Resources of the Dean of Students Office / SOS
Your responsibilities are not to
diagnose or provide therapy; it is the development of a compassionate and
forthright conversation that ultimately helps a student in trouble find
understanding, support, and the proper therapeutic resources.
Facts about the
services of the Dean of Students Office:
The Dean of Students Office exists to help
students respond to both the unanticipated and stressful situations that may
arise during the course of a semester, as well as other situations that impact
a student’s chances for staying in school and performing well academically. The
Office also plays an important role in campus safety. The Office is staffed by
the Dean and two Assistant Deans, one of whom also serves as the Student
Ombudsman. The Dean is also responsible for the Student Conduct Office,
Disability Resource Center and On Campus Transition Program.
Supporting Our Students (SOS) -
SOS serves as the central point of information collection for students who
appear to be distressed or are acting in ways that concern those around them.
It also serves as a clearing house to direct students to a variety of other
services and interventions. Referral to SOS may result in subsequent referral
of that student to the Counseling Center, DRC, Student Health, Conduct, University
Police Department (UPD), Academic Advising or a range of other services based
on an assessment of the student’s behavior and its causes. During regular
office hours, SOS may be contacted by calling (904) 620‐1491. At other times, call UPD
at (904) 620‐2800.
Behavior that should be reported to SOS may
intent or attempt to harm self or others
or disruption of University and classroom functions
or alcohol overdose or abuse
to cope with the learning or living environment to the extent that an
inordinate amount of resources are used to address the situation
to satisfy basic personal needs to the point that there is a reasonable
possibility that serious physical harm or death might occur.
Program - A student who lacks a regular and
adequate nighttime residence or whose primary nighttime residence is a public
or private shelter designed to provide temporary residence, or a public or
private place not designed for, or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping
accommodation, may be eligible for a tuition and fee exemptions, and may be
eligible for other support services and accommodations. If you believe a
student may be homeless, please refer them to the Dean of Students Office.
Foster Care Program – Students who
have been in foster care in Florida may qualify for a tuition waiver as well as
support services. The Dean and Assistant Dean work with these students to help
them develop a plan for their success, both in and out of the classroom.
Compliance Coordination – Title IX
refers to gender-based discrimination and includes dating violence, sexual
assault and other forms of sexual misconduct. The Dean of Students serves as
the Title IX coordinator for Student Affairs. Any student who feels that they
may have suffered from gender-based discrimination, whether it be as the result
of interactions with another student, a faculty member or a staff person,
should report that behavior to a University official. The Dean will work with
the student to coordinate the provision of support services and respond to any
student illness, injury or death – Please notify
the Dean of Students Office in the event of a student’s serious illness, injury
or death. The Dean of Students will implement a set of procedures that have
been developed in order to ease the burden on family members who are acting on
behalf of the student when the student is unable to do so. The staff will
also, upon request of the family or student, notify faculty of prolonged
student absences and offer assistance in obtaining “incompletes” or a medical
withdrawal if appropriate. For clarification, the office provides notification,
and in some instances can provide documentation of the cause for the absence.
However, the office does not excuse students from class. Only the faculty
member can determine if the student can miss a class without penalty.
Mediation Program – If students or groups are in conflict and want
to pursue resolution through mediation, they may visit the Dean of Students
Office in order to request mediation services. Referrals are also received from
Student Conduct, the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life, Residence Life or
the Student Ombudsman. Students can also apply to participate in mediation
training and serve as peer mediators.
When working with
- Avoid not responding. If you are not sure about how to respond, simply
direct the student to the Dean of
Students Office and let them know that you are sure they can help. If you are
able, try to follow-up with the student to ask if they made it to the office
and if they were helped.
- Avoid suggesting that the problem may straighten itself out over time.
It is almost always better and easier to address and resolve them when they
occur, rather than waiting for the situation to become more complex over time.
- Try not to act overwhelmed or shocked by what
they are telling you. Many students feel
as though they are the only one who has ever encountered a particular problem.
In reality, they are never alone. Though they may feel that way, most students actually
experience problems very similar to others. And remember, these are
professionals who understand and treat every student who comes to the office
with respect and sensitivity.