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UTA introduces BIT

By Meagan Elias
Staff Writer

UT Arlington’s department of Student Conduct staff opens a new window this year for students exhibiting high-risk behaviors. 

 It serves as a resource for faculty, staff and students to talk about the needs of students who are experiencing major behavioral disorders, such as threatening actions or suicidal language. The team also covers violence to self, campus and the community.

“We started this organization for students who had nowhere else to express their feelings,” said Heather Snow, director of Student Conduct.  

BIT promotes a culture of support to help guarantee the students’ safety and the safety of the campus community.

 “I feel that students will be more comfortable talking about their behavioral issues with peers on campus, rather than a stranger they just met,” Snow said as she smiled.

UT Arlington’s student conduct office held an event on campus about the dangers of drunk driving. The guest speaker introduced the Behavioral Intervention Team and gave fliers about the organization.

“The team is looking forward to students being more involved with the safety of their own campus and coming together to help the community,” said Cheyenne Hernandez, assistant director of Residential Student Conduct.

The BIT website provides information and tips about how to deal with incidents on campus or in the community. The website makes it easy to refer a student, updates the student on the matter and keeps them informed at all times.

“I’m happy knowing that I helped the community out after reporting a student to the organization,” said finance junior Kristin Randolph. “I want other students to know it feels good to see you are helping out a peer as well as contributing to the campus’ protection.”

The Campus Operations and Administrations agree that the Behavioral Intervention team was established as a local ambition to prevent a catastrophe similar to the Virginia Tech shootings.

 Members of the University of Texas at Arlington with a concern regarding students who seem to be undergoing emotional distress and psychological problems or cannot handle stressful situations should immediately be referred to the BIT chair, as reported by the Office of Student Affairs.  

UT Arlington’s Behavioral Intervention team gears up for their first meeting for the spring semester of 2013. Photo courtesy of uta.edu/bit.

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