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Frequently Asked Questions about Referrals


Who can make a BRT referral?
Anyone who is concerned about a student’s behavior can and should make a referral to the Behavioral Response Team. This includes students, parents, faculty and staff, and other community members. Reporting is the most critical step toward intervention.

I want to refer a student. Now what?
It is important to keep in mind that, for urgent matters, Public Safety is the first-line contact at 212.772.4444. To make a referral, complete and submit the online BRT Referral Form. You will be asked for basic information about the incident, how to contact you (in case the BRT committee has follow-up questions) and a description of the incident or behaviors that prompted the referral.

What happens after I make the referral?
The primary purpose of the Team is to provide help to students who are in a state of crisis. When you report an incident you are helping to ensure that the student involved will receive the best possible assistance from qualified staff members. The BRT members review the information contained in the referral and, after assessing the degree of urgency, will determine the appropriate course of action. This may include initiating contact with the student. The nature of the contact, and resulting intervention, will vary — some students may be referred to any variety of resources including the Office of AccessABILITY or Counseling Services, while others may require a disciplinary-based intervention. Yet others may require no immediate action.

How do I know if my concern warrants a BRT referral, or is more appropriate for another campus resource?
You do not have to make this determination — the BRT will do it for you. The Hunter College BRT is committed to promoting a culture of support. The most critical step, therefore, is your report. If another campus resource is more appropriate, the BRT will make the appropriate referral, and will manage the transfer of information. Generally, behaviors that pose a threat to safety or cause significant disruption to the learning/working environment of the Hunter College Community qualify for BRT, while students who experience other mental health issues are appropriate referrals to the Counseling Service at 212.772.4931.

Why should I report my concern to the Behavioral Intervention Team? 
Why not just call Counseling Services?
The Team is comprised of representatives from departments across the college community. This Team approach allows us to determine the best course of action to help a student in need of assistance. Reporting your concerns to the Behavioral Response Team ensures a coordinated response such that your concern will be immediately directed to the appropriate service(s).

Who are the members of the BRT?
The core members of the Hunter College Behavioral Response Team are listed on our Members page.

What sorts of things should I report to the Behavioral Response Team?
The following are examples of behavior/observations appropriate for a BRT referral:

  • Extended absence from class by a typically engaged student
  • Acts of hatred/discrimination/paranoia
  • Written work with troubling themes or references
  • Verbal or written threats made by a student toward another student
  • Written or verbal expressions related to suicide/homicide
  • Unusual or erratic behavior in class
  • Extreme rudeness or insubordination
  • Other actions which cause alarm or call into question the safety of the student or others

Can students make referrals to the BRT?
Yes. If you are aware of behavior similar to what is outlined above or have witnessed an incident involving a friend or classmate that concerns you, fill out the BRT referral form and the Team will follow up with the concern.

What if a student in my class is just belligerent or annoying, but doesn’t appear dangerous or threatening?
The College has the right to prevent disruptive students from interfering with faculty's ability to teach and the students’ right to learn. It is within a faculty member’s right to ask a student to refrain from certain behaviors in the classroom, require a student to meet with him/her before returning to class or, when necessary, ask a disruptive student to leave the classroom. Generally, behavior that requires a removal from a class is an appropriate BRT referral. Faculty members also retain the right to file a judicial complaint with the Office of the Dean of Student Support Services.

Download the Students in Crisis Quick Reference for Faculty and Staff for simple guidelines and quick access to referral contact information.

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