our intervention may be in the form of consultation with the referral source. Not every student referred to the BRT will meet with members of the Team immediately following a referral. In addition to offering support and assistance to students, the BRT offers consultation and support to the campus community. There are situations in which the Team will recommend and encourage the referral source to initiate a discussion with the student about their concern. The Team offers guidance on how to engage and interact with students, suggestions toward problem-solving and conflict resolution, and classroom management techniques for addressing concerns directly. If the concern continues or elevates despite these efforts, BRT intervention with the student may be warranted.View the BRT Referral Flow Chart
Referring your concerns to the Behavioral Response Team ensures a coordinated response, and allows the Team to obtain a broad view of a student's behavior/wellbeing, and identify patterns of disruptive/concerning behavior that may suggest the need for intervention. Members of the campus community have crucial information about students at risk, or those vulnerable to risk. The BRT serves as the centralized resource to promote a flow of information such that the team can detect patterns not seen by the individual observer, and mobilize to offer assistance.
You should feel free to suggest to a student that they visit Counseling & Wellness Services (CWS), and CWS is also available to consult with you if you would like to discuss a student but, other than in emergency situations, CWS does not “cold-call” or initiate individual outreach to students – it is the BRT that will do so in the setting of an expressed concern.View the BRT Referral Flow Chart
Our team is comprised of representatives from departments across the college community. This collaborative approach allows us to determine the best course of action to help a student in need of assistance. The core members of the Hunter College Behavioral Response Team are listed on our Members page.See our BRT Members
The following are examples of behavior/observations appropriate for a BRT referral:
- Extended absence from class by a typically engaged student
- Acts of hatred/discrimination/paranoia
- Written work with troubling themes or references
- Verbal or written threats made by a student toward another student
- Written or verbal expressions related to suicide/homicide
- Unusual or erratic behavior in class
- Extreme rudeness or insubordination
- Other actions which cause alarm or call into question the safety of the student or others
Yes. If you are aware of behavior similar to what is outlined above or have witnessed an incident involving a friend or classmate that concerns you, fill out the BRT referral form and the Team will follow up with the concern.Go to BRT Referral Form
The overwhelming majority of referrals to the BRT are not a result of threatening behavior but of other concern about a student’s functioning or well-being.
The College has an obligation to prevent disruptive students from interfering with faculty's ability to teach and the students’ right to learn. It is within a faculty member’s/instructor’s right to ask a student to refrain from certain behaviors in the classroom, require a student to meet with him/her before returning to class or, when necessary, ask a disruptive student to leave the classroom.
Behavior that poses a disruption in class is an appropriate BRT referral, and the Team will collaborate with you to establish the appropriate intervention.Go to BRT Referral Form