What is the BIT?
UW Colleges Online BIT is an interdisciplinary team made up of staff, a UW Colleges Online mental health counselor and a UW-Madison police officer. BIT meets monthly to discuss issues involving students, faculty, staff and members of the public who may exhibit warning signs, troubled behavior, or who threaten or demonstrate disruptive or violent behavior.
The primary purpose of BIT is to address situations involving individuals who are perceived to pose a threat to the safety of themselves and/or our students, faculty, staff, visitors and the neighboring community. A secondary purpose of BIT is to arrange education and training for our students, faculty and staff to recognize and report potential behavioral risks to BIT.
What should be reported to BIT?
You should report any situation that may pose a threat to the safety of yourself or others. Depending on the urgency of the situation, you may report issues or just ask for guidance on issues regarding students. For faculty and staff, you may contact BIT or the Employee Assistance Program.
If behavior escalates and becomes physical, or threatens to become physical, contact your local police department directly. Or if the situation is an emergency, call 911 (or 9-911 from campus phones) immediately.
How should a situation be reported?
Call a BIT member. All members can be reached toll-free at 877-449-1877 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also contact these staff members directly:
- Mike Bartlett: 608-270-7101
- Bobbie Boettcher: 608-270-7106
You are critical to the success of this system. Early recognition, intervention, referral and reporting are critical in the prevention of violence in the classroom and workplace. By reporting persons who exhibit troubling or disruptive behavior, you may prevent a tragedy or simply get a troubled person some needed help. Persons who exhibit violent behavior should be reported immediately to the police.
What types of signs should I look for?
Possible warning signs include:
- Uncharacteristically poor performance
- Inappropriate or unacceptable behavior in class discussion areas
- Excessive absences or tardiness
- Reduced motivation, excuses or blaming
- Angry outbursts or tearfulness
- Intense emotions
- Inappropriate responses
- Strained interpersonal relations
- Substance abuse
- Isolating behavior, low self-esteem
- Allusions to disruptive acts or violence
- Evidence of depression or stress
- Hyperactivity, difficulty concentrating
What do I do if I observe these warning signs?
- Contact a BIT member at 877-449-1877or email@example.com.
- Call UW Colleges Online Counseling Services or the Employee Assistance Program (faculty/staff) at 800-327-2151.
What if the person of concern contacts me?
- Speak with the person privately.
- Remain calm: maintain your composure.
- Actively listen to what the person is saying.
- Communicate understanding, not sympathy.
- Don’t make judgments or establish blame.
- Be respectful and patient.
- Set clear boundaries/behavioral expectations.
- Never make promises you can’t keep, particularly about confidentiality. You may be obligated to report information if you believe the person is a danger to himself/herself or others.
Helpful Tips and Resources
- Don’t ignore warning signs.
- Be familiar with emergency procedures.
- Have resources and emergency telephone numbers posted or in a place easily reached.
- If the person is not present or threatens violent acts for the future, immediately contact the:
- If a situation ever becomes physical, dangerous or more serious than you can handle on your own, call 911 for emergency assistance (9-911 from campus phones).