Emergency Planning & Violence Prevention

Unusual, Disruptive or Suspicious Behavior

Warning signs indicating the need for further assistance

Some signs that suggest problems for which the student should be referred for assessment:

  • Drop in class attendance or quality of work
  • Consistent difficulty paying attention or keeping focus
  • Decline in personal hygiene and dress
  • Consistent depressed mood
  • Socially withdrawn behavior
  • Crying without apparent reason
  • Easily frustrated or irritated - quick to anger
  • “On edge” all of the time - often anxious
  • Identifiable signs of intoxication during class or interactions
  • Bizarre behavior such as talking to oneself or repetitive actions/rituals
  • Use of suicidal language such as “I’d be better off dead” or “I’m worthless”
  • Preoccupation with death or dying as apparent in writings or drawings
  • Lack of insight into consequences or precursors to behavior
  • Use of threatening and/or intimidating language when communicating
  • Behaviors or emotion that is inappropriate to the situation
  • Displays extreme suspiciousness or irrational fears of persecution
  • A gut feeling that something is just not right with the person

Suicidal Students

It is important to be able to identify those students who may be at the highest risk.
Warning signs of suicide:

  • Increased alcohol and other drug use
  • Feelings of hopelessness, helplessness, or worthlessness
  • Risky or self destructive behaviors
  • Recent impulsiveness
  • Dramatic mood changes
  • Social withdrawal
  • Unexpected rage or anger
  • Talks of death and/or suicide

It is vital to remember that asking a person if they are contemplating suicide DOES NOT give them the idea to do so. In fact, your openness and concern may allow the person to feel less lonely or isolated and ultimately more hopeful. Talking about suicide is NOT to be ignored.

Threatening Students

You may also become aware of a situation or develop a concern that a student may be a danger to others.

This may be manifested by:

  • Physically violent behavior
  • Verbally threatening or overly aggressive behavior
  • Threatening or violent material in e-mails, letters, academic papers, or online social network posts
  • Harassing or stalking behaviors
  • Possession of a weapon particularly a firearm

Alert a faculty or staff member who may refer the situation to the Center for Health and Counseling Services or the Office of Student Services for appropriate actions. It may also be appropriate to:

If you consider the person to be an immediate danger to self or others, contact police at ext. 5911, (815) 836-5911 or 911.

Helpful Resources


Caring for Our Community ACT 2014.

Video Presentation on Campus Violence.