BIT will take reasonable steps to maintain the privacy of those who make a referral to BIT, if requested, but confidentially cannot be guaranteed. On occasion, due to the nature of the reported concern, the reporter may be evident to the student of concern or may need to be revealed to the student of concern to facilitate the appropriate response.

The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act, otherwise known as FERPA, provides students’ rights of access to their education records and ensures that such records will not be disclosed to others without their prior written consent. Implicit in FERPA is the high value students are entitled to place both on their private education records and upon their freedom to choose when to make public their own records. FERPA protection, however, is not absolute.

Recently enacted changes to FERPA give University officials greater flexibility in releasing student information in the case of a health and safety emergency. The changes to FERPA clarify disclosures in a health and safety emergency, removing strict construction of this exception, and allowing disclosure if there is an articulable and significant threat to the health or safety of a student or other individual(s). In health and safety emergencies, FERPA permits sharing of information amongst university officials and with outside entities in order to protect the health or safety of the student or other individuals. Since the BIT is responsible for identifying, responding to, and supporting at risk students, please be advised that health and safety emergencies may require disclosure of student education records to protect the health or safety of the student or other individuals.

Please know that student privacy is a high priority of the BIT. Records and proceedings of the BIT are kept confidential and shared only on a “need to know” basis in a manner that is consistent with FERPA and University policy and procedures. These changes also require the University to record information concerning the circumstance of the emergency and list of State and local educational authorities and Federal officials and agencies that may make further disclosure of the student’s education record without consent.

When a referral is submitted, the Office of Student Conduct evaluates each report and contacts all members of BIT to assess any resources needed and collaboratively develop an action plan with the student to reduce obstacles for their success at Marshall University.

If an incident is determined best fit for a BIT response, it will be referred to the BIT. During the regular BIT meetings, all student reports are reviewed and a follow-up action plan is determined by members of the team.  In cases of an emergency student situation, a BIT meeting is typically convened within 24 hours to develop an appropriate response.

BIT members will assist the student in coordinating with existing campus resources currently being utilized by the student, help get them referred to new campus resources, and then work with the student to monitor progress. In the event that a student is perceived to be at risk of harm to self or others, BIT may coordinate with appropriate University offices to assist the student.

BIT may determine that there is no need to take any further action but will monitor the situation and concern.

Contact the team for issues that can’t be easily defined as a student conduct violation (which is reported to the Office of Student Conduct), or an emergency situation (which should be reported to the Marshall University Police Department), or a perceived or present threat or imminent danger (which should be reported to the Marshall University Police Department).

The team operates prior to a student issue becoming a conduct issue and/or emergency situation. If you have a concern about a student’s behavior, you may want to contact a team member. Note that counseling requires the student’s participation. However, the team reviews the situation and determines which strategies to use and which college resources will be used to address the behavior.

Any person who feels a student is a threat to themselves and/or the community can make a BIT referral (including students, parents, faculty and staff, and other community members).

Whenever possible, you should express your concern(s) directly with the student. However, should you have any concern about your safety or the safety of others, your best course of action for the safety of all involved is to contact the BIT or MUPD.

You do not have to make this determination; the BIT will do it for you. The most critical step is that you report your concern. If another campus resource is more appropriate, the BIT will refer the student and handle the transfer of information.

Every effort is made to make the BIT process private. That being said, there may be times when it is not possible for the process to remain confidential. Please refrain from promising confidentiality to a student referred to the BIT.

The BIT and its processes are FERPA protected similar to other student educational records. If the BIT determines that you have a legitimate educational need to know about the matter, you may have access to these records.

You can always contact the Office of Student Conduct or Office of Advocacy and Support for consultation on a concern. Staff can provide tips, ideas and resources on how to best approach a situation.

BIT will address every report that is brought to the committee. BIT processes typically involve handling of confidential information, so those filing reports will not necessarily know the resolution of a situation. If you continue to have concerns about the situation, please contact the Office of Student Conduct.

Anonymous entries will be addressed by the BIT. However, you are encouraged to identify yourself because this may assist the BIT if clarification or additional information is needed. Submitting your name also gives your report more credence. 

You may contact the Office of Student Conduct or any of the other members of the BIT.