Oftentimes, parents and family members of our current students are seeking answer to the same questions surrounding everything from logistical event details for Commencement and Family Weekends, to contact information and advice for health and safety matters. We have compiled this list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to assist you in finding the answers you are looking for. If you cannot find the answer to your question, please feel free to contact us.
FAQs for Parents and Families
Health and Safety
Q: I am concerned there may be an immediate threat to my student or to others at Clarkson. What should I do?
Q:I am worried about my student, but I don't think there is an immediate threat to their or others' safety. What should I do?
Q:Where can my student go for help?
Q:If I want to report non-life threatening concerns about my student, who do I contact?
Q: I am concerned there may be an immediate threat to my student or to others at Clarkson. What should I do?
AFor any immediate threat to the safety of a student or others, please contact Campus Safety & Security at 315-268-6666 immediately. Campus Safety Security officers are on-call 24/7 and have a direct contact to Residence Life staff, Clarkson School staff, paramedics, counselors, law enforcement, or other resources as determined by the trained Safety & Security Officers.
Q: I am worried about my student, but I don't think there is an immediate threat to their or others' safety. What should I do?
If you are concerned about your student, but there is not an immediate threat to their safety or the safety of others, we encourage you to begin by urging your student to seek out assistance on their own. Your student needs to speak to the individuals representing the department with which the concern originates, for instance, Residence Life, their academic advisor, Student Success Center, etc. Our Counseling Center is also a resource available for students to seek support and help working through issues in their lives. Our staff members are trained to work with college students and help them work through concerns and problems.
Q: Where can my student go for help?
Your student should reach out to Residence Life if they are having roommate conflicts, to Student Health and Counseling if they are experiencing physical or mental illness, or to the Student Success Center if they are experiencing test anxiety or having difficulty studying. Students can bring their academic concerns to their professor, academic advisor, or department chair, who can be identified on the Clarkson Directory. Students can get help for themselves or a friend if they have experienced harassment or discrimination by contacting the Chief Inclusion Officer/Title VI, IX, ADA/504 Coordinator or accessing the resources on this website: https://www.clarkson.edu/help. RAs are trained every semester in student support, intervention, and resources, and are a great starting point for any issue your student is experiencing. If your student isn't sure who to ask for help, tell them to contact their RA. Their RA will either be able to talk them through the situation they're experiencing or connect them with an appropriate professional staff member.
Q: If I want to report non-life threatening concerns about my student, who do I contact?
A: Many families reach out to our Dean of Students office when they are worried about their student. The Dean of Students can directly contact other offices or staff members as appropriate, including Residence Life, The Clarkson School, Student Health and Counseling, Student Success, Chief Inclusion Officer/Title VI, IX, ADA/504 Coordinator, or others. The Dean of Students may be reached at 315-268-6620.
Parents, family members, and any member of our campus community are also invited to report student concerns via Safety Net, using this simple form. Safety Net is a team of Clarkson administrators who review concerns about students and address them as appropriate. Concerns can even be reported anonymously via the form linked above.
The staff and faculty here at Clarkson are committed to helping your student be successful and safe while here at school and we truly do operate as one team to build an environment that is conducive to that success. Please encourage your student to utilize the resources available to them while instilling a sense of confidence in their ability to be successful despite challenges.
Q: How do I recognize signs of distress in my student?
A: The following symptoms can indicate a serious matter that requires professional intervention. If you become aware of any of these warning signs, encourage your student to seek the help of a professional immediately. If your student is unable to seek help, please reach out to the Dean of Students. The Dean of Students can directly contact other offices or staff members as appropriate, including Residence Life, The Clarkson School, Student Health and Counseling, Student Success, Chief Inclusion Officer/Title VI, IX, ADA/504 Coordinator, or others. The Dean of Students may be reached at 315-268-6620. For any immediate threat to the safety of a student or others, please contact Campus Safety & Security at 315-268-6666 immediately. Campus Safety & Security officers are on-call 24/7 and have a direct contact to Residence Life staff, Clarkson School staff, paramedics, counselors, law enforcement, or other resources as determined by the trained Safety & Security Officers.
- Demonstrating a sudden decline in school performance
- Disclosing being hazed, experiencing discrimination, or having been sexually harassed or assaulted
- Showing a loss of interest in or pleasure derived from activities that are usually motivating
- Exhibiting signs of depression, including feelings of sadness, emptiness, or numbness
- Reporting feelings of being stuck in an unhealthy relationship
- Sharing feelings of hopelessness, helplessness, or worthlessness
- Showing signs of an eating disorder, such as binge eating in secret, use of weight-loss drugs, compulsive exercise, denial of hunger, or signs of distorted body image
- Increasing or beginning use of alcohol and other drugs, especially suddenly
- Expressing difficulty adjusting to gender identity or sexual orientation
- Losing or gaining weight to an extreme
- Changing sleep patterns (sleeping too much or too little)
- Experiencing difficulty or an inability to concentrate
Do not be afraid to ask your student directly if they are thinking about ending their life. Having suicidal thoughts during times of extreme stress is not uncommon but your student needs to know there is help available and people who care. Call Campus Safety & Security at 315-268-6666 immediately if a student exhibits any of the following warning signs or if you have any concerns about their safety. If you’re not sure about whether or not to call, please err on the side of caution and let us know your concerns.The following list of concerns should be acted upon if encountered:
- Talking about wanting to hurt or kill themselves or others
- Obtaining or possessing a weapon or other lethal items to hurt themselves
- Talking about being trapped or in unbearable pain
- Talking about being a burden to others
- Talking about having no reason to live
- Being anxious and agitated, behaving recklessly
- Giving away treasured or personal possessions
- Displaying extreme mood swings or sudden changes in personality
- Disclosing recurring thoughts about death or violence
- Talking or writing about suicide or death
- Using alcohol or drugs during times of increased suicidal ideation
- Having a plan of what they might do to end their life
- Past history of suicide attempts and/or hospitalizations for psychiatric concerns
Q: If my residential student needs assistance and they aren't sure who to ask for help, what should they do?
A: For any incident or issue within Clarkson's residential housing, all student residents are encouraged to contact their RA. This protocol is reviewed at the beginning of each semester with the residents of each area.
If there is an immediate threat to a student's safety or the safety of others, contact Campus Safety & Security at (315) 268-6666. Campus Safety & Security officers are on-call 24/7 and have a direct contact to Residence Life staff, Clarkson School staff, paramedics, counselors, law enforcement, or other appropriate resources as determined by the trained Safety & Security Officers.
If a student or parent/family member would like to contact the Residence Life Office for non-life threatening emergencies/crisis our contact information is firstname.lastname@example.org or 315-268-6642.
For incidents or issues that do not pose an immediate threat to safety, students should be aware of the following information:
- The following residence halls have a Resident Advisor on each floor: Brooks House, Cubley House, Ross House, Reynolds House, Hamlin House, Powers House, Moore House. The following residence halls have a Resident Advisor in each house: Donahue House, Farrisee House, Van Note House, Wilson House, Thomas House, Olson House, Ormsby House, and Newell House. The apartments have Resident Advisors as follows: Riverside Apartment has one Resident Advisor in building 5, Woodstock Village has Resident Advisors in buildings 2, 6, & 9, and the Townhouse Apartments have Resident Advisors in buildings 2 & 5.
- Each area has a Residence Life Office in which the Resident Advisor on duty will be during on-duty hours which are Sunday through Thursday nights from 8:00pm to 11:00pm and Friday and Saturday nights from 8:00pm to 1:00am.
- Each Residence Life Office has the emergency contact information posted for students if there is a crisis outside of the scheduled office hours. In Brooks, Ross, Cubley, and Reynolds the office is located in the "Quad Core" on the first floor. In Hamlin and Powers, the office is located in the "Hamlin Core" between the buildings on the first floor. In Donahue, Farrisee, Van Note, Wilson, Thomas, Olson, Ormsby, and Newell the office is located in Wilson are on the first floor. In Riverside Apartments, Woodstock Village, and Townhouse Apartments the office is located in Building 6 of Woodstock Village.
- Each area also has a Resident Director which is a senior student who has been working in Residence Life for multiple years. These staff members perform campus rounds each weekend, and can be contacted through the Resident Advisor.
- The Area Coordinator is a professional staff member who lives in each area. The Area Coordinators are "on-call" each week for any crisis/emergency situations. The Area Coordinator is the first point of contact for the Resident Advisors should there be a non-life threatening situation. If Campus Safety is called for an emergency situation, the Area Coordinator is also contacted.
- Students living in Clarkson School & Honors Program housing in Newell House and Ormsby House have access to TCS/Honors staff members in Price Hall Monday--Friday 8:00am-4:30pm. A Clarkson School & Honors House Advisor is on call nightly from 8:00pm overnight until 8:00am. The HA on-call contact information is posted throughout Newell & Ormsby. The Associate Director for Student Life for TCS & Honors is also on-call 24/7 for student crises/emergencies. If Campus Safety is called for an emergency situation involving a Clarkson School/Honors student, the Associate Director is also called.
Q: What is Clarkson's policy regarding confidentiality and privacy of healthcare information?
A: Clarkson University and the Student Health and Counseling Center (SHAC) are legally and ethically obligated to protect every student’s right to privacy. Health and counseling records are strictly confidential and maintained in compliance with federal and New York State laws, including the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). SHAC will not release information to anyone outside the Center including family, parent/legal guardians, Clarkson University faculty/staff, or outside agencies without the written authorization of the student, unless required by law. In the case of a minor, the authorization of a parent or legal guardian is required to release medical records. In a medical emergency, only relevant health information will be released to another healthcare provider. If a student wishes to release their records to an individual or another provider, authorization forms are available at the Center.