- An isolated and suspicious student is making bizarre and disruptive statements in class, and mumbling angrily about meeting his family’s expectations to succeed.
- A faculty member continues to lose his temper in meetings regarding the denial of his tenure, frightening members of the department.
- A research associate has begun to stalk a female graduate lab assistant who ended their dating relationship.
WTS has been providing threat assessment and training programs for colleges and universities for over 18 years.
- Direct Risk Assessments
- Face-to-face clinical interviews with individuals of concern, whether students, faculty, or staff employees
- Indirect Risk Assessment And Case Consultation
- Opinions and recommendations based on the information available, in the absence of or prior to a direct assessment
- Tailored programs to fit the needs of individual campuses and their teams
Campus Culture Challenges
Campus environments and culture present, along with their many advantages, certain challenges to administrators and threat assessment teams. College campuses by nature are very open and accessible. Like a mid-sized community, hundreds or thousands of individuals may enter a campus every day for various purposes. High profile campus mass murders and homicides in recent years have increased the need for appropriately staffed teams, pro-active educational efforts, and early reporting protocols. Although these events are rare, no institution is immune to their possibility. Including threat assessment expertise in team deliberations and actions is essential.
Campus policies and practices contrast with those in non-educational work settings, with their common commitment to readily available mental health, counseling, crisis intervention and other supportive services. Especially with regard to students, enlightened campus teams strive to de-emphasize an adversarial approach to case management whenever possible. Many situations of concern are rooted in the stresses experienced by more vulnerable individuals facing a difficult time in their lives. The early twenties is also the age when major mental disorders may initially become manifest. First experiences with relationship intimacy, its demands and disappointments, may challenge the stability and conduct of some. Statistics bear out the prevalence of unwelcome and intrusive relational behaviors, stalking, and forcible sex offenses on campus. With the increasing enrollment of foreign students, immigration stress and differing cultural views of expectations and conduct will affect others.
Early intervention, assessment, and providing help for at-risk students may not only prevent tragedies, but will enhance a student’s odds of eventually completing his or her studies.
Drs. Stephen White and Reid Meloy conduct a two-day campus-oriented training on threat assessment, centered on the WAVR-21 structured guide. Topics and cases presented include stalking, mental illness and violence risk, domestic violence, adolescent vs. adult mass murder, bullying, narcissism, psychopathy, and extreme ideology. Attendees learn to use the WAVR-21 screening and assessment tools. This curriculum is further described in our Program and Training Development section.
The University of California Office of the President selected Drs. White and Meloy to provide WAVR training on a system wide basis to all ten University of California campuses in 2011. References are available from other institutions with whom we have worked.