Student Handbook: Self Harm Policy
Biola University endeavors to provide a safe and orderly environment, insofar as possible, in which all students are able to pursue their academic and social development. In doing so, it reserves the right to implement a disciplinary process, which may culminate in the suspension or dismissal of any student who does not meet minimal and reasonable behavioral standards. The University also expects that the actions of any student not pose an objective danger to self, not pose a direct threat to the health and/or safety of others, and not significantly jeopardize the educational process of other students.
Danger to Self
Danger to self is defined as any direct act, or planned act, that places a person at reasonable risk of self-induced bodily harm or loss of life (see also policy on “Suicide Assessment”). This would include actual and/or planned acts of suicide, self-mutilation, substance overdoses, consistent purging, unhealthy dietary restriction, etc. Additionally, students posing danger to themselves through the use of weapons and/or substances may face other sanctions as imposed by the University and/or by law enforcement agencies.
Danger to Others
Danger to the health or safety of others is defined as any act, or planned act, that places another student, member of the faculty or staff, or any campus visitor at reasonable risk of bodily harm, exposure to illness, loss of life, or destruction of property. Further, a student may be considered to pose a direct threat to the health of others if current medical information indicates that the student's behavior and/or medical condition could reasonably expose others to illness or disease. This exposure risk must exceed that commonly found in community environments and would include a student's possession of a presently contagious illness or disease and/or failure to maintain appropriate hygiene.
Jeopardizing the Educational Process
Jeopardizing the educational process of others is defined as any disruptive act that within reason impedes another student's functioning within an academic or community life setting. A violation may include a single disruptive act or ongoing acts and will usually involve complaints from students, faculty, or staff. In determining violations, an assessment will be made of the nature of the disruption, the content and frequency of the complaint(s), and the number of complainants.
While Biola University expects all students to meet the behavioral standards, it recognizes that some students possess medical or psychological conditions that may affect functioning within the behavioral rules of the University. Additionally, students may not be discriminated against on the basis of verified physical or psychological disability as determined with regard to applicable federal and/or state law provided that they remain otherwise qualified, which is defined as being able to meet the fundamental academic and behavioral standards of the University. The University thus reserves the right to determine whether medical or psychological intervention (e.g. medication, counseling) is necessary in order for the student to meet the minimal behavioral standards.
If medical or psychological intervention is needed to assist the student in meeting the behavioral standards, the University may choose to offer the student the opportunity to comply with an intervention plan as a partial or complete substitute for disciplinary action. The student may also be placed on a contract that clearly identifies the behaviors of concern, the accompanying behavioral expectations, and the length of contract. If the student does not meet the behavioral standards after assenting to an intervention plan, or if the student violates the contract, the University may take disciplinary action up to, and including, suspension or dismissal.
Suicide Assessment Program
To assist in facilitating student safety and community wellness, Student Development administrates a formal program of suicide assessment for students who evidence substantial suicidal ideation or behavior. The Student Care Team will evaluate incidents on a case by case basis and will require students who evidence substantial suicidal ideation or behavior to undergo a required assessment through the Biola Counseling Center. Students who are required to participate in the program will not be subject to disciplinary action unless violations of other behavioral or community life standards have occurred, or unless the student fails to complete the assessment program. More complete information regarding this policy can be obtained from Student Development or from the Biola Counseling Center.