The Harper Early Alert Team, or HEAT, is a multidisciplinary campus threat assessment and behavioral intervention team that guides the campus community in effectively assessing and addressing threatening and/or concerning behaviors. HEAT strives to assist the campus in intervening with someone before their behaviors reach a critical level.
NOTE: HEAT does NOT respond directly to emergencies or "in the moment". Call 9-1-1 if you experience an emergency, or call Harper College Police Department at 847.925.6330 if you need assistance right away, or if you do not know the identity of the person you are concerned about.
While HEAT is not an emergency responding body, it serves as a kind of "safety net" for the campus. You can report information about any person affecting the Harper community (including students, faculty, staff, parents, visitors, and other persons not affiliated with the campus). Many acts of violence (such as school shootings or bombings) are planned in advance and there are often warning signs exhibited ahead of time. Examples of the kinds of things to report to HEAT include:
Remember: If you are not sure whether you should report it to HEAT or not, it helps to err on the side of reporting the information, even if you just want the information tracked in case there is a bigger pattern. The HEAT is designed to help the campus "connect the dots" to intervene before someone turns to violence as a solution. You are welcome to access our interactive training module, designed to assist you in better understanding the role and scope of HEAT.
In order to ensure that referrals are reviewed in a timely fashion, HEAT referrals are made online - Report a Concern Here.
Be prepared to share the following:
Please be aware that your communication may be subject to review through FERPA or other laws governing communications. The College does not tolerate retaliation, and if you have concerns for your own safety, the HEAT can assist you in contacting the police or other resources.
If your concern pertains not to threatening but more to disrespectful or disruptive student behavior, please consult with your Chair/Dean or supervisor, or learn more about the student conduct procedures.
When you submit a report, it is routed to the HEAT Coordinator (or another team member in his/her absence) for review during regular College business hours. HEAT then conducts an initial threat assessment on every referral to determine any initial action that might be warranted. In many cases, once it is determined there is not a threat of violence present, the outcome of the initial assessment is simply to offer support and resources to either the individual who reports the concern, the person of concern, or both.
In some cases, a more in-depth investigation occurs before the HEAT can determine a possible threat level for the situation. As the reporting party, you will be kept informed as appropriate for the situation, but please be advised that the HEAT strives to maintain privacy of information in the interest of all parties involved.
If there is a potential threat, the HEAT provides guidance and recommendations to the appropriate individuals (on or off-campus) in order to mitigate or manage the threat. All information reported to HEAT is maintained so that patterns can be identified over time. For this reason, you may want to report something as an FYI to HEAT and leave it to the team to determine if action needs to be taken.
*HEAT may also consult with legal counsel and/or bring in additional team members for specific cases as needed.
The following resources may be helpful to you in understanding more about HEAT and campus violence prevention: