Occidental College Threat Assessment Policy
I. Policy Statement
Based on evidence and best practice research into preventing campus tragedies, Occidental College decided to take a hands-on holistic approach to ensure tools and processes are in place to reduce campus violence. The Occidental Behavioral Intervention Team (BIT), is a group of coordinated individuals and departments with various expertise and training to focus on prevention, response and education surrounding the safety and security of our campus community. Each member of the Occidental College community shares the responsibility for maintaining and improving campus-wide safety. Campus safety is enhanced through students, staff and faculty identifying behaviors of concern and reporting those concerns in a timely manner. Early identification of such concern allows the College to intervene and address behaviors that are potentially threatening or disruptive to the learning, living and working environment of the College.
For purposes of this policy, a threat is defined as an intent to cause harm to another, or clear evidence of potential violence from one person or a group of persons towards others. All students, staff, faculty, and administrators are responsible for reporting threats they have witnessed, received, or have been told that another person has witnessed or received. Absent an actual threat, any observed behavior regarded as threatening or violent, when that behavior is school related or might be carried out on campus or other location controlled by Occidental College, or is connected to college employment, should be reported.
II. Threat Reporting
Occasionally, an individual’s behavior or demeanor may cause fear or concern. In such cases of apprehension, it is important to tell someone in authority so it can be documented, evaluated, and handled appropriately. If a member of the campus community is concerned about a threat of violence, they should document the reason for their concern and discuss it with their supervisor, administrator, department chairperson, Campus Safety, the Dean of Students Office, or HR as appropriate.
Unless a privileged relationship exists, this report should be made regardless of the relationship between the individual who demonstrated threatening behavior and the person(s) who were threatened or focus of the threatening behavior.
A. Immediate and Imminent Threats
1. Report immediate dangers to health and safety to 9-1-1
2. Report threats to Campus Safety at (323) 259-2599
3. Notify immediate supervisor
4. Notify the Student Success Team
The Occidental College Behavioral Intervention Team is the lead unit in conducting investigations and evaluating threats. Membership includes the Associate Vice President of Human Resources and Chief Human Resources Officer, Director of Campus Safety, Director of Counseling, and Associate Dean of Students. In some instances, they may promptly refer the matter to an outside entity as appropriate.
B. Off-Campus Incidents
The college should be made aware of threats made off-campus toward a member of the campus community even if by persons not affiliated with the college. In order that appropriate measures can be taken, community members must report threats or court-ordered action that may affect the safety of the college community to their supervisor and Director of Campus Safety.
C. Protective or Restraining Orders
Those who have applied for or obtained a protective or restraining order that lists college locations as being protected areas must provide to the Director of Campus Safety a copy of the petition and declarations used to seek the order, a copy of any temporary protective or restraining order which is granted, and a copy of any protective or restraining order which is made permanent.
Occidental College understands the sensitivity of reporting potential or actual threats. For that reason, reports may be issued anonymously in order to protect the safety of the reporting party. However, we will be able to more thoroughly investigate matters if the reporting party provides reliable, relevant and objective evidence supporting the claims that the reporting party is making.
If the identity of the reporting party becomes known to the College, the College will not reveal that information except as required to investigate the matter, reach an informed conclusion, and as required by law. The College will not retaliate or take any negative action against anyone who reports potential or actual threats in good faith.
III. Threat Assessments
A. Threat assessments shall assess an individual’s behavior if it has been reported as a potential threat to campus community safety.
B. The Behavioral Intervention team may work with appropriate campus departments, law enforcement, and mental health agencies to expedite assessment and intervention. The team will also develop comprehensive fact- based assessments of students, employees, or other individuals who may present a threat to the college.
C. The team may enlist:
1. The expertise and assistance of resources outside the college as needed.
2. Anyone with knowledge of the reported situation.
A threat identified under this policy may lead to actions (as appropriate) which may include mediation, counseling, exclusion from campus, suspension, expulsion, termination, or other administrative sanctions. Those determined to have violated this policy may be excluded from campus as quickly as safety permits.