Page 94 - Faculty Handbook2

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Academic Concerns
94
Consider the student’s behavior in class and whether that
reinforces or decreases your concern. For example, writing
about suicide is more concerning if the student appears sad,
withdrawn, or angry.
Consult with your department chair, dean, or campus
advising or student services to determine if referral,
immediate intervention, or outreach to the student is
indicated. The counselor may also provide suggestions about
how to talk with the student.
If you feel threatened or uneasy, do not meet with the
student alone. Consult your dean or campus security and
consider having another person at the meeting or other
options to ensure safety.
When meeting with the student, ask about the inspiration for
the work, to provide a context and see if the student has
been influenced by similar writings (e.g., Stephen King).
Consider asking the student directly if s/he is thinking about
suicide or other destructive behavior.
Know your limits. Remember, your role is as professor not
counselor. Even a brief acknowledgment or expression of
concern can be meaningful and helpful to a student;
however, the conversation does not need to be lengthy if
that is beyond your limits.