Story by Leah Bosch, on behalf of the Classified Personnel Council
Colorado State University is a diverse community of more than 7,000 faculty and staff, tens of thousands of students, and countless volunteers. CSU consists of nine colleges and over 100 departments stretched across multiple campuses and locations. When any one of us has a question, concern, or need, the system can seem very complex. There are many resources for employees and students, and although each resource is invaluable, the Classified Personnel Council would like to familiarize the campus community with an essential resource for safety and security – the Tell Someone program.
What is it?
The program began in 2011 as an early intervention program. Following the Virginia Tech shooting, many universities identified a need for a platform that campus concerns could be reported to. In the Virginia Tech case, there were about 20 reports regarding the shooter’s behavior, but all reports were made to different groups, and the total number of warning signs ended up slipping through the cracks. Tell Someone hopes to provide a universal platform for people to report students or employees who may be a threat to safety (to themselves or others), struggling with mental health or emotional issues, or experiencing or initiating bias-related incidents.
Who coordinates the program?
Michelle Jacoby, the program coordinator, received both her bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in social work from Colorado State University. The position appealed to her, she says, because “I love working with people within a university setting. I think campus life is a unique setting that provides countless opportunities for growth and fulfillment. However, it can also be a difficult place to navigate for those in the community experiencing difficult situations. Tell Someone provides assistance in addressing the issues impacting people in the community and offers resources to support safety and well-being. It’s hard to experience growth and fulfillment without feeling safe or well, so it’s important to me to support community members in that.”
How does it work?
Anyone with a concern should either call 491-1350 or use the online referral form on their website to report the concern. If an individual may be an immediate threat to themselves or others, do not hesitate to contact CSUPD immediately. The Tell Someone team will review the report and follow up as needed within one business day of the initial contact. The goal is to assess the level of risk depending on the severity of the threat, whether it be direct or implied, and if there is any prior history of concerns. If the risk is high, the CSUPD is contacted immediately and the Employee Consult Team reviews the case for campus safety and support plans. If the risk is low or moderate, information and history for the person of concern is reviewed and an individualized response is determined based on the issue. A response may include working with other campus partners and supervisors to mitigate risk and support the person of concern.
Yehuda Berg once said, “A true community is not just about being geographically close to someone or part of the same social web network. It’s about feeling connected and responsible for what happens. Humanity is our ultimate community, and everyone plays a crucial role.”
The Classified Personnel Council urges anyone with a concern about a student or an employee not to hesitate to report the issue. If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. Learn more about the Tell Someone website.
To learn more about the Classified Personnel Council, and the resources available to staff and faculty on campus, visit their website.