When to refer a student

The following behaviors can be signs of distress. If you think something is wrong, you are probably right. Help a distressed student by contacting the Student of Concern Team (SOCT). If you feel that you are not sure, either meet with the student to discuss your concerns, or report your concerns to SOCT and we will reach out to the student.

Academic Signs

  • Deterioration in quality/quantity of work
  • A negative change in classroom or research performance
  • Repeated absences from class or from research lab
  • Disorganized or erratic performance
  • Student sends frequent, lengthy, "ranting" or threatening types of emails 
  • Continual seeking of special provisions (e.g., late papers, extensions, postponed exams and projects)

Physical signs

  • Falling asleep in class
  • A dramatic change in energy level (either direction)
  • Worrisome changes in hygiene or personal appearance
  • Frequent state of alcohol or drug intoxication (i.e., bleary-eyed, hung-over, smelling of alcohol)
  • Noticeable cuts, bruises or burns on student

Emotional signs

  • Exaggerated personality traits; more withdrawn or more animated than usual
  • Expressions of hopelessness, fear or worthlessness; themes of suicide, death and dying in papers/projects
  • Direct statements indicating distress, family problems, or other difficulties
  • Peer concern about a fellow student (in class, lab, residence hall, club)
  • Unusual or abrupt changes in behaviors or patterns
  • Resistance to change or reasonable limits
  • Displays of paranoia or distrust
  • Online postings to social media sites that indicate a threat to self or others
  • Preoccupation with weapons, violent events or persons who have engaged in violent acts
  • References to harming others or planning a violent or destructive event
  • Evidence of depression, hopelessness, or suicidal thoughts/plans
  • Inappropriate responses such as prolonged irritability, angry outburst, or intense reactions
  • Strained interpersonal relations, isolating behaviors, or low self-esteem

If you are not sure if a student’s behavior calls for an SOCT referral, please contact Student Support & Case Management Services to discuss your concerns.

Student information is protected by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and disclosed only in the event of an emergency, health/safety risk, and/or an educational need to know basis within the institution. 

Campus staff, faculty and students may refer a student to SOCT by submitting a report through our online form that goes directly to a case manager, via phone, or by email.
Student Support and Case Management Services direct line: 303.492.7348
Dean of Students Office: 303.492.8476
Email: SOCT@colorado.edu
Online form: Report a Concern

In cases where there is imminent threat or emergency, contact the police at 911. The Case Manager and SOCT play a secondary role in emergency situations and should be contacted only after making contact with emergency response personnel.

Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
Center For Community S430
031 UCB
Boulder, CO, 80309-0031
Phone: (303) 492-8476
E-mail: studentaffairs@colorado.edu
University of Colorado Boulder
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