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Concerning or Threatening Behavior

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What is concerning or threatening behavior?

An individual's collective actions, inactions, words, thought processes, and frame of mind may cause others around the individual to be concerned for the safety of the individual or others. Members of the Northwestern University community are expected to report such behavior so it can be assessed in its totality, thereby preventing potentially dangerous situations.

Examples of Concerning or Threatening Behavior

  • Making known a grievance, grudge, or sense of being wronged, followed by words or actions that indicate a desire for revenge or recognition for "making things right," possibly through violence.
  • Communicating ideas or intentions that suggest dangerous or violent alternatives to "solving" problems or having no non-violent alternatives to problem-solving and accepting the consequences of such outcomes.
  • Expressing justification for violence.
  • Exhibiting highly disruptive behavior, including hostile, aggressive, bullying, intimidating, and/or violent behaviors.
  • Possession, acquisition, and/or practice with firearms, including that which is beyond what was known or considered usual for the individual.
  • Inappropriate interest in previous violent events and those who committed them, including targeted or mass violence.
  • Recent loss or perceived failure relating to a relationship, employment, academic standing, or other status and/or feeling of hopelessness or desperation.
  • Threatening, menacing, harassing, and/or stalking behaviors by any means including electronic (social media, text, email, phone, air tags, etc), physical (in-person) surveillance, use of proxies, etc.
  • Others have expressed concern about the individual's behavior.
  • Drug and/or alcohol use or abuse, particularly in combination with other factors mentioned above.
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How to report a behavior

Report online using Wildcats Aware

Any individual who has witnessed or observed concerning and/or threatening behavior on campus or off campus/virtual but involving the campus or campus community should report such behavior using this form. Reports will be handled as discreetly as possible, but disclosure of threatening behavior may be necessary to protect the health and safety of the Northwestern community.

File a Wildcats Aware Report

Learn more about this issue

Frequently Asked Questions

Who will see my report?

The Wildcats Aware form goes to Director of the Behavioral Consultation Team Dave Young, Dean of Students Mona Dugo, Deputy Chief Eric Chin of NUPD, and Senior Associate Dean of Students Chris Zacharda.

It is also potentially shared with the Dean of Students office and the BCT full team.

What will happen to me after I report?

The reporting party may be interviewed to clarify information provided or to expand upon the information provided.

What are the next steps? Will I be told the resolution or outcome of what I shared?

The reporting party may be notified of certain steps taken along the way, particularly if they are believed to be or found to be a potential target of violence or are in need of additional services, ex. mental health, police, protective orders, etc. They may be advised of the outcome of the investigation if it makes logical sense and does not disclose information in violation of pertinent policies or laws.

Know your rights: Northwestern's Non-Retaliation Policy

Northwestern's Policy on Non-Retaliation strictly prohibits retaliation against any member of its community for reporting or inquiring in good faith about suspected wrongful or unlawful activity, or participating in an investigation or proceeding related to such activity. The University considers such actions to be protected activities in which all members may freely engage without worry of negative consequences.