Campus Assessment Response and Evaluation

For a Safe UW-L Community

1)   The CARE Team was created to meet regularly to review critical incidents and students in crisis.

Examples of when to contact the CARE Team (785-8062) regarding a student:

  • Student is disruptive in class
  • Student is displaying behaviors that may be helped by counseling or medical attention, i.e., depression, sudden weight loss, exhaustion, alcohol/drug use
  • Other students voice concern about harassing behavior

The CARE Team will also meet to review incidents regarding staff and faculty and, when necessary, will ask appropriate administrators to be part of the conversation.

2)   UW-L has entered into an agreement with the City of La Crosse to contract with City Watch, Inc. The company will provide immediate message service via cell phone, fax, standard phone, and e-mail to any faculty, student, or staff member that has registered to receive messages. University Police, as well as the City Police Department, will have a terminal from which messages can be launched 24 hours a day. When it becomes available you will be sent an e-mail regarding how to sign up to receive messages.

3)   UW-L’s Emergency Response and Preparedness Plan is available at:

4)   If there appears to be imminent danger, please call 789-9999 or 911 immediately. All other concerns may be directed to the Office of Student Life, 785-8062.

CARE Team Mission Statement
CARE Team Members
Helping Campus Community Members in Difficulty
When to Call University Police
What is Suspicious?
Information most needed by Police

CARE Team Mission Statement
The mission of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse's CARE Team is to provide a proactive and supportive multidisciplinary team approach to the management, assessment and intervention of situations or individuals that may pose a physical or psychological threat to the safety and well-being of the University community, thereby helping maintain a safe campus environment conducive to learning, personal growth, and success.

CARE Team Members
Brian Allen, Director, Student Health
Bridgette Hensley, Director, Counseling & Testing
Jen Miskowski, Faculty Assistant to the Provost
Anna Zettel, Counseling & Testing
Angie Lee, Student Life Coordinator, Student Life
Nick Nicklaus, Director, Residence Life
John Palmer, Assistant Dean of Students, Student Life
Ingrid Peterson, Violence Prevention & Wellness, Student Life
Scott Rohde, Chief, Police Services
Tim Shantz, Detective, Police Services
Amanda Goodenough, Campus Climate

Helping Campus Community Members in Difficulty

Campus Community Members in Distress
The CARE Team has developed this informational guide as a means to assist faculty, staff the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse community when dealing with troubled students.


Emergency – Life Threatening

Campus Police 789-9999
CARE Team 785-8062
Counseling & Testing Center 785-8073
Student Health Services  785-8558
Office of Residence Life  785-8075
Disability Resource Center  785-6900
Office of Student Life 785-8062
Violence Prevention (Sexual Assault,                                     
Stalking, Relationship Violence)

City Watch Website (

  • Register to obtain campus emergency notifications

If you are dealing with students in difficulty:

Be aware of location of nearest telephone, whether it is within the building, or a personal cell phone.
If the student is a serious threat to others, contact Campus Police immediately.
If the student is causing classroom disruption, but is not a threat to others, discuss with the student individually

AND report to the Office of Student Life at 785-8062.
You may always ask the disruptive student to leave the classroom.

If in doubt, always call Campus Police: 9-9999
When to Call the University Police – PROMPTLY!
9-1-1 for immediate threat to life
(608) 789-9999 for all others

·        Any incident involving any weapon being displayed. (911)

·   Any incident where a person has been injured by the actions of another.

·   Any incident where a threat to harm or kill someone was make.

·   Any suicide attempt

·   Any substantial property damage.

·   Any incident involving a hate crime.

·   Any crime or disturbance in progress when rescue or emergency medical assistance is needed.

IF IN DOUBT, call and let trained personnel decide!
What is Suspicious?
Anything that seems even slightly “out of place” that is occurring at an unusual time of day could be criminal activity.
Things to watch for include:

·        A stranger entering any area typically unoccupied.

·   A scream heard anywhere might mean a robbery or assault.

·   The sound of possible gunshots.

·   Any removing of accessories, license plates or gasoline from a car should be reported.

·   Anyone peering into parked cars may be looking for a car to steal, or for valuables left displayed in the car.

·   The sound of breaking glass or loud explosive noises could mean an accident, burglary, or vandalism.

·   Persons loitering around secluded areas of campus at any time.

·   Persons loitering after campus facilities are closed.

·   Suspicious e-mails, Facebook, or My Space messages

Information Most Often Needed by Police
What happened?
Anyone injured?
Vehicle Description
Vehicle Tag
Direction of Travel
Description of Persons
When describing suspects, notice age, race, sex, height, and weight, compare your own weight and height with the suspects.  Pick out some UNIQUE characteristics (scars, jewelry, etc.) that will help you identify the suspect in the future if needed.
Q. How should I respond when a student is disrupting my class?
Faculty members have broad authority to manage their classrooms and establish reasonable guidelines for class discussions that ensure everyone has an opportunity to participate in an orderly manner.  If you believe a student’s behavior is inappropriate, consider a general word of caution rather than singling a student out or embarrassing the student.  “If behavior I question is irritating, but not disruptive, try speaking with the student after class.  Most students are unaware of distracting habits or mannerisms, and have no intent to be offensive or disruptive.  There may be rare circumstances where it is necessary to speak to a student during class about his or her behavior.  Correct the student in a manner, indication that further discussion can occur after class.” (Pavela, 2001, 5).
If a student’s behavior reaches the point that interferes with your ability to conduct the class or the ability of other students to benefit from the class, the student should be asked to leave the room for the remainder of the class period.  The student should be provided with a reason for this action and an opportunity to discuss the matter with you as soon as is practical.  In such situations, consultation and referral to the Dean of your College or another Academic Administrator may be appropriate.
This item adapted from ASJA Law & Policy Report, No. 26, ASJA & Gary Pavel, 2001.
Q. What are warning signs of disruptive student behavior?
Severely troubled or disruptive students exhibit behaviors that signify an obvious crisis and that necessitate emergency care.   These problems are the easiest to identify.
Examples include:

1.      Highly disruptive behavior both verbally and/or physically (e.g. hostility, aggression, violence, etc.)

2.  Inability to communicate clearly (garbled, slurred speech; unconnected, disjointed, or rambling thoughts).

3.  Loss of contact with reality (seeing or hearing things which other cannot see or hear; beliefs or actions greatly at odds with reality or probability).

4.  Stalking behaviors

5.  Inappropriate communications (including threatening letters, e-mail messages, harassment).

6.  New or repeated behavior which pushes the limits of decorum and which interferes with effective management of the immediate environment.

7.  Overtly suicidal thoughts (including referring to suicide as a current option or in a written assignment).

8.  Threats to harm others.

Q. How should I respond to a disruptive student?

1.      Remain calm and know who to call for help, if necessary.  Find someone to stay with the student while calls to the appropriate resources are made.

2.  Remember that it is NOT your responsibility to provide the professional help needed for a severely/troubled disruptive student.  You need only to make the necessary call and request assistance.

3.  When a student expresses a direct threat to themselves or others, or acts in a bizarre, highly irrational or disruptive way, all Campus Police immediately.

Q. What are signs that a student may be in distress?
A student in distress may not be disruptive to others, but may exhibit behaviors, which indicate something is wrong, show signs of emotional distress, and indicate that assistance is needed.  They may also be reluctant or unable to acknowledge a need for personal help.
Behaviors may include:

1.      Serious grade problems or a change from consistently passing grades to unaccountably poor performance.

2.  Excessive absences, especially if the student has previously demonstrated consistent attendance.

3.  Unusual or markedly changed patterns of interaction, i.e., avoidance of participation, excessive anxiety when called upon, domination of discussions, etc.

4.  Other characteristics that suggest the student is having trouble managing stress successfully e.g., a depressed, lethargic mood; very rapid speech; swollen, red eyes; marked change in personal dress and hygiene; falling asleep during class.

5.  Repeated requests for special consideration, such as deadline extensions, especially if the student appears uncomfortable or highly emotional while disclosing the circumstances prompting the request.

6.  New or repeated behavior which pushes the limits of decorum and which interferes with effective management of the immediate environment.

7.  Unusual or exaggerated emotional responses which are obviously inappropriate to the situation.

Q. How should I respond to a student that is troubled or showing signs of distress?
For students that are mildly troubled you can choose to handle them in the following ways:

1.  Set limits and deal directly with the behavior/problem according to your classroom protocol.

2.  Address the situation on a more personal level, i.e., identify the problem and refer them to the correct resource.

3.  Consult with the Office of Student Life at 785-8062.

4.  Refer the student to one of the University Resources.  See referral phone numbers in this publication for help.

In case of an emergency situation, REMEMBER the Five Outs identified in Preventing Mass Casualty Shootings in a Campus Setting (Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System)
Get Out
Call Out
Hide Out
Keep Out
Take Out