For any concern about a student, whether academic or co-curricular, faculty/staff a┬á.
Any member of the┬á┬▄└˛╔š┬ácommunity who is worried about a student's health or well-being is strongly encouraged to contact the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students (Student Affairs) to discuss their concerns. Any concern that is reported to the office will be handled with the utmost care and sensitivity, but will also be investigated fully in order to determine the appropriate follow-up that needs to occur. Here are a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) that will help aide in your decision about reporting a student concern
Concerns about a student can range from missing class to a change in attitude to the death of a family member or thoughts of suicide. It also covers traumatic events that may have occurred, such as a sexual assault, car accident, etc. Regardless, we always tell students, family members and faculty and staff to trust their instincts. If they think something is wrong, they need to let us know so we can ensure that the student is doing well.
There is nothing wrong with contacting Counseling Services with a student concern. This office is well-run and very well trained to handle a myriad of student concerns. However, just making a referral to the Counseling Center may not be enough to get the student the appropriate help that they need. While a concern may be presented one way, the true issue at hand could be vastly different- personal, academic, or even financial. Additionally, Counseling Services will maintain strict confidentiality unless a student is a harm to themselves or others. Contacting the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students will enable the staff to investigate, meet with the student if necessary, and get them pointed in the right direction. Additionally, the VPSA has the ability to create agreements with students to ensure they are getting back on the right track- no other office can do that.
There are several points of contact for this Office:
- General questions and guidance. Main Number, Monday-Friday, 8:30 am- 4:30 pm. (716) 839-8332. Ms. Karen Cash, Executive Assistant (email@example.com) can relay your concern to the appropriate staff member.
- Major concerns, confidential inquiries. Kerry Spicer,┬áDean of Students (firstname.lastname@example.org) or by phone at (716) 839-8519, Monday-Friday, 8:30 am-4:30 pm.
Our Campus Safety staff is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, regardless of whether school is in session or not. Campus Safety can be reached via phone at (716) 839-8246. While school is in session, there is also an Administrator On-Call (AOC) that Campus Safety can access to help deal with any crisis situation.
Once a concern about a student is submitted, our goal is to investigate the situation fully and to ensure the safety of the individual student and the overall community. When meeting with a student, we generally do not mention specific individuals who brought forth the complaint, unless that individual asks that we do. Our experience is that a concern in one area is shown in many areas so during the investigation, many reports come forward.
Our number one goal is to ensure that each student is able to be successful and the safety of the community is not compromised. So no, students are not punished for being in crisis- quite the contrary. Sometimes, our role is to have students look critically at a situation that they are struggling with and deal with it head on. This can lead to some specific things they need to complete in order to stay at the University. This is always for their benefit and if necessary, a plan is worked out in conjunction with them.
One of the most important things to us is confidentiality. We will always protect a student's confidentiality and only share relevant information with appropriate people if the student or the community is at risk.
Absolutely! We encourage that. Our office is here to assist with these matters and in many cases, families, other students and/or faculty/staff mentors are in the best position to help the student.
Counseling Services has a on recognizing the warning signs of a student that is in trouble and how to get them help they need quickly in an emergency.
Absolutely! While we encourage students to come to the office and let us assist them, some people are more comfortable using . The most important thing for us is that students get the assistance that they need.
The most important thing is for the student to get assistance and deal with this event. Unfortunately, many sexual assaults go unreported because the victim, male or female, feels that it was their fault or it was preventable. That is absolutely not the case. We always want to talk with a student that was potentially sexually assaulted for many reasons, including preventing the incident from occurring again on campus and ensuring that the student is able to deal with the emotional and physical toll of the event. We strongly encourage that the student get help by contacting our office or the CHIP Center at 716-839-7380. Other important things to remember when dealing with a sexual assault:
- If there is any chance that the victim may want to report this incident later, they should not shower or change their clothes. They should go to the hospital for evidence to be collected.
- Emergency contraception is available at local drug stores over-the-counter. The "morning after pill" has been shown to be effective if taken within 72 hours after unprotected sex has occurred.
- Even if the student does not want to press charges, they should get checked for any potential STDs that could have been transferred during sex.
- Counseling Services can talk with a student confidentially without fear of reporting it. They can be contacted at (716) 839-8337.
- Crisis Services of Buffalo is a confidential resource┬áavailable on campus for students who wish to speak to a survivor advocate about their options regarding reporting, academic and other accommodations, linkage to community resources, and more. They can be reached at 716-834-3131. You can learn more online at .
The hardest thing sometimes is determining if there is indeed a problem. Counseling Services has developed an for anyone to use and determine if they may need assistance. The assessment is completely confidential and covers a gamut of different issues and problems.