Student Assistance Team
The SAT accepts referrals from any FSU community member who is concerned about the health or safety of a Framingham State University student. Once the concern is reported, the SAT will review the information and take appropriate action. This may include contacting the person making the referral, the referred student, or any others identified that may have relevant information.
The mission of the Framingham State University Student Assistance Team is to identify and respond to students of concern in a coordinated manner in order to promote student safety, success, and community well-being. Specifically, the team provides a mechanism for various community stakeholders (e.g., faculty, staff, students) to share information and refer students who are identified as in need of additional support in conjunction with what is offered by existing offices in academic and/or co-curricular aspects of student life. The goal of the team is to arrange for such support through a process of assessment, collaboration, assistance, ongoing monitoring, and appropriate communication with the referral source.
The SAT does not replace existing student conduct processes, classroom management, public safety responses, or other programs or services. SAT is not an emergency response team. Any emergency incident should be referred immediately to University Police at 508-626-4911.
What does the SAT do?
- Provides consultation and support to members of the University Community who are aware of and report students of concern.
- Responds to reports made of students in distress; gathers information to assess situations involving students of concern; engages reported students in a process to assist and/or adjust any concerning behaviors.
- Recommends appropriate intervention(s).
- Connects University community members with available campus and community resources.
- Monitors ongoing distress or behaviors of students of concern.
- Communicates appropriately with referral sources for follow up on reported issues.
Student Assistance Team Membership Core Team:
LaDonna Bridges, Chair, Associate Dean of Academic Success
Paul Welch, Director of the Counseling Center
Susan Dargan, Dean of Social and Behavioral Sciences
Charles Sachs, Assistant Professor, Psychology
Michelle Yestrepsky, Coordinator of Student Services, Dean of Students Office
Karen Nicholas, University Police
John Hurley, Resident Director, Residence Life
Jay Hurtubise, Director of Community Standards
When to be concerned
As a faculty or staff member who may have regular contact with students, you are in a good position to recognize when a student is in distress. A student's behavior, especially if it is inconsistent with your previous observations, could be a sign that the student is struggling and needs help.
Signs suggesting a student may be in distress
- Not attending classes
- Increased dependence on a faculty/staff member (e.g., making numerous appointments, hanging around your office or after class)
- Excessive procrastination
- Uncharacteristically poor school work
- Inconsistent school work
- Repeated requests for special consideration
- Repeated confiding in faculty/staff about personal problems
- Worrisome or unusually personal content presented verbally or in written assignments
- Behavior that regularly disrupts class
- Complaints from other students about the student in question
- Repeated lateness to class
- Falling asleep in class
Behavioral (what you observe):
- Significant change in physical appearance (e.g., poor grooming or hygiene, excessive change in weight)
- Excessive energy (e.g., loud tone of voice, high level of activity, rapid speech)
- Inability to focus in a conversation or activity
- Thinking or speech that is disorganized, difficult to follow, or aggressive
- Strong mistrust of other people
- Violent or aggressive outbursts
- Irritable, sad, or depressed mood
- Reference to suicide or homicide (verbally or in written communication; direct or indirect)
- Threatening to others
- Inappropriate responses and/or display of intense emotion
- Slurred speech, unsteady gate, or other indications of substance use
Student’s Experience (what is reported to you):
- Changes in eating or sleeping patterns
- Excessive alcohol or drug use and/or an increase in substance use
- Tearfulness, irritability, excessive sadness
- Isolating or increased anti-social behaviors
- Engaging in high risk behaviors (e.g., driving recklessly, engaging in risky sexual behavior, thrill seeking)
- Loss of interest in activities
- Difficulty concentrating or feeling motivated
- Feeling helpless or hopeless
- High anxiety or restlessness
- Suicidal or homicidal thinking or behavior