What Should I Be Concerned About?
The following behaviors can all be important signs of distress. As a member of the UMass Lowell community, you may notice a student exhibiting one or more of the academic
signs and decide that something is clearly wrong. Or you may have a "gut-level feeling" that something is wrong. If the latter is the case, don't dismiss your feelings or feel that you need to wait for tangible "proof" that a problem exists. A simple check-in with the student may help you get a better sense of his/her situation.
- Deterioration in quality/quantity of work
- Repeated absences from class or from research lab coupled with other signs of distress.
- Disorganized or erratic performance or behavior
- Student sends frequent, lengthy, "ranting" or threatening types of emails to professor/TA
- A dramatic change in energy level (either direction)
- Worrisome changes in hygiene or personal appearance
- Frequent state of alcohol intoxication (i.e., bleary-eyed, hung-over, smelling of alcohol)
- Noticeable cuts, bruises or burns on student
- Inappropriate emotional outbursts (unprovoked anger or hostility, sobbing)
- Exaggerated personality traits; more withdrawn or more animated than usual
- Expressions of hopelessness, fear or worthlessness.
- Direct statements indicating distress
- Peer concern about a fellow student (in class, lab, residence hall, club)
It's possible that any one of these signs, in and of itself, may simply mean that a student is having an "off" day. Please note, any one serious sign (e.g., a student writes a paper expressing hopelessness and/or thoughts of suicide) or a cluster of smaller signs (e.g., emotional outbursts, repeated absence, a noticeable cut on the arm) necessitates an intervention.
If you are not sure if a student’s behavior calls for a STARs referral
, please contact the Dean of Students’ Office at 978-934-2100 to discuss your concerns.
NOTE: In cases where a student’s behavior poses an imminent threat to you or another, contact the University Police immediately at Ext. 44-911 or 978-934-2911.