Faculty and Staff Resources

Student Affairs offer many resources to students, and faculty / staff are encouraged to refer students to services and resources.  The Health and Wellness Center provides clinical and mental health services, online help resources and community links.  Campus Ministry provides access to food pantry (short term) and long term referrals, spiritual development.  The Dean of Student Services staff can provide short term assistance with transportation concerns, conflict resolution and other behavioral interventions.  Please visit the resource section of the Student Affairs Website for information and links to campus, crisis and community resources.

Identifying Concerns

Have you seen behaviors demonstrated by students that have concerned you about their or others’ well-being such as:

  • Discussing intent to harm self or others
  • Receipt of concerning information – Has the student shared information with you that seems to imply distress in other areas of the student’s life? Did you receive an email that shares personal information not relevant to your office, course or assignment?
  • Noticeable changes in the student’s behavior or appearance – Do you have concerns about a student’s behavior in class, meetings, office interactions? Is the student having trouble connecting with peers? Have you noticed a significant change in the student’s appearance or mood?
  • Class attendance – Has the student missed multiple classes? Have you noticed a change in the student’s attendance as the semester has progressed?
  • Assignments – Does the content of the assignment concern you or allude to other problems the student may be experiencing?

If you observe any of the above behaviors, it is important that you always report them.  If in doubt, it is better to report.

Reporting Concerns

If you observe behaviors that are concerning, you may contact Dr. Karen Gerlach, Vice President of Student Affairs at 202-884-9203, in Main Hall room 228, or by raising a Starfish flag or via email at GerlachK@trinitydc.edu to report the behavior or concern.  Referral reports from Enrollment Service, Academic Deans, Dean of Student Services, Provost, Public Safety, Campus Housing or others should be forwarded to the Vice President for Student Affairs as well.

Trinity does not have an anonymous method for reporting concerns, but Student Affairs will keep information reported confidential to the extent possible.

Intervention and Response

The Vice President for Student Affairs will provide direct and indirect follow up with persons who display behaviors of concern and connect them with appropriate resources as warranted.   The Vice President for Student Affairs provides administrative oversight and direction for the interventions.

Emergency / Medical Notifications

Student Affairs provides emergency notifications in situations where students must be absent from class due to an emergency situation but are unable to contact their faculty due to their condition.  The student is responsible for ensuring documentation is submitted appropriately to Student Affairs, and for contacting their faculty as soon as they are able to initiate arrangements for making up any missed work.  Students are asked to submit documentation directly to Student Affairs – Dr. Jacqueline Newsome-Williams or Dr. Karen Gerlach – to review with the medical and counseling professionals in the Health and Wellness Center as necessary.  Due to student privacy and HIPAA requirements, doctors’ notes and specific details of a student’s medical condition should not be shared with individual faculty members.

Emergency Notifications are not excused absences; the faculty instructor must still excuse the absence.  We encourage faculty to apply compassionate rigor in these circumstances.

Additional Student Resources

A key component of the work in Student Affairs is to provide students with information and referrals to campus, crisis and community resources.  Student Affairs is able to offer many resources to students of concern including medical and mental health services; access to the Student Affairs food pantry (short term) and long term referrals; spiritual development; short term transportation assistance; conflict resolution and other behavioral interventions.  The Student Affairs website provides information and links to resources including Child Care Resources, Social Services resources, Legal Aid Clinics, Housing Assistance and Shelters and much more.

Contact Information

 Karen L. Gerlach, Ph.D.
Vice President for Student Affairs
Main Hall room 228