University of Wisconsin–Madison

Student of Concern

Day-to-day interaction with students is both a vital and essential part of being on a university campus. This interaction provides for teaching moments and creates an environment for learning which takes place both in and out of the classroom, which may include discussions with students about appropriate behaviors on campus. Occasionally, a student’s behaviors will rise above normal interactions causing a level of concern.

A student of concern is any student who is displaying behaviors that may interfere with a student’s ability to be successful at the University or disrupts the learning of others.

Are you concerned about a student? Let us help!

The Dean of Students Office offers

  • Consultation
  • Resource referral
  • Outreach
  • Coordination of outreach and information among multiple offices

Students are referred to the Dean of Students Office from a wide range of sources, including faculty, staff, family members, or other students. Generally, these individuals express a concern because they care about the students involved. They realize the best way to get the student assistance is to involve others to determine the best approach for helping the student. The goal is to avert more serious difficulties and provide support as the student works toward academic and personal success.

Examples of Concerning Behavior

  • Missing classes or irregular attendance
  • Significant change in behavior
  • Comments that are inappropriate or irrelevant to class discussion
  • Unable to control emotions
  • Poor hygiene
  • Appears intoxicated or smells of alcohol
  • Appears high or smells of marijuana
  • Very anxious
  • Appears tired or is constantly falling asleep in class
  • Concerning writing or art
  • Extreme change in weight
  • Extreme change in appearance
  • Unusual bruising or other injuries
  • Interrupting class discussions
  • Interfering with other students’ ability to learn
  • Making threats or threatening behavior
  • Talking or writing about suicide

This list is not comprehensive and may not encompass concerning behavior that you are seeing. No two student situations are the same. Remember that observing any of the behavior listed above should prompt you to reach out to that student. However, there are many resources to help with that conversation. If a student’s behavior reaches a level where you feel unsafe, call the UW Police Department at 608-264-2677 or 911.