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CARE Teams: Compassionate and Responive Educators

Student Welfare Team

Behavioral Concerns Team

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Responding to Students of Concern

In your day-to-day experience, you may encounter any number of students whose behavior is difficult to deal with, either for you, other Santa Clara University employees, or fellow students. Some behaviors may require Care Team intervention.

However, there are also problematic interactions that are not so obvious - those that leave you feeling uneasy and feeling that you need to share the experience with someone. The BIT is here to help you assess and address any such interactions.


Alarming writings or drawings

Alcohol abuse/dependence


Attempted suicide

Bizarre or erratic behavior


Disconnected from reality

Drug abuse/dependence

Eating disorder (anorexia or bulimia)

Extreme rudeness

Extreme withdrawal

Failing grades

Family abuse

Feels that he/she has been treated unfairly or is being targeted

Financial issues

Flat affect or extreme lack of responsiveness

Grief and/or significant loss



Incoherent or slurred speech

Medical issues or concerns

Missed multiple classes without contact

Non-responsive to outreach

Overly stressed or overwhelmed

Preoccupation with guns, ammunition or weapons

Preoccupation with fire or bombs

Self-injurious behavior (cutting, burning, etc.)

Significant change in in behavior, hygiene, or self care

Significant change: Academic performance

Suicidal thoughts expressed

Below are some general techniques for managing difficult/disruptive students.

  1. Find a private space to talk to the student, with the goal of assessing areas where support might be offered to the student. If there is any concern for safety, do not meet with the student alone.
  2. When discussing the situation, be specific about behaviors that are of concern; provide examples when possible to help illustrate that behavior and its impact.
  3. Share your concern using empathy. Oftentimes, the student may be in a state of crisis, even if the matter doesn’t appear to have reached the critical level from an outside perspective.
  4. Explore options available for support. If you are not familiar with the services offhand, tell the student you will be back in touch once you have a chance to research options. If professional assistance/ counseling appears to be a viable option, remember that the student has the choice to participate or not.

When dealing with a disruptive student, follow these steps:

  1. For a minor disruption: ask student to stop the behavior.
  2. For repeated disruption that interferes with the ability to maintain the learning or business environment, speak with the student in private. If necessary, direct the student to leave the classroom/area and arrange to meet with the student at another time.
  3. For any threatening language or behavior, direct or indirect, or if student does not respond to direction to leave classroom/area:
    1. Call Campus Safety Services at 554-4444, or if you feel it is necessary, 911.
    2. Make a report to the Office of Student Life at

How to Report

The most the effective way to make a report is online at: Click on Student of Concern. Once submitted, your report is sent immediately to the chairs of the SWT and BCT.

When making a report, you do not need to decide whether the report should go to the SWT or BCT. The leaders for these teams will make that determination. It is also possible the matter will be handled outside of the CARE Team structure.

Visit for more information and resources.

For More Information

Student Welfare Team Chair: Matthew Duncan- Associate Dean for Student Life

Behavior Concerns Chair: Matthew Duncan- Associate Dean for Student Life

Matthew can be contacted at 408-554-4583.

The Office of Student Life is available to coordinate a presentation on the work of the CARE Committee upon request.

If you feel that you or any person is in immediate danger, call 911 or Campus Safety at 408-554-4444.