Saint Joseph’s University is a community of over 8000 students and over 1000 employees, located in an urban/suburban campus of 114 acres. As such, it is a relatively large organization, yet it works to maintain a shared and collegial sense of community based on the Jesuit notion of cura personalis, or care of the whole person. To that end, Saint Joseph’s University must be aware of and responsive to the needs of the entire community when encountering emergency and traumatic events. In recognition of those needs, the Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT) was created to respond to critical incidents in the local area as well as to serve as a university contact source when students are involved in critical incidents away from the campus.
The goals of Saint Joseph’s University CIRT are:
- to coordinate and communicate the University’s responses to critical incidents involving students, faculty, and staff while paying special attention to the safety and security needs of the University community;
- to offer counseling, guidance, and appropriate support to members of the University community, their families and University caregivers, and;
- to use critical incidents, when appropriate, as “teachable moments” which may enhance the quality of life for those involved with such incidents.
With these goals in mind, Saint Joseph’s University has defined critical incidents to which the CIRT may respond to include but not be limited to:
- Death of a student (on or off campus)
- Attempted suicide when known within the community
- Life-threatening injury/illness that impacts the community
- Sexual assault when known within the community (as appropriate and in line with Title IX and Clery reporting with sensitivity to the privacy needs of those involved)
- Mental health crisis impacting the community
- Drug/alcohol overdose when known within the community
- Campus disturbance/riot
- Fire/explosion with injuries or significant damage
- Natural disasters
- Human-made disasters
- Infectious disease including epidemic and pandemic response
- National emergencies
- Hate/bias incidents that impact the student body or campus community
- Locally impacting domestic and international acts of terrorism
Saint Joseph’s University recognizes that the above list may not cover all situations that warrant CIRT intervention. Therefore, the determination of whether or not a situation needs CIRT attention will be decided by the Chair of Saint Joseph’s University’s CIRT in conjunction with members of the President’s Cabinet. Additionally, a smaller subset of the CIRT may be called to address these and other critical incidents as appropriate.