As faculty, staff, parents, family members and friends, there are ways you can connect with the Dean of Students Office when you have a concern about a student or would like to make a referral to our services.

If you have an immediate concern for a student’s safety, please contact the Department of Public Safety at 315.443.2224

Although the terms ‘concerning’ and ‘worrisome’ are subjective, the following list of indicators provides some context when assessing whether a student may need additional support:

Academic Indicators

  • Persistent unexplained absences
  • Deterioration in quality/quantity of work
  • Extreme disorganization or erratic performance
  • Written or artistic expressions of unusual violence, morbidity, social isolation, despair, or confusion
  • Continual seeking of special permission (extensions, make-up work)
  • Patterns of perfectionism
  • Disproportionate response to grades or other evaluations

Emotional Indicators

  • Direct statements indicating distress
  • Significant change in mood
  • Angry or hostile outbursts, yelling, or aggressive comments
  • More withdrawn or more animated than usual
  • Appears over-anxious
  • Excessively demanding or dependent behavior
  • Fails to respond to outreach from staff/faculty

Physical Indicators

  • Deterioration in physical appears or personal hygiene
  • Excessive fatigue, exhaustion;
  • Erratic or disjointed thinking – skips around a lot; unable to stay focused on one topic; topics don’t align
  • Noticeable cuts, bruises, burns
  • Frequent or chronic illness
  • Disorganized speech, rapid or slurred speech; confusion
  • Substance abuse

Other factors to consider

  • Concern expressed by another student or teaching assistant
  • Student is experiencing substantial and prolonged financial or legal problems
  • A sixth sense or hunch that something is wrong

Source: https://studentsofconcern.dasa.ncsu.edu/when-to-refer/

  • Allow the student to talk freely
  • Help student to clarify the problem
  • Identify what has worked in the past
  • Identify possible campus resources
  • Encourage student to seek support
  • Do not promise confidentiality
  • Take them seriously; Ask directly about what is going on
  • Respect and accept student’s value system

When helping a student in distress, trust your own insight and reactions. It is essential to know your limitations and when to seek further assistance by contacting the Dean of Students Office at 315.443.4357(HELP) or dos@syr.edu.

Faculty, staff, parents, family members and friends are strongly encouraged to report behaviors that they feel are concerning or worrisome, no matter how small or insignificant they may seem.

To make a referral, please call 315-443-4357(HELP) or email dos@syr.edu.

Why Make a Referral?

  1. Early intervention means rapid solutions: Often, a quick response to provide a distressed student with timely resources will ensure that the student remains successful academically.  Late intervention often involves missed classes, isolation from friends and family, possible withdrawals or late drops and an overall interruption in the student’s experience.
  2. Connecting the Dots: Our office receives reports from all over campus.  Our ability to connect your concerns with the concerns of others means we are able to provide a greater level of support for each student involved.
  3. We Care, You Care: Making a referral shows that you care enough to get the student the help he or she needs.  It means you are not prepared to let a student fall through the cracks.  It means that SU is a community that takes care of its members.
  4. It Might Be Required: Under certain circumstances, Faculty and staff are obligated to report acts of violence and other threatening behaviors.

Source: studentsofconcern.dasa.ncsu.edu

What happens when you make a referral?

Dean of Students Office case managers may reach out to students if we are made aware that they may be struggling with some aspect of campus life and/or have been impacted by a recent event. A meeting will be scheduled in which the case manager and student will discuss current struggles or barriers as well as action planning for future follow up including possible referrals to additional supports and ongoing case management within Student Assistance. Interaction with a case manager may continue throughout the semester or longer as determined by the case manager and student.

The Dean of Students Office provides various trainings to the Syracuse University campus community. Below is a sampling of presentations available:

  • Dean of Students 101: Who we are and what services we offer
  • How to Support a Student in Distress
  • Procedural Advisor Training for Faculty and Staff
  • First-Year Forum presentations

For more information or to request a training, please contact the Dean of Students Office at 315.443.4357(HELP) or dos@syr.edu.