Baylor University
Student Policies & Procedures
Student Conduct Administration

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Baylor > Student Policies & Procedures > Threats or Harm to Self or Others, Policy

Policy on Threats or Harm to Self or Others



1. General Information
Baylor University is concerned about the well-being of all students. The University takes seriously any behavior, including a non-privileged verbal statement, that tends to demonstrate a student may harm himself or herself or another. This policy is applied in a nondiscriminatory manner to all students and allows the University to take interim steps to address immediate safety concerns. The determination to implement this policy will be based on observed student conduct, actions, or statements and individualized assessments by designated professionals will be utilized in each situation.

2. Policy Statement
Concern for the safety of each member of the Baylor community has compelled Baylor University to adopt the following policy. Any student who (a) states an intent or desire to harm himself or herself or another, (b) attempts to harm himself or herself or another, (c) harms himself or herself or another, or (d) exhibits behavior that indicates the student could be a danger or risk to himself or herself or another may not live in University residential facilities, participate in University academic programs, or participate in other University activities the University may deem to be harmful to the student or others until cleared to do so by the associate dean for student conduct administration in accordance with the clearance procedure set forth below. University activities may include University work study programs on or off campus. The University reserves the right to determine what actions might be deemed as harmful to the student or another. The prohibition against living in University residential facilities, participation in University academic programs, or participation in other University activities the University deems to be harmful to the student or others is not disciplinary in nature; and the fact that such a prohibition has been imposed will not be entered in the student's disciplinary records. However, if the student engages in disruptive behavior (which may include, but is not limited to, the behavior that caused processing under this policy), fails to comply with the terms of the clearance procedure, or violates a University policy such as harming another or stating the intent to harm another, the student may be subject to disciplinary action in accordance with the Student Conduct Code. In which case, documents relevant to both processes may be placed in the student's disciplinary record.

3. Incident Reporting
If a student is in need of immediate medical treatment, the Baylor University Police Department (campus phone extension: 2222 or 254-710-2222) or 911 should be notified immediately. If a student or a faculty or staff member observes a student (a) stating an intent or desire to harm himself or herself or another, or (b) attempting to harm himself or herself or another, (c) in the process of harming himself or herself or another, or (d) exhibits behavior that indicates the student could be a danger or risk to himself or herself or another the person observing such behavior should report what was observed to the Baylor University Police Department (campus phone extension: 2222 or 254-710-2222) or 911 immediately and to the associate dean for student conduct administration 254-710-1715 as soon as possible. The associate dean may consider the need to advise parents or the next of kin.

4. Clearance Procedure

(a) Notice
The associate dean for student conduct administration, or any Baylor official, may notify each student who has been observed (a) stating an intent or desire to harm himself or herself or another, (b) attempting to harm himself or herself or another, (c) in the process of harming himself or herself or another, or (d) exhibits behavior that indicates the student could be a danger or risk to himself or herself or another that he or she will not be permitted to continue to live in the University's residential facilities, participate in academic programs, or participate in other University activities the University deems to be harmful to the student or others until the student receives approval of the associate dean in accordance with this clearance procedure. If, after a student has been notified that he or she cannot live in the University's residential facilities, participate in the University academic programs, or participate in other University activities the University deems to be harmful to the student or others, he or she violates the prohibition by entering a residence hall, attending class, or participating in an activity that has been prohibited, such violation may result in disciplinary action in accordance with the Student Conduct Code.

(b) Evaluation by a qualified mental health professional
Before the associate dean for student conduct administration may clear a student to live in the University's residential facilities, participate in the University's academic programs, or participate in other University activities the University had previously deemed to be harmful to the student or others, the student must have an assessment conducted by a licensed mental health professional, either a psychologist, psychiatrist, or one of the licensed mental health professionals in the Baylor Counseling Center. The student may choose the mental health professional, including those in the Baylor Counseling Center. Cost, if any, for evaluation and treatment will be the responsibility of the student. It is possible that the assessment may include the requirement that the student have an additional assessment by a physician before the final assessment can be completed.

(c) Communication of results of evaluation to the associate dean for judicial affairs
The student must arrange for the mental health professional who evaluated the student to contact the associate dean for student conduct administration. Because the student's contact with the professional is confidential, the student will be requested to sign a release form permitting the mental health professional to disclose the evaluation to the associate dean for student conduct administration.

The mental health professional will be asked to provide his or her evaluation about the overall level of risk or harm to himself or herself or another as well as any factors that might increase or decrease their risk to self or others.

Based on the mental health professional's evaluation, the associate dean for student conduct administration will determine:

(1) the student's readiness to resume living in the University's residential facilities, participation in the University's academic programs, or participation in other University activities the University had previously deemed to be harmful to the student or others and

(2) conditions the University should impose on the student's participation that are in the student's best interest or the best interest of others.

The evaluation of the mental health professional may be communicated orally at first for expedience but must be followed in writing.

(d) Approval from the associate dean for student conduct administration
Based upon the results of the evaluation by the mental health professional that may include a physician's assessment and/or recommendation, the associate dean for student conduct administration will make a decision about the student's fitness to resume living in the University's residential facilities, participation in the University's academic programs, or participation in other University activities the University had previously deemed to be harmful to the student or others. All students placed under this policy must meet with the associate dean for student conduct administration. In some cases, the associate dean may require an interview with the student prior to making a decision about clearing the student under this policy.

Contact Information:

Associate Dean for Student Conduct Administration
Suite 270, Clifton Robinson Tower
One Bear Place #97073
Waco, Texas 76798
254-710-1715 Office
254-710-2562 Fax

If the associate dean determines that the student is able to resume living in the University's residential facilities, participate in the University's academic programs, or participate in other University activities the University had previously deemed to be harmful to the student or others, the associate dean will communicate to appropriate university officials that the student has been cleared under this policy and if necessary, will provide a letter to the student stating the student has been cleared to return to residential facilities, classes, or other University activities. The student may be required to present the letter to the Campus Living and Learning staff or any faculty or staff member who requests the letter as proof that the clearance process has been completed unless the associate dean for student conduct administration has provided the letter to the appropriate faculty or staff for the student.

If the associate dean determines that the student is not fit to return to the University's residential facilities or academic programs, the associate dean will assist the student, upon request of the student, in making arrangements to meet the residential of the student and assist the student in communication with his or her professors until approval is obtained. Costs, if any, for arrangements to meet the residential and academic needs of the student will be the responsibility of the student.

If the associate dean determines that the student is not fit to return to University's services or programs other than residential facilities or academic programs, the associate dean will provide the student with written instructions regarding which activities or programs are prohibited, the length of the prohibition, and the conditions (if any) for re-admittance to those activities or programs.

(e) Unavailablity of the associate dean for student conduct administration
In the event that the associate dean for student conduct administration is unavailable to perform any task pursuant to this policy, the associate vice president for student life shall act. In the event that the associate vice president for student life is also unavailable, the vice president for student life shall act.

(f) Appeal of the decision
In the event that the associate dean has determined that the student is not fit to return to University academic programs, residential facilities, or other University services or programs at this time, the student has the right to:

(1) meet with the associate dean to hear why the student has not been cleared under this policy and what steps the associate dean recommends the student take in order to receive clearance under the policy.

(2) file an appeal to the vice president for student life if the student believes that there is substantial evidence that the decision rendered by the associate dean was arbitrary or capricious. The appeal shall be made in writing within three business days of the student receiving the decision. The vice president shall review the written appeal and may confer with the associate dean regarding the decision that was made. If the vice president finds substantial evidence exists that the decision rendered by the associate dean was arbitrary and capricious, he or she may modify the decision. The decision of the vice president, or his or her designee, is final.

Modified 1-31-96; 9-24-08; 1-12-10; 7-18-12; 1-6-14