UChicago HELP FAQ

What is UChicago HELP?
UChicago HELP is a collaborative program within Campus and Student Life made up of a robust set of systems and practices, including some resources that are available 24/7, that support and care for our students. UChicago HELP assists students in navigating academic and personal difficulties, while also ensuring that University community members (such as faculty, staff, and students) can connect students needing help with assistance in a timely manner.

UChicago HELP is comprised of the Dean-on-Call program, the Sexual Assault Dean-on-Call program, and the Bias Education and Support Team (BEST). Additionally, if you are concerned about the physical or mental well-being of a student, you can report your concern online to the University to assist the student in getting intervention resources and strategy.

What if my concern is an emergency?
If your concern is an emergency and you need to speak to someone immediately, please dial 911 or call the University of Chicago Police Department at 773-702-8181.

How are reports about concerning behavior from University or community members handled?
Reports submitted during business hours (between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday) are reviewed as quickly as possible, and forms submitted overnight or on weekends or holidays are reviewed the morning of the next business day.

The goal in addressing the report is to connect a student of concern with an immediate and appropriate resource. If the situation warrants immediate attention, the director and/or associate director of Student Emergency Response Systems will consult with the Dean-on-Call. If a well-being check is necessary, the Dean-on-Call, escorted by a University of Chicago Police Department officer, will attempt to make an in-person connection with the student.

Other resources that may be contacted to address a report include:

  • Student Counseling Service
  • Housing & Residence Life
  • Center for Identity + Inclusion
  • Student Health Service
  • Office of International Affairs
  • Student Disability Services
  • University of Chicago Medicine Emergency Department
  • The student’s Area Dean of Students

If a situation is ongoing, UChicago HELP will coordinate with the student’s Area Dean of Students for continual case management. The Area Dean of Students will work closely with the student for follow-up and continued intervention.

In extreme cases, the University Dean of Students and/or her designee will request a meeting of the University Behavioral Intervention Team. The Behavioral Intervention Team members will gather information, make an assessment, and consult with others as needed to develop and implement a plan to help and support the individual.

How can I reach a Dean-on-Call?
The Dean-on-Call and can be reached by calling (773) 834-HELP (4357) or 4-HELP (4357) from a campus phone and following the prompts. You can also call UCPD at 773-702-8181 and ask them to page to the Dean-on-Call for you. You do not have to provide any identifying information except for a callback number.

Please be prepared to provide a 10-digit callback number. Allow 15 minutes for the Dean-on-Call to call you back. The Dean-on-Call is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

How can I reach a Sexual Assault Dean-on-Call?
The Sexual Assault Dean-on-Call can be reached by calling (773) 834-HELP (4357) or 4-HELP (4357) from a campus phone and following the prompts. You can also call UCPD at 773-702-8181 and ask them to page the Sexual Assault Dean-on-Call for you. You do not have to provide any identifying information except for a callback number.

Please be prepared to provide a 10-digit callback number. Allow 15 minutes for the Sexual Assault Dean-on-Call to call you back. The Sexual Assault Dean-on-Call is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The Sexual Assault Dean-on-Call may speak with a student in confidence.

How can I report a bias incident?
The University urges anyone who has experienced or witnessed a bias incident to report it to the Bias Education & Support Team (BEST). If you are interested in reporting a bias incident, you may do so by clicking here, or by contacting a BEST member listed on the site.

How will BEST respond to my report?
For all reports containing contact information, a BEST member will contact the reporting person and if desired, offer a meeting to discuss the incident in detail to explore a plan for resolution. During this meeting, the reporting person can expect to obtain information about related University policies, procedures, and resources. BEST may consult with other offices as needed to ensure a proper response.

How does UChicago HELP adhere to FERPA requirements?
UChicago HELP ensures students’ privacy; this means that only those people who need to know certain information in order to assist are given the student’s name and other limited information as necessary. FERPA protects a student's education record but allows for communication with parents and University staff in the event of an emergency or if a student poses a threat to themselves or others.

A student referred to Student Counseling Service can establish a collaborative and confidential relationship with a therapist who can help the student learn coping strategies. Student Counseling Service is in full compliance with state and federal mental health laws regarding confidentiality.

How do I schedule a Dean-on-Call or Sexual Assault Dean-on-Call for my event?
Fill out the Dean-on-Call/Sexual Assault Dean-on-Call Request Form, or attend a bi-weekly high-profile events meeting. At the meeting, brief reviews are conducted of all high-profile events scheduled to occur in the upcoming weeks. During this meeting, the decision may be made to schedule an Event Review, which is a meeting with all stakeholders that is dedicated to discussing your specific event in more detail. Contact Bria Kaufman for meeting information at briakaufman@uchicago.edu or 773.702.5243.

What are high-profile events?
High-profile events include events in which participants, presenters, or attendees are:

  • government officials (e.g. sitting and former heads of state, governors, federal judges)
  • leaders of large organizations (e.g. CEO of a Fortune 500 company, a Catholic Cardinal, the Chair of the NAACP)
  • well-known celebrities or artists
  • highly controversial and likely to attract protest

They include events that:

  • have drawn heightened attention on other campuses or in other venues
  • have controversial subject matter likely to attract organized protest
  • are likely or intended to garner significant media attention
  • expect an attendance of 400 or more people
  • discuss sensitive topics surrounding gender-based violence

High-profile events also include events that have high security measures, such as:

  • UCPD and/or Allied Universal presence
  • involvement of US Secret Service or other national, state, local, or foreign security agency 
  • speakers or guests who travel with personal or private security details

How much notice should I give to schedule a DoC or SADoC?
The more notice you can provide the better, however five to seven days is ideal. We understand that advance notice is not always possible and will do our best to fulfill all last-minute staffing requests.

Who should I contact for more information?
Lynda Daher, Assistant Dean of Students in the University and Associate Director, Student Emergency Response Systems, at ldaher@uchicago.edu or 773.702.8762.