CRISIS INTERVENTION

Policy

Purpose

Crisis Intervention is a multidimensional process. Its main purpose is to provide a safe resolution to the crisis, and to ensure protection of the Western New Mexico University community.

Definition

For the purpose of this document, the definition of "crisis" will be any unstable situation that might prove volatile, or require urgent intervention. It could include physical, psychological, or medical emergencies. Examples include, but are not limited to: fire, rape, psychological trauma, physical injury, assault and battery, endangerment to self or others, or medical problems (i.e. seizure, drug reactions, cardiac arrest).

Policy

The University endeavors to provide a safe, academic atmosphere in its classrooms, residence halls and facilities for students, staff and faculty. In order to maintain this goal, Western New Mexico University has developed a crisis intervention policy. Established procedures ensure that appropriate personnel are informed of a crisis taking place or that has taken place on campus. In all such communication, it is understood that University personnel have the responsibility and obligation to keep all exchanged information confidential.

A Crisis Intervention Response Team (CIRT) is the primary respondent to a crisis occurring on campus. The CIRT is made up of representatives from Campus Police, Student Affairs, Student Development, Housing, Student Health Services and Counseling. A written procedure outlines how the Crisis Intervention Response Team is activated.

CRISIS INTERVENTION

Procedures

The procedures are designed to provide a consistent approach to crises occurring in the University Community by providing support and safety for University students, faculty and staff. The University will utilize a Crisis Intervention Response Team (CIRT) to facilitate a constructive response to an emergency. The University Campus Police will always be the first contact, as they will coordinate the effort through their switchboard operation.

A. Initial course of action

  1. Campus Police are to be notified immediately of any crisis situation occurring on campus at 538-6231 (during regular office hours) or 388-8840 (evenings, weekends, holidays)

  2. Campus Police Officer will respond to the call to assess the situation and immediately notify the Chief of Campus Police or designee (Lieutenant)

  3. Campus Police Chief or Lieutenant notifies

    1. Director of Campus Police or designee regarding the crisis on campus
    2. Coordinator of Residence Life or designee regarding any crisis occurring in campus housing
    3. The Vice President of Student Affairs or designee regarding any crisis occurring on campus. The Vice President of Student Affairs or designee will notify any other appropriate person or agency.

B. Course of action if there is a question of person creating a danger to self or others

  1. A Campus Police Officer or designee Police Officer may detain and transport a person for mental health evaluation and care if the officer has reasonable ground to believe that person presents a likelihood of harm to self or others and that immediate detention is necessary to prevent such harm.
  2. The Campus Police and designee (optional), or the appropriate medical personnel will transport the person to the Emergency Room at Gila Regional Medical Center for evaluation and determination of further steps in treating the person.
  3. New Mexico State Statutes No. 43-1-10, 43-1-11, 43-1-12, 43-1-13, and 43-1-14 regarding emergency mental health evaluation and care will be followed concerning both voluntary and involuntary commitment.

C. Course of action for a reported sexual assault

  1. Campus Police are to be notified of a sexual assault in progress on campus. The Campus Police Officer will respond to the call to assess the situation and immediately notify the Chief of Campus Police or designee (Lieutenant) to secure the crime scene.

  2. Campus Police Chief or Lieutenant notifies:

    1. Director of Campus Police or designee regarding the sexual assault in progress on campus.
    2. Coordinator of Residence Life or designee regarding any sexual assault in progress in University housing.
    3. The Vice President of Student Affairs or designee will notify any other appropriate person or agency
    4. One female and one male member of the Crisis Intervention Team

Victim(s) may be transported to Gila Regional Medical Center or Student Health-Services by Campus Police and designee (optional); University personnel in University vehicle as approved by CIRT team leader; or by appropriate medical personnel

D. Course of action for entry to a resident's room on campus for safety purposes

  1. A resident's right to privacy should be respected at all times
  2. Campus Police will be notified before room entry to be present in the event problems occurland emergency communication is needed.
  3. When it becomes necessary for safety that a resident's privacy becomes secondary and entrance to a room is necessary, the Coordinator of Residence Life and the Vice President of Student Affairs, or their designees, have the authority to enter residence hall rooms for an informal assessment of the situation to be made.
  4. Victim(s) will be transported as needed by appropriate medical or professional personnel to Gila Regional Medical Center

E. Actions to occur as soon as possible following the crisis

  1. All involved CIRT members will complete written documentation of actions taken during a crisis and submit to appropriate personnel.
  2. All CIRT members will be informed of the situation and take any further appropriate intervention action. Every effort will be made by the University to provide both academic and emotional support to any student whose education is interrupted by seeking treatment.
  3. All CIRT members will meet within 24 working hours following the crisis to review actions taken during the crisis and to provide support and closure to members and professional follow-up.

F. Media Coverage

  1. CIRT members will report details of incident to the Vice President of Student Affairs (VPSA)
  2. CIRT members will refer all media inquiries directly to the Office of the VPSA
  3. The VPSA will conduct all communication with the media and the public

G. Referrals and Appeals

  1. Western New Mexico University takes the stand that higher education is a privilege, not a right. It is a responsibility between the student and the University to pursue knowledge in the most construction atmosphere possible for all students attending the University.
  2. When a student becomes a disruption for the rest of the University community, the University will request appropriate actions to be taken. If deemed necessary, the student will be afforded the opportunity to seek treatment.
  3. In the cases where treatment is refused, the Vice President of Student Affairs may require that the student withdraw from the University.
  4. The University follows an appeal process for all discipline decisions and the student has the following rights concerning an administrative decision:
    1. The sanction will stand until the Appeal Board makes its recommendation.
    2. The Appeal Board will convene within 48 hours after the written appeal is received by the Vice President of Student Affairs.