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A safe campus is our responsibility

Thank you for taking the time to complete this required online educational program dedicated to campus safety by 11:59 p.m. on September 7. This is a training module for active violence prevention, preparation, and response. You will learn proactive approaches to preventing violence, preparing for emergencies, and responding to an emergency, if one occurs. You will be asked to:

Training Module

Click on each section to learn key points before watching the safety video; the online campus safety requirement for incoming students will not be marked complete until you read through this page and complete the video (log in using NetID).

1. What is concerning behavior?

Let's start with what it is not: color or ethnicity, or eccentricity or awkwardness, or strong emotions or physical self-expression, or a spirited discussion. 

Concerning behaviors are acts, communications, or other red flags that can be reasonably interpreted as potentially threatening and that may precede violence on campus. 

  • An explicit threat of violence toward another individual
  • Patterns of bullying and intimidating others
  • Highly disruptive, unsafe, hostile, aggressive, and/or violent behaviors
  • Discussing, viewing, drawing, or using weapons outside of an appropriate context

 Conversations may also reveal concerns.

  • Suicidal or homicidal ideation — including hypothetical ruminations
  • Worries about one’s own personal safety
  • Hostile feelings of perceived injustice or wrongdoing
  • Plans of retribution
  • Refusal to honor boundaries or to hear "No"

Circumstances may increase concerns.

  • Changes in work performance
  • Sudden changes in home life or personality 
  • Drug and alcohol abuse
  • Financial difficulties
  • Pending civil or criminal litigation
  • Marginalization or distancing from friends and colleagues

2. Reporting concerning behavior

Members of the Northwestern community, including faculty, staff, and students, are expected to report concerning and threatening behavior immediately.

  • Report emergencies to 911
  • Report non-emergencies to Northwestern's Director of Threat Assessment and provide any information that may help facilitate intervention and mitigate risks

 

3. What happens when you report?

Reports are reviewed by the Director of Threat Assessment and a multidisciplinary team comprised of representatives from departments across the University, the Behavioral Consultation Team (BCT). After reviewing the report, the BCT:

  • Assesses the threat and the needs of all individuals involved
  • Addresses the behavior and coordinate the University's response
  • Leverages the resources of the University to promote the best possible outcomes
  • Monitors the situation over time to ensure it remains unthreatening

You are protected from harm and retaliation

When you report a concern, Northwestern is committed to protecting you from harm and retaliation. Your anonymity is a priority and the report is handled as discreetly as possible. Some disclosure of threatening behavior — only to those who need to know — may be necessary to protect the community, to investigate, and/or to intervene in the matter. At any time, you may request assistance of the University Police, their presence, personal escort, or campus transport. You are protected by the University’s Policy on Non-Retaliation.

4. Don’t talk yourself out of it

It's important to question any idea that may dissuade you from reporting concerns. Behind each misconception below is a better idea about campus safety.

  • “I’m afraid of what will happen to me” 
    Reporters may have police escort, assistance, or stand-by in cases of imminent threat. You may request that University Police conduct a safety assessment of your area to enhance safety. You are protected from retaliation and your anonymity is a priority.
  • “I don’t want to get them in trouble” 
    All reports are assessed by a team of experts for the level of threat and the needs of individuals involved. Their goals are to enhance safety and provide resources for both the complainant and the person of concern.
  • “It’s none of my business”
    It’s all of our responsibility to enhance campus safety.
  • “Some people are just entitled to hostility” 
    No one, no matter their achievements, is above civility. It is our shared responsibility to hold everyone accountable for a campus free of hostility, bullying, intimidation, and the threat of violence.
  • “It’s just the passion of youth”
    Students are entitled to a learning environment free from violence and intimidation. It is because young minds are developing that we must protect our campus culture and hold everyone accountable to standards of conduct.
  • “They’re too powerful in the University. If I report the behavior, nothing will happen anyway.”
    Highly ranked officials are not above civility. Our standards, values, and policies apply to all.

5. Planning your approach to emergencies

For places you work or study, undertake a more systematic observation with colleagues — the members of your work or academic group. Everyone should know:

  • The location address and room number
  • Whether doors can be locked, lights turned off, and windows shaded
  • What spaces are available to shelter
  • What structures offer cover
  • What are the routes of evacuation

 


 

The below video, “Northwestern Safety Training: Run, Hide, Fight,” simulates an active shooter on campus and follows actors as they respond. Incoming undergraduate students who may find the content triggering should contact New Student and Family Programs at firstyear@northwestern.edu for information on completing the requirement using alternative means. Otherwise, please move forward to the video below; incoming students will receive completion credit once the video has played in its entirety and you progress to the completion page. 

 

Click Here to Watch Video
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