There are many behaviors and circumstances that may indicate an increasing risk for violence, or that a person is in need of assistance. Recognizing and reporting early signs of a potentially dangerous situation is crucial to violence prevention. Your participation is the first step to keeping our campus safe.

Therefore, when concerned, you should always get in touch with DPS at 315-443-2224, by emailing or texting, by using the LiveSafe app to reach DPS, or complete a Silent Witness report through EthicsPoint.

If you are comfortable doing so, you can also tell an individual who is exhibiting concerning behavior (but not actually threatening you or someone else) that you are concerned and ask if s/he needs help. If they do, you can refer them to the below list of services for students and employees:

  • For students – The SU Counseling Center, 315-443-4715
  • For employees (faculty and staff) – Contact Carebridge at 800-437-0911 24 hours a day, 7 days a week


Threatening behavior includes, but is not limited to:

  • Physical actions short of actual physical contact and/or injury, such as moving closer aggressively, waving arms or fists, yelling in an aggressive or threatening manner
  • General oral or written threats (in any medium, including email and social media) to people or property, such as, “You better watch your back” or “I’ll get you” or “I’ll ruin your car”
  • Threats made in a “joking” manner
  • Stalking behavior
  • Implicit threats, such as, “You’ll be sorry” or “This isn’t over yet”


Other potential warning signs for violent behavior:

  • Explicit statements about harming someone
  • Social isolation
  • Changes in behavior (sudden or otherwise)
  • Change in academic performance
  • Unexplained absenteeism
  • Increase in alcohol or drug use
  • Anxiety or uncertainty about family/relationships/situations
  • Explicit statements about harming someone
  • Attempts to harm or kill self
  • Conflicts with others
  • Lack of energy or chronic fatigue
  • Bizarre behavior
  • Change in appearance/declining hygiene
  • Sending disturbing messages (i.e. texts, e-mails, letters) to students/staff/faculty.
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Displays paranoia
  • Alienates him/herself from others/family
  • Loss of job/income/relationship
  • Disruptive behavior/irritability/abrasive towards another
  • Coursework content that is alarming
  • Depression or nervousness
  • Identifying with other persons who engaged in past violence toward others
  • Making statements that support the use of violence to resolve issues


Violence, especially violence targeted towards a specific victim, most commonly stems for the interaction of four factors:

S – The subject who may take violent action: resistance to change or reasonable limits, extreme or sudden changes in behavior, difficulty learning from past experiences, alienation from others or self-isolation.

T – The vulnerabilities of the target or victim: consistency of travel/movement patterns, denial in the face of clear threat posed, lack of concern for personal safety

E – An environment that facilitates, permits, or does not discourage violence, as evidenced in part by: chronic or unresolved conflict, high perceived levels of stress among community members

P – Any precipitating events that may trigger reactions: losses (of job, status, relationship), perceived rejection or injustice, being ostracized by others.