Behavioral Intervention Team

The purpose of the Walla Walla University Behavioral Intervention Team (BIT) is to evaluate and address student behavior that may be inappropriate or concerning, and to coordinate the resources of the university and surrounding community to intervene and provide reasonable supports.

Seek intervention and/or support for a student who is experiencing behavioral concerns

In order to promote the safety and health of all WWU student, the BIT addresses student behaviors that are disruptive and/or perceived as a threat to themselves or others in order to help protect the health, safety and welfare of the students and members of the University campus. The BIT serves as the centralized, coordinated body for discussion and action regarding student exhibiting suicidal, self-injurious and other behaviors which might pose a threat to student and/or others in the University community. The goal of the BIT is to aid in developing support plans to encourage student health, well-being and academic success by an active process of threat assessment and behavioral intervention.

The Behavioral Intervention Team consists of a multi-disciplinary group of WWU faculty, staff and administrators whose mission is to:

  • Provide a structured, positive method for addressing student behaviors that impact the University community and may involve mental health and/or safety issues
  • Meet regularly to support students by identifying patterns, trends and disturbances in the behavior of an individual or group
  • Evaluate the nature of a reported behavior or incident to assess level or risk
  • Determine appropriate course of action to respond to a behavioral concern and initiate intervention or response to prevent a situation from escalating further
  • Coordinate resources and follow-up to ensure comprehensive response and care
  • Manage each case individually
  • Balance the individual needs of the student and those of the greater campus community

Any member of the University community who has reason to believe that a student may pose a direct threat to him/herself or others may report the concern by contacting the assistant vice president/dean of student at (509) 527-2542 or

Points of contact 

Howard Munson
Assistant Vice President for Student Life
(509) 527-2542

Jon Nickell
Director of Residential Life and Housing
(509) 527-2539

Campus Security
(509) 527-2222


Behavioral Intervention Team Members:

  • Assistant vice president for student life/dean of students, BIT chair
  • Director of Campus Security
  • Associate vice president for Academic Administration
  • Director of Residential Life and Housing
  • Associate director of Counseling and Testing Center
  • Director of Marketing and University Relations
  • Assistant to the president for diversity
  • Dean of the school of Social Work and Sociology
  • Disability Support Services
  • Student Success Coordinator

Types of Threats

A threat is an expression of intent to do harm or act out violently against someone or something. It may be spoken, written, or symbolic. Threats can be expressed directly or indirectly to the victim or to others, and threats may be explicit or implied. Threats sometimes, but rarely, actually involve guns or explosive devices. Many students who make a threat will never carry it out. Conversely, others who pose a real danger may not make an explicit threat. Threats may be communicated to the intended victim or related to a third party. A threat to harm others can be transient (i.e., expression of anger or frustration that can be quickly or easily resolved) or substantive (i.e., serious intent to harm others that involves a detailed plan and means).

Examples of transient threats:

  • Non-genuine expression
  • Non-enduring intent to harm
  • Temporary feelings of anger
  • Tactic in argument
  • Intended as a joke or figure of speech
  • Resolved on scene or in office (time-limited)
  • Ends with apology, retraction, or clarification

Examples of substantive threats:

  • Specific and plausible details such as a specific victim, time, place, and method
  • Repeated over time or conveyed to differing individuals
  • Involves planning, substantial thought, or preparatory steps
  • Recruitment or involvement of accomplices
  • Invitation for an audience to observe threat being carried out
  • Physical evidence of intent to carry out threat (e.g., lists, drawings, written plan)

Substantive threats can be painful (e.g., bruising) and/or very serious (e.g., kill, rape, inflict severe injury, or involve the use of weapons).