We Care About All of Our Penguins!

The Office of the Dean of Students (DOS) provides support, education, guidance, and advocacy to all members of our campus community. In support of YSU’s commitment to “place students at its center,” we are dedicated to ensuring that individuals have a centralized point of contact to discuss extenuating situations and concerns, specifically those related to mental and physical health, hospitalizations, food and housing insecurities, challenging family situations, issues with faculty or staff members, or any other barriers that may impede their success, all while maintaining campus safety and fostering a culture of civility, character, and respect. We accept and encourage referrals from students, their families, faculty, staff, and the surrounding community, with the goal of providing advocacy, guidance, and assistance. One way that we support students is through referrals to the YSU CARE Team.


The YSU CARE (Concern – Assessment – Referral – Education) Team is in place to address issues of a serious nature that that may pose a threat to the safety of a student or any member of our campus. We accept (and encourage) referrals from students, their families, faculty, staff, and the surrounding community with the goal of providing outreach, guidance, and assistance. Faculty and staff are especially encouraged to report any problematic, disruptive, or anti-social behavior. These behaviors might not appear significant in isolation, but may trigger concern if combined with reports from other sources. If in doubt, please submit a Penguin of Concern Referral Form.


How do I make a referral?

  •   Access the Penguin of Concern Referral Form. Please complete the form as thoroughly as possible to help determine urgency of the situation and next steps. If you have questions regarding the form or the process, please contact the Dean of Students at 330-941-4721 or the Assistant Dean of Students at 330-941-4704 during regular business hours. You may also email the Office of the Dean of Students directly at dos@ysu.edu.


What happens when I make a referral?

  •   The Penguin of Concern Referral Form simply identifies an individual (or group) who may be in need of assistance. Referrals give staff an opportunity to explore the full picture and respond with the appropriate support. If in doubt about the situation, please keep in mind the referral process is designed to help the individual, not punish them. Referring an individual may also help to ensure the overall well-being and safety of our campus community.


Can I make an anonymous referral?

  •   Youngstown State University will, to the extent possible, respect the wishes of reporters concerning their anonymity. However, there may be situations where the identity of the reporter will need to be disclosed or will become apparent because of the actions taken to address the situation. Please note that we may need to ask questions of the referral source in order to gather additional information to best address the concerns shared. It is also possible that we may be required to release information in response to a court order, subpoena, or open records request.

How does the follow-up process work?

Identification of the Individual(s) of Concern

  •   The CARE Team accepts referrals from students, their families, faculty, staff and community members.


Assessment of the Situation

  •   With the exception of cases involving Title IX, the Office of the Dean of Students serves as the primary recipient for Penguin of Concern Referral Forms and manages the majority of issues/situations.


Referral as Appropriate

  •   Referrals and recommendations may occur through informal or formal channels, dependent on the individual characteristics of the case and the severity of the behavior of concern. Great care is taken to ensure this is the most appropriate intervention for both the individual and our campus community.


Education and Follow-Up

  •   The individual (or group, in some unique situations) will be provided education as appropriate. The YSU CARE Team will continue to monitor the individual(s) of concern as long as appropriate in order to best ensure their success and safety. Case closure is based on the level of concern presented.


All members of the YSU community have the responsibility to report any situation that could possibly result in harm to anyone at YSU. In the case of an active or immediate risk of violence to self or others, the YSU Police Department should be contacted immediately at 330-941-3527 (or 911 from a campus phone).

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