- September 17, 2012
- 12:01 am
- Akanksha Jayanthi
Get to know the BCT
In the wake of a series of violent events that have occurred on college campuses, student and community safety has become a growing concern nationwide. Illinois’s State Legislature made efforts to tackle some of these concerns in 2008 by passing the Illinois Campus Security Enhancement Act. The act requires institutions of higher education to form a “campus threat assessment team” to help ensure preparedness should an emergency occur on campus. When the act was passed, Loyola University Chicago had already implemented such a group to try to prevent harmful activity on campus.
In 2007, a handful of Loyola administrators created a team which they called the Behavioral Concerns Team (BCT). The BCT is comprised of Loyolans from a variety of campus departments. The BCT’s website says the team is a “centralized coordinated body for discussion and action” regarding individual and community safety. Members of the core group of the BCT include the Wellness Center, Residence Life, Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution, and Campus Ministry, among others. Jane Neufeld, dean of students and chair of the BCT, says the main goal of the group is “to maximize the personal and community safety of the Loyola community.”
The BCT released a video this summer that outlines what the team does and explains how students and faculty can help keep each other safe by using the BCT as a preventative measure. Neufeld says that “the BCT can only connect the dots if faculty and staff are telling us about the dots, so we are always looking for effective ways to remind community members about this resource.”
Should a student, staff, or faculty member believe another student may be in danger of hurting him or herself or others, the BCT asks the observing student or employee to fill out a referral form, which can be found on the BCT’s website. Neufeld says that upon receiving and reviewing a referral, a team member will meet one-on-one with the referred student and help that student make connections to the resources from which he or she may benefit.
Neufeld also points out how the Good Samaritan Policy will be honored if a student makes a referral to the BCT. “In incidents of crisis or medical emergency, Loyola students are expected to care for themselves and for others in the Loyola community by getting help from appropriate officials, even when violations of the Community Standards have occurred. The Good Samaritan Policy was created to alleviate concerns and reduce hesitation by Loyola students to seek help for other students in need,” she says.
The BCT also can be directly linked to Loyola’s Student Promise. “The Student Promise is about caring for oneself, others, and the community,” Neufeld says. “The Jesuits talk about Cura Personalis, which means care for the individual. We were very intentional in naming the team the Behavioral Concerns Team. It’s what I truly believe makes Loyola unique.”
If you think a student could benefit from the BCT, visit their website or contact them at 773.508.8300.