Staff creates a community of CARE

” Lately, there have been enough incidents of violence in schools to worry any student or faculty member. The Crisis Assessment Response and Evaluation (CARE) is a committee comprised of select faculty members. Their goal is to help the well-being and safety of individuals, as well as the campus community as a whole.”

Lately, there have been enough incidents of violence in schools to worry any student or faculty member.

The Crisis Assessment Response and Evaluation (CARE) is a committee comprised of select faculty members.

Their goal is to help the well-being and safety of individuals, as well as the campus community as a whole.

Staff members, professors and other students are encouraged to contact the committee when they see a member of the campus community exhibiting potentially dangerous or threatening behavior.

Denine Rocco, associate vice president and dean of students, chairs CARE.

Many campuses generally don’t know how to deal with potentially threatening behaviors, she said.

She explained that other students are often worried about getting the threatening student in trouble.

CARE has been at the University of Akron for approximately one and a half years.

Rocco pointed out that many similar committees have formed around the nation as a response to school shootings.

If the university can better connect the dots, they can address concerns before they reach the magnitude of Virginia Tech, she said.

A student doesn’t have to violate the code of conduct for someone to address their behavior with CARE.

Rocco explained that some students may behave in a way that others simply see as not right.

As an example, a professor may see a student exhibiting threatening behavior through a paper they wrote.

The professor could then contact CARE, where a committee member will assess the information and talk with the professor about the best way to deal with or approach the student.

If alcohol or drug problems are involved, CARE provides referral information.

Behaviors inside the classroom aren’t the only type that can cause panic.

Rocco said that they have talked to people concerned with things they have seen on social networking sites, such as Facebook.

Rocco mentioned that they sometimes get multiple reports of the same student exhibiting strange behavior.

She said that if CARE hears concerns about the same student from more than one source, they put more focus on that student and getting them help.

The core members of CARE include Dr. Stacey Moore, director of the office of accessibility, Juanita Martin, counseling center director, Melissa Alford-Snyder, director of student judicial affairs and John Reilly, vice president and associate general counsel.

It also consists of two University of Akron police officers, Captain Alan Grad and Sergeant Brian Taylor.

Other people become involved if necessary, Rocco said.

For example, if the problem is related to their health, we bring in the director of student health.

Rocco’s favorite part of chairing CARE is leading a campus effort to ensure that we have an awareness of the many issues that our students face.

We work to the best of our abilities to make sure individuals and the campus community as a whole stay safe, she added.

Although CARE has helped many students, not all cases are successful. According to Rocco, to see a student who is really in crisis not take the help they need is the most difficult part of her position.

I would like to increase awareness of resources on campus available to students, she added.

Students or faculty members may contact Denine Rocco at drocco@uakron.edu or Dr. Stacey Moore at staceyjm@uakron.edu if they have any concerns they would like to address with CARE.