Loyola University Chicago

Office of the Dean of Students

Division of Student Development

BCT Policies

The following policies govern the actions of the BCT. These policies are intended to keep the University community (students, staff, faculty, and guests) safe and are always applied on an individualized basis. Please also refer to the Community Standards for more information about student responsibility and accountability.

The BCT serves as the centralized coordinated body for discussion and action regarding students exhibiting behaviors that indicate distress, cause a disruption in the campus community, and/or pose a threat to the safety, health, or well-being of any member of the campus community. Committed to proactive, early intervention, the BCT supports students directly and through collaboration with campus partners. When necessary, the BCT also assesses risk of harm to the University community and coordinates appropriate action to ensure the safety of individual students and the University at large.

As designees of the Vice President for Student Development, the Dean of Students, BCT Chairperson, and BCT Case Manager have direct authority to implement appropriate interventions with students as needed. Ancillary measures may also be implemented by other BCT members acting in the scope and role of their current positions and responsibilities.

Please note that interventions are determined based upon observed behavior.

Possible interventions include, but are not limited to:

  • Meeting with BCT Case Manager
  • Adherence to a "Statement of Expectations"
  • Referral to OSCCR (for conflict resolution or for student conduct hearing)
  • Mandated Assessment
  • Behavioral Clearance

The BCT Leadership Team is a sub-set of the Office of the Dean of Students (“DOS”). The BCT Leadership Team includes:

Dean of Students
The Dean of Students has the final say regarding the University’s response to students of concern, except where subject to appeal.

BCT Chairperson (Associate Dean of Students)
The Chairperson (“Chair”) is responsible for the regular operations and management of the BCT. Unless the Dean of Students is directly involved, the Chair makes final determinations as to the course of action regarding students of concern

BCT Case Manager (Assistant Dean of Students)
The Case Manager conducts the vast majority of direct outreach and follow-up with students of concern. The Case Manager also maintains positive and open relationships with a wide range of local community providers for mental health referrals. The Case Manager is primarily responsible for tracking, documenting, and following up as students work through individualized recommendations, and/or interventions assigned by the BCT on a case-by-case basis. The Dean of Students or Chair may also delegate other responsibilities to the Case Manager.

The BCT is comprised of Core and Consulting Members, who represent their respective area, department, or office within the University. All Core and Consulting Members are trained to contribute in a meaningful way to the operations of the BCT.

A. Core Members

At present, BCT core members include:

  • Dean of Students
  • Associate Dean of Students, Chair
  • Assistant Dean of Students and BCT Case Manager
  • Assistant Dean of Students for Retention and Engagement
  • Wellness Center Representative
  • Campus Safety Representative
  • Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution (OSCCR) Representative
  • Student Academic Services Representative
  • Residence Life Representative

B. Consulting Members

At present, BCT consulting members include representatives from the following departments:

  • Athletics
  • Campus Ministry
  • Office of the Provost
  • Office of the General Counsel
  • Services for Students with Disabilities
  • Office of International Programs
  • John Felice Rome Center
  • Title IX Deputy Coordinator
  • Human Resources
  • Graduate and Professional Schools
  • Others, as needed

The Threat Assessment Team (“TAT”) is a sub-group of the BCT that convenes as needed to address expeditiously those cases involving elevated, severe, or extreme levels of threat to the safety, health, or well-being of any member of the campus community. The primary function of the TAT is to respond rapidly and in a coordinated manner to heightened threats to campus safety. The TAT is coordinated by the Director of Campus Safety or their designee.

Members of the TAT include the following:

  • Campus Safety, Chair
  • Dean of Students
  • BCT Chair and/or BCT Case Manager as needed
  • Wellness Center Representative
  • Other BCT Core Member(s), depending on circumstances and need

All TAT records, documentation, etc. are subject to the same guidelines as described below for BCT.

Due to the sensitive and private nature of BCT cases, all members adhere to the highest standards of ethics and applicable law. In order for the BCT to operate effectively, members must be free to discuss information about students of concern openly with other members within the parameters of applicable law and professional codes of ethics. Information about individual students discussed in the BCT, including the names of students of concern, is not shared outside of the BCT unless absolutely necessary.

By necessity, the BCT keeps limited records of its actions in accordance with the following policies.

Click to jump down to each policy:

Record Creation

The DOS is the custodian of referrals from the community about students. As referrals are received they are reviewed by the BCT Leadership Team and may be edited to ensure that all information maintained is appropriate, factual, supported, and free from groundless speculation, unqualified diagnosis, and needless disparaging of character.

 

BCT referrals and subsequent formal documentation, whenever they identify an individual student or students, are educational records under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA”). As such, these records (including incident narrative, supporting documentation, and any official notes and records of recommendations or interventions included in ADVOCATE) are subject to FERPA protections.
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Record Access and Amendment by Students

Upon written request, a student has a right to inspect their BCT records and to request amendment as with any other educational record under FERPA. Students have a right to view a redacted copy of their BCT record, with any protected information about other students or other information to which they are not entitled under FERPA removed, during regular business hours in the DOS. In accordance with FERPA, the DOS may require a reasonable period of time to prepare records for review, up to 45 days.
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Record Retention, Transfer, Destruction, and Expungement

BCT records are typically maintained by the DOS for seven years from the date of the referral, with the exception of cases requiring longer-term monitoring (such files may be retained indefinitely at the discretion of the BCT Leadership Team). After the expiration of this period, unless ongoing monitoring is required, all information pertaining to the BCT record will be destroyed.

 

When a student is known to have transferred to another campus or institution, the BCT Leadership Team may communicate with corresponding staff at the new campus or institution as needed to ensure continuity of care or as otherwise authorized by FERPA.

 

Upon written request by a student to the Chair, and after consultation with the Dean of Students, the Chair or Dean may authorize at their discretion the expungement of some or all of a student’s BCT records. Expungement is rare, and may only be granted in cases where both (a) the underlying concerns regarding the student are well-past (at least two years) without reoccurrence, or where effective treatment, medication, or other intervention(s) leave the Chair or Dean satisfied that no future institution or employer would benefit from knowledge about the history of the student’s interactions with the BCT; and (b) where the record contains sensitive personal information that may cause unjust harm to a student if retained.

The Chair or Dean’s decision regarding a request for expungement of BCT records is final and not subject to appeal. A request may be renewed for reconsideration upon request after a minimum of one calendar year has passed from the most recent expungement decision.
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BCT Referrals may come to the attention of the DOS in a variety of ways. Any person may submit a BCT referral online via the online referral form, call the BCT hotline (773-508-8300), or call or email the Case Manager directly. Referring parties need not be staff or faculty members, and may be parents, other students, or members of the community. If a BCT referral is not submitted online, a member of the BCT Leadership Team will create a referral based on the information available.

Interventions refer to the several ways that the BCT responds to students on an individualized and case-by-case basis. Determinations as to which interventions are appropriate and/or mandatory are made by the Chair based on the individualized assessment of the situation, with input from relevant BCT members. Interventions may be modified and/or expanded based the unique circumstances of the individual case, and at the discretion of any member of the BCT Leadership Team. The purpose of all interventions is to de-escalate risk, address student behavior with appropriate degrees of accountability and support, and balance the needs and rights of the individual student with those of the University community.

 

Interventions may have one or more required components (mandates), or may be strictly optional (recommendations) depending on the individualized assessment of the situation. When an intervention is mandated, then the failure of a student to complete the stated requirements may subject the student to expedited disciplinary action under 201(10)(e) of the Community Standards, “Failure to comply with the administrative action of the Behavioral Concerns Team or Office of the Dean of Students.” In some cases, such as failing to comply with a Statement of Expectations (see below), non-compliance may subject a student to suspension or dismissal from the University, subject to appeal.

 

The following is a non-exhaustive list of some interventions commonly utilized by the BCT in responding to student concerns. The determination of appropriate interventions and the specific components and details thereof is always based on a case-by-case, individualized assessment of the situation, and are never assigned based on actual or perceived disability.

 

Click to jump down to each intervention description:

CARE Referral

Short for “Coordinated Assistance and Resource Education,” CARE encompasses relatively informal services and advocacy available through the DOS. Such services may include outreach on behalf of a student to faculty or other campus partners, connecting students with appropriate campus or community resources, or simply checking in with a student to offer guidance and support, among other actions. Students need not be referred through BCT to take advantage of this resource; CARE is among the services already provided by the DOS.
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Referral to OSCCR (for Conflict Resolution)

In cases where the concerning behavior appears to stem from a dispute or ongoing conflict between a student and another individual, a referral may be made to the OSCCR for conflict resolution services to be offered to the student. Conflict resolution services include a spectrum of individualized services intended to assist students who are experiencing conflict to develop skills in self-advocacy, empathizing, problem-solving, and interest-based negotiation. Services include: Conflict Coaching (guidance to students about engaging in conflict more effectively); Mediation (a facilitated, structured session to resolve conflict using a neutral third party); Council (also known as “peacemaking circle,” a session for groups to foster open dialogue, honesty, and attentive listening); and Restorative Justice (a formal process of dialogue between harmed parties and those who caused the harm, with the intent to restoring relationships and repair harm in a community).
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Mandated Assessment

In cases where a student’s behavior poses a serious threat to the safety, health, or well-being of any member of the campus community, a mandated mental health assessment (“mandated assessment”) may be an appropriate intervention. Such an assessment may be mandated only by the Dean or Chair, and typically must be conducted at or in coordination with the Wellness Center. As part of this intervention, the student attends an appointment at the Wellness Center to meet with a psychologist, psychiatrist, or social worker, as the circumstances require. Students will be asked – and in some cases may be required – to complete a release of information (ROI) form to enable the Wellness Center and/or community mental health providers to communicate directly with the BCT Leadership Team. If a student prefers to have the assessment conducted by an independent mental health provider that can be arranged, though in such an instance a release may be required for the provider to share necessary information with the University.

 

Following the completion of a mandated assessment, a student may be required to follow up one or more times with the Case Manager to ensure successful adjustment and provide an opportunity for ongoing evaluation of the student’s behavior, well-being, resource needs, and ability to meet academic and conduct requirements.
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Referral to OSCCR (for Student Conduct)

In cases where the concerning behavior also appears to be a violation of Loyola’s Community Standards (which includes the Code of Conduct), a referral may be made to the OSCCR to address the behavior through the formal student conduct process. In such cases, a modified version of the BCT referral will be sent to the OSCCR for expedited processing. This intervention includes all the typical elements ordinarily associated with the conduct process, including notice to the student (now a “respondent”) of the alleged violation, a full investigation if needed, an opportunity for a hearing to review the referral and determine responsibility, and if appropriate, assigned sanctions ranging from a warning to University Suspension or Dismissal.
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Statement of Expectations

At times a student’s behavior, whether or not it includes a violation of the Community Standards, may place one or more individuals at a heightened risk of harm or cause a substantial disruption to the University community. When a student’s behavior poses a threat to the safety, health, or well-being of any member of the campus community, causes a significant disruption in the campus community, and/or interrupts the operations of the University, the BCT may provide a student with a Statement of Expectations (“SOE”) outlining a particular course of action. An SOE may include mandates and/or recommendations.

The SOE is an individualized plan, based on the demonstrated behavior of a student and never assigned based on actual or perceived disability. The exact parameters and/or actions required in an SOE depend on the unique circumstances of the student’s situation and the concerning behavior. Students disputing the contents of an SOE may provide their own medical documentation and have a right to an interactive discussion before an SOE is finalized.

 

Some examples of elements in an SOE include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • regular check-in meetings with a designated staff member (often the Case Manager)
  • participation in a specific treatment program for mental health or substance abuse recovery (IOP, PHP, etc.)
  • refraining from alcohol and/or drug use
  • developing and following a care plan in consultation with a community provider or the Wellness Center
  • reduction of the conduct at issue so that the student may safely participate in the campus community
  • specific expectations for reporting any needs or problems that the student is likely to encounter

An SOE that includes mandates to which a student objects is subject to appeal. Please see Appeals, below.
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While Loyola has no standardized University-wide process for requesting a “leave of absence,” students experiencing distress or who are otherwise at risk may benefit most from stepping away from the University entirely for a period of time. Depending on the individualized assessment of the student’s situation, such absences may be short-term, such as a temporary hospitalization, or long-term, such as a withdrawal from the University for the remainder of a semester or longer. In most cases the BCT Leadership Team will work with a student and/or the student’s family to arrange a mutually agreeable plan for temporary or long-term absences/withdrawals. In certain limited cases, however, based upon an individualized assessment, a student may be withdrawn from the University involuntarily under the authority of the Dean.

 

The academic, financial, residential, and other consequences of leaving the University for any period of time vary greatly based on the circumstances requiring the absence, when in the semester the absence occurs, the expectations and/or policies of the college or course professors, the student’s financial aid package, etc. It is the hope of the BCT that in all cases the impact to a student’s academic and financial situation can be minimized. To this end, the Case Manager and Chair will often conduct outreach on a student’s behalf. However, the BCT is not authorized to supersede other applicable University policies.

 

Click to jump down to the following subsections:

Temporary Absence

In some circumstances where a student is absent for a short period (and is able to return and/or complete the coursework during the same semester) due to concerning behavior(s) reported or otherwise known to the BCT, the Case Manager will coordinate the process to facilitate the student’s return to campus. Depending on the circumstances, a “DOS” hold may be placed on the student’s LOCUS account, and their campus card and/or residence hall access may be suspended temporarily. Before returning to campus and resuming studies/residency, a student who has been absent temporarily for a BCT-related matter may be required to meet with a member of the BCT Leadership Team before returning to campus. When warranted by an individualized assessment of the situation, the student may also be required to complete the Behavioral Clearance Process (see below) and may also be required to sign a Statement of Expectations (“SOE”).
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Voluntary Withdrawal

When a student will be away for an extended period and/or will be unable to complete the coursework during a given semester (such as an extended hospitalization, stay at home, or stay in a rehabilitation facility), the student may be asked to coordinate return with a member of the BCT Leadership Team. When warranted by the individual circumstances at hand, such an intervention may be mandated before the student may return to campus. The decision to permit a student to return is always made on an individualized basis. When warranted by an individualized assessment of the situation, the student may be required to complete the Behavioral Clearance Process (see below) and/or be provided a Statement of Expectations. If the student has been absent for longer than one full semester, then the student will also need to reapply for admission through the Office of Undergraduate Admissions or other professional program.

For more information about the University’s policies pertaining to withdrawals, please see the following:

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Involuntary Withdrawal

Students whose behavior indicates a substantial risk of the student causing serious harm to any member of the campus community that cannot be managed adequately, may be withdrawn from the University by the Dean of Students. In such cases, the BCT Chair, after investigation of the incident(s), review of relevant documents, interactive discussion with the student if possible, and consideration of any relevant documentation provided by the student, will make a recommendation to the Dean of Students that the student be involuntarily withdrawn. If the Dean elects to withdraw the student, the rationale for the decision, the length of time for the leave, and the conditions for re-enrollment will be communicated in writing to the student. A “DOS” hold will be placed on the student’s account preventing reenrollment. When warranted by an individualized assessment of the situation, before re-enrolling, the student may be required to complete the Behavioral Clearance Process, and/or may be required to sign a Statement of Expectations. The student may also need to reapply for admission through the Office of Undergraduate Admissions or other professional program.

 

An Involuntary Withdrawal is subject to appeal. Please see Appeals, below.
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Behavioral Clearance Process

Students who seek to resume study and/or return to on-campus housing after an absence, leave, withdrawal, hospitalization, or other interruption in study due to unsafe behavioral concerns may – based on case-by-case consideration of the circumstances – be invited or required to go through the behavioral clearance process. The clearance process includes an individualized assessment, typically conducted at or in coordination with the Wellness Center, of the student’s readiness to rejoin the student body safely. The health provider conducting the assessment shares their recommendations with the Dean, Chair, or Case Manager, who then meets with the student to discuss the recommendations of the provider and seek a mutually agreeable plan for the student to resume classes and/or return to the student’s residence. This process is typically facilitated by the Case Manager, and all recommendations or mandates are determined on a case-by-case-basis. Once a student is known to be eligible to return, the student is provided with instructions on how to proceed.
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Tuition Insurance

Loyola partners with A.W.G. Dewar, Inc., to offer tuition insurance for students and their families to supplement Loyola’s refund policy.  This is a private insurance program that provides a refund of up to 75% of tuition and mandatory fees if a withdrawal occurs, due to accident or illness, after the beginning of a semester or quarter.  For more information on this program, click here.
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A student has 72 hours from the time of the written notice of (a) a required SOE, (b) an involuntary withdrawal, or (c) another mandated intervention, to appeal some or all of the required action. Appeals must be directed to the Vice President of Student Development or designee (often the Dean of Students, if the Dean was not involved in the original decision) and must be in writing (email is preferred). Appeals must state the reasons for the appeal and the desired resolution. In most cases, appeals will be considered within five business days of the request. The decision of the Vice President or designee is final within the University and not subject to further review.