Occidental College Threat Assessment Policy


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 (OBIT) and Threat Management Team (TMT) are groups 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, administrators, 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 as behavior or statements that would demonstrate to a reasonable person an intent to cause physical harm or fear of physical harm to/in another. 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 owned or controlled by Occidental College, or is connected to College employment, should be reported.


This policy applies to the conduct of all students, employees (faculty, staff, and administrators), and any other person(s) whose actions or behavior may pose a threat to any person at any location owned or controlled by Occidental.


Threat – a behavior or statement that would demonstrate to a reasonable person an intent to cause physical harm or fear of physical harm to/in another. 


A. 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 the Human Resources Office 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. All good faith reports made under this policy will be assessed and, if necessary, investigated to determine if the behavior poses a risk to the individual making the report, other individuals, or the campus community. All members of the College community are expected to cooperate fully with any inquiry or investigation pursuant to this policy.

1. 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

In addition:

  • Employees should report potential threats to Human Resources and to their supervisor
  • Students should report potential threats to the Care Team via MyOxy.edu by submitting an Oxy Care Report or calling the Dean of Students Office at (323) 259-2661.

The Occidental College Behavioral Intervention Team (OBIT) is the lead unit in conducting investigations and evaluating threats reported by or potentially impacting students. Membership includes the 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.

The Occidental College Threat Management Team (TMT) is the lead unit in conducting investigations and evaluating threats reported by or potentially impacting employees. Membership includes the Chief Human Resources Officer, Director of Campus Safety, and the General Counsel or their designee.

In situations involving both students and employees, OBIT will lead the assessment, and the Chief Human Resources Officer will participate. After referring a potential threat to Human Resources (employees) or the Dean of Students Office (students) for assessment by either TMT or OBIT, respectively, the referring College department or office should contact and continue to consult with the TMT or OBIT before taking any action toward the individual (e.g., disciplinary action). This is to avoid possibly triggering or escalating the individual’s behavior.

The OBIT and the TMT will convene to evaluate threats as quickly as possible, and typically within twenty-four (24) hours, depending on the nature and imminence of the potential threat. The Associate Dean of Students (for OBIT) and the Chief Human Resources Officer (for TMT) will make a preliminary decision regarding the existence of a potential threat and the need to assemble their respective teams, with a strong bias toward conducting a formal assessment consistent with this policy. In addition, any members of OBIT or TMT may determine that an assessment is necessary and convene one of the threat assessment teams.

2. 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 the Director of Campus Safety and either Human Resources (employees) or the Dean of Students Office (students).

3. 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.

4. Confidentiality

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.

B. Threat Assessments

OBIT and TMT may work with appropriate campus departments, law enforcement, and mental health agencies to expedite assessment and intervention. The team(s) will also develop comprehensive fact-based assessments of students, employees, or other individuals who may present a threat to the College.

The team(s) may enlist:
(a). The expertise and assistance of resources outside the College as needed.
(b). Anyone with knowledge of the reported situation.

Following a preliminary determination by either OBIT or TMT that a potential threat should be assessed pursuant to this policy, the assessment must be documented and must include, at a minimum, the following elements: (1) details about the report received by the College; (2) a description of the incident or behavior giving rise to the report; (3) a summary of other facts, evidence, and circumstances that may be relevant to assessing the potential threat, including information about any previous, related incidents or threats; (4) an assessment of the subject’s plans and/or means of carrying out the threat, if any; (5) a determination regarding the severity of the threat; and (6) a determination regarding the appropriate response or intervention, if necessary.

The person(s) who reported the threat will be informed when a threat assessment has concluded.

C. Sanctions

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 the College’s policy against engaging in threatening behavior may be excluded from campus as quickly as safety permits.


Responsible Officers: Associate Dean of Students; Chief Human Resources Officer

Effective Date: September 2022

Last Revision Date: September 18, 2023


Firearms, Weapons, or Dangerous Items Policy

Workplace Violence Policy (Employee Handbook)