Policy and Definitions of Threat
Indiana University South Bend recognizes that civility, understanding, and mutual respect foster a climate intrinsic to excellence in teaching and learning. Violence or threats of violence on campus or at campus-sponsored events will not be tolerated. Threats of violence include, but are not limited to, any situation initiated from internal and external sources that:
- Endangers the safety of any employee, student, visitor or faculty member
- Has an impact on an individual’s physical and/or psychological well-being
- Causes damage to personal or University property
- Creates a hostile campus environment.
Any individual who commits a violent act or threatens to commit a violent act toward a person or property on campus or at campus sponsored events shall be subjected to disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal from the University. In addition, civil and/or criminal penalties may be pursued as appropriate. Members of the campus community are expected to take any threat or violent act seriously and to report such acts to appropriate contact resources.
Violence or threatening acts are complex, intimidating and confusing. Students, faculty, visitors or staff should not put themselves in danger, but rather utilize campus resources to assess the danger, design appropriate intervention, and employ reasonable safety measures.
Recognizing/Acting on the Early Warning Signs of Violence
Extreme violence is rarely an isolated event but, rather, the last in a chain of progressively dangerous interdependent and highly visible behaviors. Troubling behavior in its early stages is largely correctable and minimally volatile. When such behavior is allowed to grow more aggressive, the offender becomes increasingly frustrated, committed to, and confident of his/her ability to deliver violence. Most people who commit extreme violence do not do so without warning, and may even tell others what they plan. Violence profiles list personality traits and behaviors associated with those who have used violence. Identifying at-risk characteristics can bring attention to a troubled individual or may suggest that the possibility of violence exists. While few of these individuals will commit violence, they should be closely monitored when several of the following behaviors accompany one or more of the personality traits.
- Drug/alcohol abuse
- Extreme paranoia/suspicion
- Mental health issues
- Recent attacks to self-esteem
- Recent problems at home/school/work
- Social isolation
- History of aggression/violence/bullying
- Specific/detailed threats to harm another
- Destruction of personal and/or school property
- Recent attempts to secure weapons
- A pattern of poor interpersonal relationships
- Defiance of authority
- Recent attempts/talk of suicide
- Involvement with hate groups or criminal gangs
- Frequently angry, easily frustrated
Preventing a Crisis
Violence prevention is best accomplished by interrupting the process. Maintaining a healthy campus environment and addressing minor violations of University policy lower the risk of aggressive responses and increase the possibility of peaceful solutions. Recognizing early warning signs can alert us that the process of violence may have begun and provide opportunity to intervene before an individual becomes committed to violence.
Strategies to prevent a crisis include:
- Communicate a clear policy against, and consequences for, violent behavior
- Identify potential offenders and victims early
- Report threatening behavior promptly; respond quickly to such reports
The safety of the university community is of the utmost importance. Representatives have been identified and trained to deal with threatening situations. They are available to assess the situation and specify appropriate measures. *If threatening behavior or a situation occurs, take these threats seriously and contact the appropriate resource immediately.
**In an emergency, dial 911 from any campus phone, 911 from a cell.
Protocols are established and in use by the Dean of Students for the following occurrences:
- Disruptive behavior/physical assault
- Threats of harm
- Sexual harassment
- Racially motivated or bias disturbance on campus
- Possession of a weapon
- Other violations of The Indiana University Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities, and Conduct.