This project will address how a multiple hazards approach to violence prevention can be developed on university campuses.
The project will specifically develop a toolkit to pilot on the campus of the University of Maryland, and then make available for deployment on other college/university campuses to mitigate the likelihood of acts of targeted violence. The toolkit would embody a public-health approach to the issue of violence prevention, involving four elements:
- A diagnostic tool to help a campus understand: a) how/if students feel safe on campus; b) how/if students understand the nature of threats related to targeted violence or lone-actor terrorism; and c) the extent to which students perceive the presence of hate/intolerance on campus or subscribe to hateful ideologies.
- A design-thinking curriculum for use in the classroom to develop organic violence prevention programs for the campus.
- An evaluation and assessment guide for the campus to employ over time as they implement those violence prevention programs.
- Training resources (such as bystander videos for online discussion to help campuses implement these programs).
The methodology will build on bystander intervention theory, which focuses on education to: 1) notice a concerning event; 2) interpret it as a problem; 3) feel responsible for dealing with it; and 4) have the necessary skills to act.
It will further build on threat assessment models used in educational settings to help: 1) develop a rapid and context-specific analysis of a potential threat posed by an individual; and 2) connect the person of concern to protective resources that will mitigate his/her context-specific issues moving him/her along a pathway into violent action.