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Red Folders helps student support

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College can be a huge stressor for students, and the cost of a rigorous academic load often exacerbates existing physical, mental, and behavioral health issues or creates new ones. Binghamton University’s renewed Red Folder initiative is a step to help faculty and staff recognize and effectively support students in distress.

Led by the University’s Healthy Campus Initiative, the dossier has been updated and is being republished this year with a complementary website. Hard copies of the new brief will be distributed across campus, and the website will be updated frequently to include new resources, examples of how faculty might respond in the types of frequently reported scenarios, and information additional.

The University adopted the Red Folder initiative over a decade ago to help faculty and staff recognize student difficulties so they can respond in a supportive manner and keep the University community safe, and also direct students to campus support systems. Universities across the country publish red folders, which serve as quick reference guides that faculty and staff can use if a student in their class or office shows signs of distress. The dossier lists common signs of student distress and, through a tier system that assigns urgent/concerning or urgent priority to various situations, directs faculty to the best methods of assistance and channels for reporting. appropriate.

The tier system outlines specific guidelines for how faculty and staff should respond to students in emergencies with respect to urgent/concerning scenarios. For example, a physical indicator of an emergency scenario might include observable signs of serious injury, such as cuts or bruises. In an urgent/worrying scenario, a physical indicator could include marked changes in physical appearance, such as sudden weight loss/gain.

“We know that our faculty and staff care about the well-being of our students and want to support them in the best possible way,” said Johann Fiore-Conte, Associate Vice President of Student Affairs and Director of Health and welfare. “These red folders are designed to make the many levels of support offered by the University clear and easy to consult in potentially difficult situations.”

Each level directs faculty and staff to specific referral responses and methods, ranging from setting the student aside for a conversation to submitting a CARE Team referral form or even making contact with the university police in extreme cases of imminent danger. The pack aims to help faculty and staff support students in the best way possible and illustrates the appropriate channels to use for that support. It also reminds faculty and staff of their obligations as private (as opposed to confidential) resources to report incidents of sexual violence to the Title IX Office.

The pamphlets and accompanying resources will be distributed in bulk to divisional and dean’s offices for University faculty and staff in late September. If additional copies are needed, contact [email protected]