Students on the Pace Pleasantville Campus

RED CARD: Recognizing and Reaching Out to Students of Concern

This informational guide provides resources to help faculty and staff recognize and assist students of concern. As staff and faculty, you are often the first to see distressed and/or disruptive students. As such, you are in a position to encourage and help students connect to the support they need. Your expression of concern and offering of resources could be critical in helping to save a student from emotional, academic, and other distress.

When faced with a disruptive or distressed student, the most important first step is to determine if there is danger to anyone.

  • If there is immediate danger to anyone, call 9-1-1 and then Pace Security
  • If you are not certain about immediate danger, call Pace Security and/or the Counseling Center for consultation and input. After hours, Pace Security can contact the on-call counselor
  • If there is no danger but the student is having academic and/or personal issues, refer them to the appropriate campus resource(s)

(See resources and numbers at bottom of the page)

First Alert Team

Led by the Dean for Students office, this multidisciplinary team from key University offices intervenes when a student’s well-being is of concern. When necessary, team members will contact a student to support the student and to help them create an action plan for success. If you are concerned about a student’s well-being, please complete a Student of Concern report by clicking on the blue “New Incident” button on the Guardian platform. Email the Dean for Students (Pleasantville) or Dean for Students (New York City) or Dean for Students (White Plains) if you have any questions.


Also led by Dean for Students office, the CARE Team is committed to improving campus safety through a proactive, collaborative, objective, and thoughtful approach to prevention, identification, assessment, intervention, and management of situations that pose or could pose a threat to the safety and well-being of the campus community. If you believe there is an individual and/or situation that is posing such a threat or you are concerned for the immediate safety of a student, immediately contact Security on the appropriate campus. Please also complete a Student of Concern report by clicking on the blue “New Incident” button on the Guardian platform.

Observe signs. Pay attention to clusters, frequency, duration and severity of signs. Then prepare, voice, act, and wrap up.

Academic Signs

  • Test anxiety
  • Discrepancy between potential and actual achievement
  • Repeated absences
  • Excessive procrastination
  • Uncharacteristically poor work
  • Repeated requests for special consideration and/or extensions
  • Morbid or bizarre themes on assignments
  • Behavior that regularly interferes with the decorum of the classroom
  • Shift in discussion from academic to personal issues

Physical Signs

  • Marked change in personal hygiene
  • Dramatic weight gain or weight loss
  • Impaired speech, garbled/disjointed thoughts
  • High levels of irritability
  • Unruly, aggressive, or abrasive behavior
  • Disorientation, seeming "out of it"
  • Frequent falling asleep in class, listlessness, other sleep disturbances
  • Emotions displayed to an extreme degree or for a prolonged period
  • Excessive drinking or drug use
  • Behavior that regularly interferes with public decorum

Interpersonal Signs

  • Disclosure of personal distress
  • Withdrawal from others
  • Extreme dependency on others
  • Recent traumatic experiences or losses
  • Expressed concern about the student by peers
  • Stalking or harassing
  • Delusions or paranoia
  • Verbal abuse

Emergency Signs

  • Direct or indirect expression of suicidal thoughts
  • Direct or indirect expression or homicidal thoughts
  • Severe loss of emotional control
  • Gross impairment in thinking ability
  • Loss of connection with reality
  • Physical violence
  • Written or verbal threats


  • Trust your instincts and observations and be proactive
  • Consult with the Counseling Center and/or other campus resources, including your supervisor, to discuss issues and courses of action
  • Identify campus and community resources for the student
  • If safe, find a private spot to meet with student
  • Allow sufficient time to talk
  • Attend to your safety, consider letting colleagues know about a difficult upcoming conversation and its location and time
  • If you decide not to have direct contact with the student, refer the situation to another appropriate University resource


  • Share your observations and concerns directly and calmly
  • Be specific about the behaviors or communications that have raised your concerns
  • Listen and repeat back what the student shares
  • Avoid challenging or becoming argumentative with the student
  • Recognize the student's distress
  • Ask directly if the student wants to hurt himself or others. This will not put these ideas into the student's head
  • Balance your inability to promise confidentiality with respecting the student's privacy
  • Highlight the importance of the student getting some professional and other support


  • Share referrals and resources
  • Assist the student in contacting these referral sources
  • If possible, offer to walk the student to the appropriate resource
  • Reiterate this and any other steps the student should take
  • Encourage the student to keep the appointment and set up a follow up with the student
  • Help the student also identify personal supports in their life
  • Normalize getting help, highlighting how many students do so with great success during their college and graduate school years

Wrap Up...

  • Keep a written summary of all contact with the student and others around the issue
  • Consult with your supervisor and/or the Counseling Center after an incident
  • Set up a follow up appointment with the student
  • Consider a referral to the CARE Team
  • If desired or warranted, complete a Guardian Report

Important Resources And Telephone Numbers

IN AN EMERGENCY: Call 9-1-1 and then Pace University Security: Pleasantville (914) 773-3400 or New York City (212) 346-1800 or White Plains (914) 422-4111

University Resources

  • Academic Success (Law School) (914) 422-4108
  • Athletics (Student Success and Services) - Westchester: (914) 773-3684
  • Center for Student Engagement - New York City: (212) 346-1590
  • Center for Student Engagement - Pleasantville: (914) 773-3767
  • Community Standards and Compliance: (914) 597-8784
  • Counseling Center - New York City: (212) 346-1526
  • Counseling Center - Westchester: (914) 773-3710
  • Dean for Students - Pleasantville: (914) 773-3351
  • Dean for Students - New York City: (212) 346-1306
  • Dean for Students - White Plains: (914) 422-4146
  • Human Resources: (914) 923-2730
  • International Students and Scholars Office: (212) 346-1368
  • LGBTQA+ Center - New York City: (212) 346-1966
  • LGBTQA+ Center - Pleasantville: (914) 773-3628
  • Learning Center - New York City: (212) 346-1329
  • Learning Commons - Westchester: (914) 773-3721
  • Office of Institutional Equity and Title IX Compliance Office: (212) 346-1310
  • Office of Multicultural Affairs - New York City: (212) 346-1546
  • Office Multicultural Affairs - Westchester: (914) 773-3628
  • Office of Residential Life and Housing - Pleasantville: (914) 597-8777
  • Office of Residential Life and Housing - New York City: (212) 346-1295
  • Office of Residential Life and Housing - White Plains: (914) 422-4136
  • Office of Sexual and Interpersonal Wellness - New York City: (212) 346-1931
  • Office of Sexual and Interpersonal Wellness - Westchester: (914) 597-8783
  • Pace Women’s Justice Center: (914) 287-0739
  • Student Accessibility Services - New York City: (212) 346-1526
  • Student Accessibility Services - Westchester: (914) 773-3201
  • Student Services and Campus Affairs (Law School): (914) 422-4107
  • University Health Services - New York City: (212) 346-1600
  • University Health Services - Westchester: (914) 773-3760

In The Community (Westchester)

  • Hope’s Door Domestic Violence Shelter/Support: (888) 438-8700
  • The Loft: LGBTQA Community Services Center: (914) 948-2932
  • My Sister’s Place Domestic Violence Center/Support: (800) 298-7233
  • Victims Assistance Services: (914) 345-9111

In The Community (New York City)

  • Safe Horizon (Victim Assistance): (212) 577-7700
  • Sanctuary for Families Domestic Violence Shelter: (212) 349-6009
  • Sexual Assault and Violence Intervention Program (SAVI): (212) 423-2140
  • The LGBT Community Center: (212) 620-7310

PRIVACY STATEMENT: The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) permits communication about a student experiencing a health or safety emergency. Observation of a student’s behavior are not FERPA protected. With appropriate consideration for student privacy, this information should be shared with University personnel.

Sometimes we need mental health information and resources more immediately. Just In Case supplies potentially life-saving mental health information to Pace University students, staff, and faculty by putting vital information and support options at your fingertips, just in case you or a friend needs help.

View a printable version of the Red Card (Westchester) (PDF) and the Red Card (New York City) (PDF)