Behavioral Intervention Team (BIT)
To facilitate collaboration among the many individuals whose work affects our collective security, Adelphi established a Behavioral Intervention Team, previously known as the University and Community Threat Assessment Team [UCTAT].
To facilitate collaboration among the many individuals whose work affects our collective security, Adelphi established the Behavioral Intervention Team (BIT), previously known as the University and Community Threat Assessment Team [UCTAT].
Reason for Policy
Recent events nationally have made us all too aware of the random and unpredictable nature of violence and threats to community safety . This important work-group has been effective since it was established, and meets twice a month to address important issues. The Team will continue to be coordinated and chaired by the Executive Director of Public Safety, or designee, and is designed to monitor and discuss reported incidents and implement action plans as necessary.
Who is Governed by this Policy
Administration, Faculty, Staff, Students [Entire Campus Community]
About the Behavioral Intervention Team
The Behavioral Intervention Team (previously University and Community Threat Assessment Team) was established on a recommendation by the Congressional report issued following the tragedy at Virginia Tech. Adelphi was one of the first institutions of higher education in the country to implement this recommendation. The Behavioral Intervention Team (BIT) is a campus-wide team of appointed administration, staff, and faculty responsible for identifying, assessing, and responding to concerns disruptive behaviors and/or threats by students, faculty/staff, and community members who struggle academically, emotionally, or psychologically, or who present a risk to the health or safety of the University or its members.
The general purpose of an assessment is to assist in creating and maintaining an environment where students, staff, and others feel safe by reducing risk and by assisting the individual to receive the help needed to address the issues contributing to the at-risk behavior. It does not supersede, supplant, or replace the University’s current judicial procedure or the protocols for reporting incidents and safety concerns.
The team also discusses general news information on health and safety concerns that may impact the campus community.
The Behavioral Intervention Team (BIT) coordinator, which is the Executive Director of Public Safety & Transportation, may invite the participation of the Garden City police, or other uniformed service personnel, as appropriate. The BIT Coordinator has the authority to designate persona non grata (PNG) any individual from the grounds of Adelphi University if, in his/her opinion, that individual presents an ongoing threat to any member of the Adelphi community.
Any member of the campus community may become aware of a troubling situation that is causing serious anxiety, stress, or fear in or out of class or work. If such a situation appears to be imminent, including possible immediate risk of violence to self or others, it should be reported immediately to the Department of Public Safety. Their contact information is printed on the back of your Adelphi ID card or you can file a report at the Command Center. If the risk is not imminent or immediate, the individual can contact Public Safety or submit a BIT Referral Report online.
Behavioral Intervention Team Goals and Objectives
- Provide a safe and supportive physical and emotional environment for members of the University community.
- Identify, assess, and intervene with individuals who are struggling or who demonstrate concerning or threatening behavior.
- Provide support and resources to community members who are concerned for another individual and also to the person of concern.
Behavioral Intervention Team Responsibilities
- Developing and implementing educational and training programs for all members of the university community regarding behavioral assessment. This includes publications and promotional materials designed to create awareness and understanding of the Behavioral Intervention Team and what to refer, as well as in-person training to develop deeper knowledge on how to identify, support, and refer an individual of concern.
- Maintaining a current website, which can be easily accessed from the Department of Public Safety & Transportation Website and other relevant departmental pages.
- Receiving, coordinating, and assessing referrals received from faculty, staff, students, and others regarding individuals of concern.
- Coordinating interventions and resource assistance for individuals of concern
- Perform threat assessments in a refined, informed, proactive, preventive procedure.
- Assisting the Office of Student Conduct and the Admissions Office in reviewing applications for admission to the university of students who indicated that they have a criminal record or currently have charges pending; or students who were suspended or expelled from a previously attended college or university
- Providing a tri-annual report to the Executive Director of Public Safety & Transportation [BIT Coordinator].
Behavioral Intervention Team Membership
The Behavioral Intervention Team consists of university personnel with expertise in campus public safety, student affairs, mental and physical health, human resources and student conduct. Membership on BIT represents an ongoing commitment to the mission of the Behavioral Intervention Team. Team members are critical to the functioning of the team. They are responsible for completing ongoing training, attending meetings, and assisting with follow-up and intervention as designated by their membership category. BIT has two levels of membership: core and key.
Levels of Membership
Core members attend every BIT meeting and have full access to the team’s electronic record-keeping database. As core members, they represent their departments and have authority to make independent decisions within their areas of responsibility. If a core member is unable to attend a meeting, they have designated backups who attend in their place. The departments they represent are crucial to the Behavioral Intervention Team’s ability to gather data, accurately assess risk, and deploy effective interventions.
- Executive Director of Public Safety[BIT Coordinator]
- Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students [Student Affairs]
- Dean of Student Affairs [Student Conduct & Community Standards]
- Director of Student Counseling Center [Counseling]
- Vice President for University Health & Wellness [Health Services]
- Title IX Coordinator, Director of Equity & Compliance
- Chief of Community Concerns & Relations [no designation, new position]
- Case Manager
Key members serve BIT in a consultant capacity and represent departments that have frequent contact with students or employees, are likely to be involved in either case updates or interventions for Behavioral Intervention cases, and can provide valuable insights to the team.They are invited in for cases that relate to their specific content areas and do not attend meetings regularly. To facilitate awareness of BIT cases and prompt their attendance at the meeting, key members are sent the agenda in advance of the meeting so that they can check the list of names for students/employees that have overlap with their respective departments. When in attendance at the BIT meeting, they only attend the portion of the meeting where the case related to their department is discussed. They do not have access to the team’s electronic database but are a common source of referrals to the team given their interactions with students/employees in their departments.
- Associate Director, Dept. of Public Safety & Transportation [Public Safety-BIT Coordinator Designee]
- Vice President of University Wellness, Safety and Administration
- Director of Residential Life & Housing
- Director of Athletics and Campus Recreation
- International Student Services
- Senior Associate Provost [faculty/academic affairs representative]
- Director of Talent Management and Labor Relations
- General Counsel
- Vice President of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion
- Director of Infrastructure, IT
- Director of Psychological Services
- Assistant Vice President for University Communications and Marketing
- Director for Articulation Partnerships and Off Campus Administration
- Clinical Associate Professor, College of Nursing & Public Health
- Assistant Vice President for Facilities Management
The Behavioral Intervention Team meets twice a month to address important issues. The BIT Coordinator, or Executive Director of Public Safety & Transportation, or any other team member may call an emergency meeting as needed. The BIT Coordinator will inform all members of the time and location of the meeting.
Behavioral Intervention Team Resources
Adelphi NaBITA Risk Rubric [INTERNAL]
Adelphi University utilizes the recent NaBITA Risk Rubric  which was designed to assign a specific level of risk to each case discussed by the Behavioral Intervention Team, each time they are discussed. The Adelphi NaBITA Rubric has four (4) physical rubrics used during evaluations on cases by the Behavioral Intervention Team as well as an evaluation flow chart of twenty (20) questions to determine which evaluation scale to use.
Adelphi NaBITA Behavioral Post-Risk Assessment Rubric [INTERNAL]
Once the level of risk has been assessed, it is the team’s responsibility to identify the interventions appropriate to the risk present. A thoughtful intervention responds to the assessed risk level and is tailored to the individual’s core issues. The following rubric offers a summary of the interventions for the university environment.
Behavioral Intervention Team Flow Chart for Process & Escalation [INTERNAL]
Behavioral Intervention Team Response Report Form [INTERNAL]
Behavioral Intervention Team Roster [On Website]
Imminent threat – about to happen, occur, or take place very soon, especially of something which won’t last long.
Immediate threat – Ongoing threat. Happening right away, instantly, with no delay.
Threat assessment is analysis and proactive response. It is not punishment or discipline.
Persona Non Grata (PNG) – an individual whose behavior has been determined to be detrimental to the university community and who is not permitted to be present on the university premises. A person who is persona non grata is subject to prosecution for trespass should he or she be found on the university premises.
University/Campus Community – all students, employees, contractors, and guests/visitors.
Maxient – a software system for centralized reporting and record keeping.
Wellness/Safety Check – in-person visit from one or more Public Safety Officers, especially in response to a request from a friend or family member who is concerned about the person’s wellbeing.
NaBITA– National Association of Behavioral Intervention & Threat Assessment- Organization that provides behavioral intervention teams (BITs) with proactive guidance to develop the most efficacious and efficient approaches for addressing and preventing crisis events on campus
Identifying and Reporting Threatening or Troubling Behavior
It is the responsibility of the Adelphi community to report troubling situations that are causing serious anxiety, stress, fear, or concern in our out of the class or work setting. As a member of the Adelphi community you may identify concerning behaviors that can affect the person’s mental, physical, academic-intellectual, and/or workplace wellbeing, in addition to behaviors that pose a safety risk to the individual or the campus community.
You may feel more in control of situations that may arise , and you may put yourself in a better position to be helpful if you are able to recognize and report behavior that is distressing, disruptive or could potentially lead to violence while providing sources of help for the individual.
Making a Report
Behavior that Requires Immediate Assistance*
Below are examples of behaviors that indicate IMMEDIATE threat and require immediate assistance:
- Carrying or displaying a weapon.
- Acts or threats of harm (verbal or written) to other individuals or property.
- Suicidal threats or attempts such as self-harming behaviors like cutting or burning.
- Intimidating behaviors, including inappropriate touching, harassment, or stalking.
- Disruptive behavior such as yelling or screaming uncontrollably, aggression, or hostility.
- Any words or conduct that cause fear for safety.
Get to a safe area first. Once safe, call Public Safety at 516.877.3511 or dial 911. After the emergency situation has been handled, you may submit a BIT Referral Report. Upon receipt of the report, appropriate follow-up will be initiated by BIT.
Distressing, Concerning, or Disruptive Behavior*
Below are examples of distressing, concerning or disruptive behaviors that may make you or others uncomfortable:
- Sudden or Unusual Changes in Behavior: These are changes that depart from normal or socially appropriate behavior. Indicators may include:
- Decline in quality of work and/or grades
- Change in physical appearance [for example, deterioration in grooming/hygiene, weight loss/gain]
- Excessive fatigue/sleep disturbances
- Disorientation or being “out of it”
- Having mood swings, such as being emotionally high one day and deeply discouraged the next
- Agitation or Acting Out: This is a change which exhibits unrestrained and improper actions
- Bullying behaviors [including Cyberbullying]
- Frequent or high levels of irritable, unruly, abrasive, aggressive or argumentative behavior
- Excessive tearfulness, panicked reactions, irritability or unusual apathy
- Unprovoked anger or hostility
- Lack of respect for personal space and boundaries
- Drug and/or Alcohol Abuse: this behavior can cause physical, social, and psychological harm to the individual and others.
- Signs of impairment and/or under the influence during class, work or on campus indicate a problem that requires attention.
- Suicidal Thoughts, Statements, Gestures, or Planning: This behavior occurs when a person feels that they are no longer able to cope with an overwhelming situation
- Self-disclousre of personal distress that could include family problem, financial difficulties, depression, grief, or thoughts of suicide
- Engaging in reckless or impulsive behavior
- Withdrawing from social contact and wanting to be left alone
- Expressions of concern about the individual by his/her peers
- Giving away belongings or getting affairs in order when there’s no other logical explanation for doing this
- Saying goodbye to people as if they won’t be seen again
- Violence and Aggression: this is a hostile behavior with intent to cause physical, emotional, or psychological harm to others.
- Verbal abuse [for instance, taunting, badgering, intimidation]
- Unwillingness to change behavior after it has been addressed
- Inability or lack of willingness to comply with directives from personnel
- Disturbing content in writing or presentations [such as, violence, death]
- Continuous disruptions in class or work
- Behavior that interferes with daily operations throughout the campus
*These lists are intended to provide basic information only.
If the concerning or disruptive behavior rises to a level of immediate concern, contact Public Safety at 516.877.3511 or dial 911. After the emergency situation has been handled, you may submit a BIT Referral Report.
For non-immediate concerns, you may submit a BIT Referral Report. Upon receipt of the report, appropriate follow-up will be initiated by BIT.
If you are in doubt as to whether to make a report to Public Safety or the Behavioral Intervention Team, always refer the case, and the team will assist and determine what action, if any, is needed.
Privacy and Confidentiality for a BIT Referral Form
Once the University is aware of a concern, information is shared only with those who “need to know” in order to assist in the assessment, investigation, and resolution of the concern.
If you make a report to the Behavioral Intervention Team, as the complainant, Adelphi University will NOT disclose your information to the person of concern, but it may be shared between BIT Members.
The only times Adelphi University will disclose your information are in cases where no-contact orders are put in place.
Receiving a Report
If the report is an immediate threat to the individual and/or campus community, the Department of Public Safety & Transportation will take immediate action by sending out an Emergency Notification and mitigating the threat.
For non-immediate concerns, once a report has been received by the Department of Public Safety, in-person, the complainant will receive a Confirmation of Complaint Bi-Fold Card which includes the Incident Report number and private, confidential, and off-campus contact resources. The report will be reviewed within the next business day.
For non-immediate concerns, once a report has been received by the Department of Public Safety, via phone, the complainant will receive a Confirmation of Complaint Bi-Fold Card which includes the Incident Report number and private, confidential, and off-campus contact resources once they report to the office to provide further details. If they cannot come to the office, they will receive an email with the Confirmation of Complaint Bi-Fold Card information. The report will be reviewed within the next business day.
For non-immediate concerns, reports submitted through the Behavioral Intervention Team Referral Report Form, will automatically notify the Core BIT members via email through the Maxient System. The team will use a feedback loop in the Maxient software to confirm to the complainant that the report is being acted upon. The report will be reviewed within the next business day.
If a report was submitted to another department, for example, SCCS, TIX, HR, etc, the department will send the report to the BIT Coordinator, or designee, and the complainant via an email notification. The BIT coordinator, or designee will confirm receipt of the case and send out the referral email about BIT and next steps to the complainant. There will be ongoing communication throughout the process with BIT, the complainant, and the person of concern within the limits of maintaining privacy.
Initiation & Management of the Behavioral Intervention Team
Upon intake of a BIT Report, The BIT Coordinator, or designee, will perform an initial assessment by identifying the person of concern and completing an initial NaBITA Risk Rubric with the current information.
The BIT Coordinator will then make initial contact with the Behavioral Intervention Team, and if needed, an emergency meeting will be set up. Public Safety will then conduct the initial investigation, which includes meeting with the complainant and advising them of their investigative options and conducting an update to the NaBITA Risk Rubric [if needed].
A meeting will be arranged for Core and Key selected members to discuss the case and update the evaluation rubric [NaBITA]. Following this initial meeting, Public Safety will conduct additional fact gathering such as viewing cameras, reaching out to those in contact with the Person of Concern [i.e. witnesses, classmate/ roommate/ co-workers, etc.] and reaching out to Local Law enforcement or other agencies as needed. Depending on the information gathered, BIT can reassess the NaBITA Risk Rubric or leave it as is.
BIT will provide support options to the Person of Concern. This can include counseling, connecting them with offices, guidance and education referral sources, or other support resources.
Depending on the risk level, the team may develop an intervention action plan [IAP] or the situation is assigned to an individual on the team to monitor or resolve individually.
Situation assigned to individual to monitor or resolve
Sometimes just reaching out and providing resources to a person of concern is all that is needed. If that is the case, the situation is assigned to an individual in Public Safety, Student Conduct & Community Standards, Title IX Coordinator, Provost Office, Human Resources or other designated department. If this is the case, the department will provide additional support options, if needed, but their main goal is to monitor or resolve the situation.
If the situation escalates and the individual intervention is no longer feasible, the person in charge will bring the situation back to the BIT members and develop an intervention action plan [IAP].
Develop an Action Plan
Sometimes a full action plan needs to be developed by the BIT members. BIT members will utilize intervention tactics suggested on the Post-Risk Assessment Rubric from NaBITA. There will be an assigned contact for the person of concern who will develop a coordinated strategy. The plan will be shared with BIT members and adjustments made, if needed. The assigned contact will then implement the plan. The person of concern will be monitored until results are seen from the intervention. If the situation has not been resolved, BIT will reconvene to develop a new action plan and repeat intervention processes.
Types of Intervention
The team aims to intervene early to provide support and referrals as needed and impose sanctions as a last resort. It does not supersede, supplant, or replace the University’s current judicial procedure or the protocols for reporting incidents and safety concerns. However, the team is empowered to take necessary actions to mitigate an imminent or immediate threat to an individual or the campus. This includes, but is not limited to, a spectrum of possible BIT intervention, responses, outcomes & sanctions such as:
- Continue documenting, monitoring, and following up over time
- Referral to SCCS, HR, or other support service [educational referrals]
- Encourage Person of Concern to attend a meeting
- Engage directly with the person to de-escalate
- Skill building in social interactions, emotional balance, and empathy
- Reinforcement of social support, including opportunities for positive involvement
- Perform a Wellness/Safety Check
- Voluntary/Mandatory mental health or similar assessments
- Coordinate to mitigate imminent risk
- Evaluate need for Emergency Notification to community
- Persona non grata [PNG]
- Voluntary/Mandatory withdrawal or separation from the University
If there is a team consensus that the problem has been mitigated to a great extent or the person of concern is connected to the full array of services needed and the issue is being actively addressed, the case may be closed or the person of concern may be put on a watch list.
Those on the watch list are monitored to make sure that they receive the resources needed.
All decisions are confirmed and documented in IRMS and Maxient.
Behavioral Intervention Team Training & University Education
The Behavioral Intervention Team and the university administration encourage reporting and provide awareness in order to prevent violence and provide support and referral when needed.
Behavioral Intervention Team Training
The overall training for the Behavioral Intervention team is provided through a NaBITA membership. The membership allows the team to participate in professional development opportunities to improve the team’s operations and stay up-to-date on the latest news, research, case law, and other developments impacting BITs and similar teams.
In addition to the NaBITA membership, the BIT Coordinator, or designee, implements a mandatory annual training to reinforce how Adelphi’s BIT team operates. This includes:
- New/Updated BIT Roster
- How to utilize the Adelphi NaBITA Risk/Post-Risk Assessment Rubric
- Introduction/Review of the BIT Flow Chart for Process & Escalation
- Introduction/Review of BIT Response Report Form
- What the team should know about the exceptions in the FERPA/HIPAA laws
- Table-top exercise on procedures
Community Engagement, Education, & Awareness
Educating the Campus Community on Behavioral Awareness and the team reporting and response is crucial. Being able to recognize distressing, concerning, or disruptive behaviors is a first good step in making sure that an individual is able to get the help they need before it escalates. Information about BIT, identifying behaviors of concern, and making a report/referral can be found on the BIT webpage. This information is also shared during orientations and sent out via email on an annual basis for students and employees. There will be Behavioral Awareness training to be offered through Moodle by Fall 2021.
Documentation & Records Retention
The Behavioral Intervention Team shall maintain confidential records for all cases assessed, and all follow-up and reports that resulted from an assessment. These records will be entered in a secure, protected and searchable database that will have the capacity to monitor ongoing cases and provide follow-up and assessment.
Record retention- 7 years with start time of August 2021.
- Public Safety Incident Report Form [Command Center]
- Behavioral Intervention Team Referral Report– Publicly Available
- Behavioral Intervention Team Evaluation RUBRIC – Internal
- Maxient – “Behavior Team Agenda” Analytics [Correspondence] – Internal
- Behavioral Intervention Team Flow Chart for Process & Escalation – Internal
- Behavioral Intervention Team Response Report Form – Internal
- Public Safety – Behavioral Intervention Team [UCTAT] Review Google Sheet [Correspondence and Records] – Internal
- BIT Web Page
- Campus Safety Training
- Centralized Reporting Web Page [in process]
- Emergency Notification & Alerts
- Privacy vs. Confidentiality Policy
- Public Safety Reporting Procedures
- Public Safety Response to Reports
Last Reviewed Date: May 31, 2021
Last Revised Date: May 31, 2021
Policy Origination Date: Not known
Who Approved This Policy
Gene Palma, Vice President of University Wellness, Safety and Administration