If there is a reported emergency on campus, AlertSU, Stanford's emergency notification system, will deliver time-sensitive emergency notifications to faculty, staff, students, postdocs and other members of the Stanford community via voice mail, email and text-messaging. Status updates will also be available online and through a recorded phone message.

Stanford's emergency website is: emergency.stanford.edu

Stanford's emergency information hotline is: 650-725-5555.

Recognizing a Potential Threat

Violence prevention relies on having effective resources available, excellent communication between service administrators and community members, and the ability to recognize, report and respond to a potential threat. It is recognized that each individual has the ability to prevent violence on campus through recognizing and reporting a potential threat.

Trusting Your Intuition

It's always a good habit to trust your intution especially when dealing with a potentially threatening situation. Listening to your "uh oh" feeling and reporting a person or situation that is of concern to you is extemely important and critical to violence prevention. It is natural to rationalize or deny that a concern or threat may exist. We ask that you overcome that by considering the following:

  • You may only be aware of one piece of the puzzle.
  • You may not be aware of a person's history.
  • Coming forward and contacting a resource that you feel comfortable with may be critical for bringing awareness to a potential threat.
  • Information that you feel is not worthy of attention may in fact be critical information for others to recognize a pattern or potential threat. This is because threat assessment professionals rely on gathering as much information as possible oftentimes from a variety of sources and use this information to create an assessment of potential violence.

Warning Signs

There are several indicators of a potential threat which, taken by themselves, may not be immediately obvious. Nevertheless, you may only be seeing part of what is going on and so it's very important to tell a supervisor or campus resource person any cause for concern that you may have. If you recognize any of these warning signs, you are encouraged to notify someone immediately about your concerns. A variety of resources are available here: Students | Faculty & Staff | Postdocs

Warning signs can manifest themselves in many forms: one-on-one settings, group interaction, public behavior, letters, emails, blogs, websites, social networking sites, photos, phone calls, text messages, etc. The following list of warning signs is not intended to be fully comprehensive.

  • Explicit statements about harming someone
  • Social isolation
  • Changes in behavior (sudden or otherwise)
  • Change in academic performance
  • Unexplained absenteeism
  • Increase in alcohol or drug use
  • Anxiety or uncertainty about family/relationships/situations
  • Explicit statements about harming someone
  • Attempts to harm or kill self
  • Conflicts with others
  • Lack of energy or chronic fatigue
  • Bizarre behavior
  • Change in appearance/declining hygiene
  • Sending disturbing messages (i.e. texts, e-mails, letters) to students/staff/faculty.
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Displays paranoia
  • Alienates him/herself from others/family
  • Loss of job/income/relationship
  • Disruptive behavior/irritability/abrasive towards another
  • Coursework content that is alarming
  • Depression or nervousness
  • Identifying with other persons who engaged in past violence toward others
  • Making statements that supports the use of violence to resolve issues

Understanding How a Threat Develops

There are several factors that lead to the development of a threat and potential violence. Even without the potential for violence to manifest itself, many situations can be psychological or emotionally upsetting/impactful/harmful.... By understanding threats and violence, it is easier to see how easily things can develop into dangerous situations.

  • High-tension situation
  • Recent trigger
  • Psychological/emotional instability of the person of concern

Threat Levels

The situation of concern will be assessed according to the level of threat it poses. The following chart provides an example of the varying levels of threat.

•  Threat Level Assessment

MultiMedia Resources of Recognizing Threatening Situations

If you're interested in further information, please click on the links below to learn more on various topics.
  • The Real World at Stanford
  • Don't Be a Bystander Campaign
  • Stalking Presentation
  • Active Shooter Presentation
  • Education material as to what threat assessment is, what are threats, what resources are available, how to safely respond to a threat and the position of the university on this topic.

We encourage you to become familiar with violence prevention programs on campus and to utilize those resources when you feel it necessary. The most important component of violence prevention and threat assessment is the communication of observed behavior to the appropriate resources, so that intervention can occur before something happens.

Please report any concerning observed behavior: Student Resources | Faculty & Staff Resources | Postdoc Resources